Scott Anderson has announced he will be running for a second term on Vernon Council.
Anderson says he made the promise last election to tell people what he believes to be true, not just what they want to hear.
“Politics is changing, and people are looking for a new breed of politician who looks them in the eye and tells them the truth instead of hiding behind platitudes and smiles.”
Anderson joins current council members Dalvir Nahal and Brian Quiring as incumbents seeking re-election for new four year terms.
Don Jefcoat, Kelly Fehr have filed to run for councillor so far, with Art Gourley the only one to file for mayor.
Anderson — who grabbed the 6th and final spot in the 2014 election — believes the City is doing well on many issues, like underground infrastructure and development strategies.
“I think we’re on the right track in terms of underground infrastructure replacement in most cases,” says Anderson. “For years our pipes and wires were neglected, but under the past two councils this deficit has been addressed by a comprehensive program funded by a dedicated replacement levy. I will push for continuing replacement, because when we’re done we’ll be back to maintenance mode for another 50 to 100 years.”
However, the business owner and interim leader of the BC Conservative Party, feels the City needs to be more responsive to the disruptions caused to businesses and citizens, and be willing to use new techniques and faster construction methods like 24/7 or 24/5 construction wherever feasible.
Anderson says the City can improve in areas like more transparency and citizen engagement, more robust efforts in petty crime prevention and civic pride, and a halt to variances to reduce parking requirements, among others.
“I will continue to push for Town Hall-type engagement, street level enforcement of panhandling and nuisance bylaws, and a halt to what has become almost a habit of lowering parking requirements for new development.”
Anderson believes that municipal politicians should govern by public consent as much as possible, and not by forcing behaviours on citizens by restrictive actions.
“We should treat our citizens as customers and be responsive to their needs rather than trying to force them to adapt to our direction.”
Anderson says a strong, engaged council is needed to face the new problems the city is dealing with.
“The 2018 election is important because so many incumbents will not be running,” said Anderson. “And that can mean significant change on Council.”
“We can’t afford to elect candidates on the basis of popularity,” said Anderson. “Drifting along and refusing to try new things simply isn’t an option anymore. I urge folks to look beyond the platitudes and clichés of old-school politics and search for candidates willing to honestly engage, who have a can-do attitude.”
Anderson is a long time Vernon resident, business owner, and recently retired commissioned officer with the Canadian Forces Reserves.