As one of 6 Councilors on Peachland Town Council, I serve as your representative. Your 7th representative is your Mayor.
< CLICK HERE TO CONTACT PETE COOLIO >
Visit these BLOGS to voice your opinion! Contact Pete Coolio to share your thoughts & ideas. I’m always up for a coffee downtown!
There are a lot of Peachlanders with a lot of great ideas out there. Believe it or not, these ideas DO NOT die in the street and they end up getting heard in a variety of ways. Your opinion matters. Please consider these pages as another way for us to stay engaged.
These blogs are about sharing ideas… I need to know what you think. Tell me about the events you’d like to see in Peachland? If you have ideas for the water front, I’d love to know. I am your representative on Council, and I want to ensure that each and every one of us has a voice.
Pete Coolio Peachland Town Councilor
Links to interesting articles concerning the 2018 Election:
- Election Recount - Vancouver Sun
- Tie for Mayoral Race - Kelowna Now
- Tie for Mayor’s Race - Castanet
- It Just Seems Crazy! - National Post
- Official Explanation for Missed Ballot - Peachland Municipal Site
Who were the Candidates?…
GENERAL ELECTION Candidates … click here > Click to see who ran in the 2018 election
October 1ST, 2018 - - All Candidates FORUM - - Peachland Community Centre
October 2nd, 2018 - - MEAT & GREET @ ‘91 Restaurant, Beach Avenue. 5 to 7 PM
October 3rd, 2018 - - PETE COOLIO FUNDRAISER @ ‘91 Restaurant. 5 to 9 PM
October 10TH, 2018 - - Forum, sponsored by Friends of Beach Avenue - - 50+ Centre. 7 PM
October 15TH, 2018 - - Meet & Greet the Candidates at the 50+ Centre - - 3pm to 7pm
October 13TH, SATURDAY * * - - RIBS FUNDRAISER at the Edgewater!!! - - 2pm
October 20TH, 2018 - - ELECTION DAY
NOVEMBER 6TH, TUESDAY - - INAUGURAL EVENT IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS - - 7pm - - Peachland Community Centre
DECEMBER 7th, FRIDAY - - Light up Christmas! 4:30 at Heritage Park, Peachland
BIO - Click <here> to ask Pete your questions
Educated in Business & Economics with a Degree in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University, Pete is a pragmatic and creative problem-solver with an affinity for logistics, project management, and people. His career began in the field of Nuclear Automation and Robotics, progressed to ownership of a Heavy Steel Construction Company in Calgary, and subsequently to management & contract coordination of heavy industrial projects in Northern Alberta. Having settled into a comfortable life in Peachland, Pete now enjoys an engaging and people-oriented career as a Realtor with Royal LePage.
Arriving in the Okanagan about ten years ago, Pete set his sights upon the picturesque town of Peachland and became a member of the community as a home-owner on Renfrew Road. Making friends with dozens of locals and becoming more engaged in the downtown core as the years progressed, Pete stopped working in the North and began singing and playing acoustic guitar at the Edgewater Pub five nights every week, becoming fully immersed in the Okanagan Lifestyle. Having returned to his youthful roots as an entertainer and musician, he soon became a popular local character, who has enjoyed watching the downtown business and entertainment culture flourish and become vibrant in ways that could never have been imagined only a few years ago. Peachland is festive and alive downtown and it feels good!
Socially speaking, Pete Coolio is tremendously engaged with hundreds of Peachland locals and visitors virtually every night of the week throughout the year. Social engagements evolved into political aspirations about two years ago, when many Peachlanders... especially younger Peachlanders... expressed their need for someone to make them feel more involved in conversations affecting their homes, families and future as Peachlanders. Educated in Political Science, but having little patience for politicians, there is no question that his contributions as an organizer, communicator, critical-thinker and Town Councilor will have a positive influence on the community, and create a refreshing outlook with respect to friendly & approachable Local Government. We have something very special here.
Platform - Click <here> to ask Pete your questions
This is my election platform in 2018. Although I have achieved a seat on Council, I intend to leave these posted for my term.
- - - “If we want things to stay as they are, things are going to have to change.” - - -
Community Centre ALL-CANDIDATE’S FORUM was a tremendous event! Thank you to everyone for being kind and respectful of one another. Not all candidates were present.
