MAKING A COMMITMENT

I feel that there has been a division between community and municipal government.

This discord has created a climate that tends to be an "us versus them" perception. The Councillors and Mayor are us and we should be on the same team to move forward, not continually revisit the same issues and drag them out indefinitely.

I know that people working together can solve issues. The “ditches of Casa Loma” were a prime example of how local communities can have a beneficial exchange of ideas between residents and local government, with a positive conclusion for neighbours and the City. Joe worked tirelessly along with his neighbours to ensure that the City of West Kelowna did something to help the situation being faced by Casa Loma residents. The open storm water ditches which were causing huge local issues were able to be replaced by a proper closed system at reasonable cost to the City of West Kelolwna.

Joe believes that the key to making things work is a simple concept. Instead of trying to find a quick and cheap short-term solution for an issue, all the facts should be properly analyzed, so that even if a slightly more expensive but long-lasting solution is found, the long-term effect would more than make up for the additional cost for the city because the solution would be lasting and not have to be redone again in just a few years.

An example of Major West Kelowna Issues

Here are a few of the many issues facing West Kelowna residents, for which Joe, as a West Kelowna City Councillor, will give his energy and time to help solve when elected this October.

Traffic is a " hot button" in West Kelowna, as it is in almost all other municipalities.

The issue of properly increasing an area's density is important when dealing with traffic concerns. Finding workable solutions for West Kelowna are top priorities.

  • We must ensure that when developing an area homeowners have easy access to area amenities, and the easier the access, the more it will attract more people to live there, and the more people living there, the more it will help increase amenities.
  • Linked to traffic is industrial land and its preservation as well as expansion for industry and commercial enterprises. Although perhaps not as glamorous as resort development, industrial and commercial spaces are crucial for jobs, which in turn benefit a community.

The existing number of sports fields needs to be addressed.

Sport fields are an important positive factor in the infrastructure of a community.

  • There is a circle that goes from player, to coach, to board member, to active in the community and all are necessary to the vibrant health of a young city like West Kelowna.
  • Not only do sport groups support local business, there is a clear link to reduced health costs and policing, as a result of young people buying into the vision of West Kelowna.

Lake access is also a very contentious issue.

Access to the lake is a very important trust, not only for the residents of West Kelowna but for all British Columbians.

  • West Kelowna Council needs to be diligent when looking at rezoning waterfront for development at the expense of the residents.
  • The City needs to allow for more public access rather than privatizing our waterfront.

The WFN is the second largest landholder in the West Kelowna area.

  • With West Kelowna and the WFN as autonomous bodies, we need to be progressive and not reactionary.
  • As development happens, West Kelowna City Council needs to evaluate all projects in any specific community to present a balanced approach to all area residents.

These are just some of the many issues facing West Kelowna. Joe Gluska understands that as a relatively young city, West Kelowna is still facing growing pains. With the support of the West Kelowna voters, Joe intends to work dilligently on behalf of the residents of all the communities within West Kelowna.