The Vernon mayoralty campaign promises to be a bit livelier now that Art Gourley has entered the race.
The painter — who made a run for council in 2014 — says his plan is to ‘Make Vernon Great,’ as he takes a page from Donald Trump, who he admits, he is a fan of.
“Instead of making Vernon better, I’m going to make Vernon great, right? I think that sounds good. And I know what you’re saying, some people don’t like Trump, but it’s really got nothing to do with Trump. I just like the slogan,” Gourley tells Beach Radio News.
Gourley says he wants to see Coldstream amalgamated into Vernon.
“I don’t understand why Coldstream is staying Coldstream when they’re just using Vernon. They’re even working in Vernon, and they got all down Kal Lake Road, it’s all Vernon and all the stores, but they don’t want to be part of Vernon. That’s something stupid. Something’s wrong somewhere there,” says Gourley who moved to Vernon in 2006 from Langley.
Gourley is adamant that Coldstream should be part of Vernon.
“So what the heck does Coldstream have, like a pub and a gas station right? I don’t understand that. Let’s get together here guys. Why do we even have to get together. Lets just make them Vernon, right? I don’t know how you do these things, but I’m going to learn them.”
Gourley wants to see more entertainment and events brought to the city.
“The horse racing has gone, the car racing has gone. Everything is going. It’s not coming, so what I would like to see happen here is we’ll get someone who knows how to bring entertainment to the city.”
Gourley — who attends as many council meetings as he can — says he would like to see 32nd and 27th Streets made one way.
“It would just make it easier for people to get around. It would make it simpler. When you going somewhere, you go this way or that way. You don’t want to get mixed up.”
The 75 year old also feels the city should fund weekend openings of the Upper Room Mission which he feels would help the homeless.
“Why don’t they move the Gateway (shelter) and the Upper Room Mission down where the Howard House is? All in one area. I think that would be perfect. And then I was talking to somebody about it, and they said the city don’t own the property by the Howard House, so that makes it difficult for the city.”
Among Gourley’s other musings are to bring air force cadets here to train, and to use discount real estate firms on land deals to save taxpayer money.
Darrin Taylor, Victor Cumming and Erik Olesen are the other candidates for mayor so far.
The official nomination period for candidates is Sept. 4-14.