50+ Centre ALL-CANDIDATE’S FORUM was very well-attended, well-received, and some difficult issues were presented by concerned residents. Kudos to the organizers for keeping the event running smoothly and maintaining a sense of fairness and diplomacy throughout. The Wild-West Format can be difficult, and many questions are invariably directed at members of the current (or past) Council, but the opportunity to confront candidates freely and without reserve is surely of great benefit to everyone in the community.
1. HONESTY - - Anyone campaigning on false platforms is not deserving of my time.
I have no personal mandate in this election. I want Peachland to remain a small and sustainable town in which we can all succeed and be happy. It’s that simple. I love the small-town feel of Peachland, the delightful people, the character, the natural beauty and the charm. There’s a reason I don’t live in Kelowna or Westbank… it’s because I love it here.
Be critical of your candidates and hold us to your highest expectations. Be wary of anyone with an agenda.
I feel very strongly about honesty and democratic representation in local government. I am running to represent you.
2. Balanced Platform - - “If we want things to stay as they are, things are going to have to change”
HOT-BUTTON ISSUE! Our OCP is an excellent plan, developed by people who truly care about the community. This is our plan for a sustainable future and we cannot continually refuse to let it happen.
A. We should have been petitioning developers to build three story buildings when the OCP was conceived decades ago…
- - We did not implement the OCP
B. We had developers ready to build three-story projects on Beach Avenue years ago…
- - We did support the OCP
C. We must petition developers to build three story buildings on Beach Avenue today…
- - The world is catching up with us
D. We have created a hostile climate for investors, which we must overcome
E. There are modern financial realities, which we must overcome
F. Attracting developers of three-story developments in this climate will not be easy
G. It’s up to Peachlanders to recover the options that we may have lost by our refusal to change
Ponderosa Golf Course, Edgewater Hotel, TNI, Tabletop Manor… we have driven investors out of Peachland in spite of the OCP, although this is the plan that we have professed as the very best for a sustainable future. Peachland is an aging community that is in need of repair and development. Our end-game is either a diversified economy providing for new sources of revenue, or higher property taxes. If there is a third option of which I’m unaware, please send me your ideas.
3. Clear Communication and a Voice for Everybody
Councillors attend meetings so you don’t have to. Posting the minutes of our meetings to our Municipal Website simply isn’t enough to keep our citizens engaged in the process. We need a fresh approach to better communication. I will attend the meetings on your behalf. I will check my personal opinions at the door. I will be downtown when the meetings are done to communicate the items affecting your life in Peachland to you. I will encourage our other representatives to do the same.
My boots are on the ground every day. You will see me downtown supporting local businesses. You will see me talking to your friends and neighbours and you’re welcome to join the conversation. I will expect similar support from my fellow Councillors.
If we are to hold onto the “small town feeling”, we have to keep the conversation going after the election!
4. Extend the Season
A creative approach to our businesses, downtown events and core attendance must lend itself to extending our revenue-making season. Peachland cannot be terminally starved for business eight months every year after the tourists have gone home. The revenue season will not magically extend itself. Businesses do not magically appear in popular places. This is an old-school way of thinking and our economic engines have changed dramatically.
Part of extending our season is expanding our business economy, which involves the creation of office space. The “gig economy” is a viable source of income for young providers and their families, and it has become an integral part of the Nation’s Economic Landscape. I’ll be happy to discuss economics with you over a coffee if you’re interested. Many young families must travel far away for work, which means that they’re not here to support local businesses. Many young families cannot stay here at all, as highway commuting to neighbouring towns is not viable or affordable.
Business has been down for a couple of years in a row. Downtown store-fronts were boarded up only a few years ago…
Please take a moment to remember what that looks like.
The issue has been investigated thoroughly, and it all comes down to the same theme:
We have failed to implement our OCP. We have fought developers at every turn. It’s catching up with us a little more each year.
Thanks to the current Council, we now have nearly double the spaces behind the Edgewater Hotel. Working with developers instead of working against them can benefit our community tremendously. “Development” & “Progress” are not four-letter words. We have a great plan for development & progress… the OCP. Let’s stop fighting it.
6. Septic System Upgrades
Without a diversified economy and new sources of revenue, our septic tanks just might be around for a while yet. The current Council has paved the way for a hundred new municipal upgrades, which is surely commendable. The current Council has also paved the way for a new water treatment plant, which is desperately needed. Our fire department has a new pumper-truck, which replaces a truck with 36 years of faithful service under its belt, and a new fire department building must be listed among the upcoming expenditures. Oh, and we have roads that are literally sliding off our picturesque cliffs, too. It takes a lot of money to keep a town running.
