A second candidate has announced a run for Vernon mayor.
Darrin Taylor says he’s been urged to run by citizens, business owners, and members of Council.
“The new challenges that face us as a city require someone able to have open, honest conversations and make decisions that are sometimes difficult,” said Taylor. “We simply haven’t had that kind of leadership over the past few years. People who are familiar with the nature of the work I do have asked me to bring that skill set forward as Mayor.”
Taylor — who chaired a task force into homelessness and addictions issues facing businesses — says he’s running on a platform of positive change, focusing on issues ranging from attainable housing to public safety.
Taylor (pictured) is a certified addictions specialist and currently owns Axis Intervention Services, but says he would step away from that if he becomes mayor.
Victor Cumming, an economist, has also announced a run for mayor.
Cumming was second in the five person mayor’s race in 2014.
Current mayor Akbal Mund has said he’ll announce if he plans to seek a second term or perhaps run for councillor, in early September.
Former mayor Wayne Lippert and painter Art Gourley have also said they plan to run for mayor.
“Vernon has so much incredible potential,” says Taylor in a news release, “But without strong leadership we’re simply not realizing it. Given the present slate of serious mayoral candidates, the decision for the citizens of Vernon really boils down to a choice between more of the same or positive change.”
Taylor says the City is on the right track on some issues, like infrastructure replacement. “For years successive Councils and administrators simply let our pipes and wires degrade to the point that we were in a crisis. Largely due to the efforts of the present city CAO, the crisis was addressed two terms ago, and in a few more years of sustained effort our infrastructure will be renewed for another half century.”
However, other issues have been left unaddressed by Council. “One thing that’s become clear to me over the course of meeting with and talking to people in Vernon is the degree of frustration felt by the public at increasing crime and what they see as the ongoing degradation of the city,” said Taylor. “You don’t have to look any further than social media to see the frustration in the City’s failure to recognize and acknowledge the problem, let alone take action to solve it.”
“But the larger issue is really what type of community we want to live in? Are we willing to throw up our hands and say we can’t do anything about needles, litter, and increasing crime? I think we have to do better.”
Taylor was born in Winnipeg, and spent much of his childhood in the Toronto area.
He moved to Vernon in 1993, and says he’s an avid skier and a diehard hockey fan.
“I chose to come to Vernon 25 years ago, and Vernon has provided my wife and I a great life,” said Taylor. “As the father of school aged children, I believe we have an obligation to pass on a thriving community to the next generation.”