Who’s going to pay for all of this? If we keep driving developers out of town, then you’re not going to like the answer.
Development has always provided for these kind of upgrades, and it always will. Sustainable development. We have the roots… we need to let the branches grow.
7. Three Stories vs. Five Stories
HOT-BUTTON ISSUE! There have been death threats against the Developer of PeachTree, rocks thrown at construction workers, and election signs vandalized and defaced - - unreasonable actions not endorsed by either side of the debate - - This is a symptom of having change forced upon us, and having change forced upon us is a symptom of refusing to change.
- - We are all accountable for the tone of the discussion. The unreasonable actions of a few were likely foreseeable in light of the negative tone we have embraced. This is on us. We will all benefit by changing the tone - -
Six years ago, we were given opportunities to develop three-story projects with a generous local developer, and we shut them down. Had we not shut them down, I do not believe that a five-story development would ever have been considered.
I believe that are still opportunities to develop three story properties on Beach Avenue according to the OCP
I believe that good developers have become reluctant to take a chance on Peachland
I believe that financial considerations will exceed our ability to deal with them if we do not move forward
I believe that Peachland’s small town charm should last forever…
IF WE WANT THINGS TO STAY AS THEY ARE, THINGS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE.
I understand why the current Council has approved the PeachTree Five-Story Development, although to me, it feels desperate.
This reflects the outlook of many people in the community… that our vengeful attitude toward development has limited our options and that this is not sustainable.
My Personal Message…
If we refuse to grow old gracefully, then we will still grow old. The young person who refuses to plan for the future will end up homeless, and the old person who refuses to keep their legs strong will end up in a home. Young or old, these individuals will lose the ability to make decisions on their own terms. I’m growing older, ( although I wish it weren’t so ), and although I truly miss climbing columns and walking purlins as an iron-worker, the job is simply too physical to enjoy forever. Today, I am a Realtor who is running for Council. These pipe-cleaner biceps would have been shameful to me fifteen years ago, but it’s part of aging gracefully. I’m doing it on my own terms. This is sustainable for me. There is an analogy here that I hope you’ve made for yourselves.
8. LOCAL COMPOST SITE & WASTE-TRANSFER STATION
We will regret having not dealt with this issue when there is no longer a waste-transfer station in West Kelowna.
Personally, I miss the local compost-site, and I hope there is a way to bring it back to Peachland. Although the green box program is very good, I do not believe that it’s able to meet the needs of many Peachland property owners and businesses. The Council has access to studies and information that should be treated as a priority by the new administration. Garbage is an issue that we cannot allow to catch up with us… no community can.
I do not look forward reading about a highway disaster caused by an amateur garbage hauler’s insecure load anytime soon.
9. THE HIGHWAY BY-PASS
Article: Okanagan Named #1 Wine Destination in the WORLD
As an economic engine for tourism, the Okanagan is set to produce a lot of revenue for British Columbians. When we talk of highways costing tens of millions of dollars and generating hundreds of millions in revenue for the province and surrounding communities, it’s difficult to imagine how a little town set in the middle of the action could fight MOTI with respect to the future of transportation and economic growth throughout the corridor. In light of the great success that this could bring to tens of thousands of people throughout the Okanagan, it surely means that I’m willing to keep an open mind. They’ve met with us and we’ve been consulted. I believe that MOTI will have the final say in the greater decision, and that we will have many opportunities to work together on the details. I believe this because we are in the position of having to wait for their decision. They are not in the position of having to wait for ours.
Whether you’re for or against the by-pass, your personal opinion is surely as valid as mine. An extra 10km of waterfront could lend itself quite nicely to our community and take the pressure of development away from the downtown core. A secondary route for emergencies could also be regarded as a positive, as would the development of tourism amenities along a gorgeous stretch of lake that’s currently unusable for anything other than driving to Summerland. It’s only my opinion, but I’ve never seen a high-volume highway bring peace & tranquility to other communities.
Hunters have reasonable issues with the by-pass, as do environmentalists on both sides of the equation. Do you blow a new highway through the wilderness, or increase the volume of dangerous goods along BC’s most beautiful lake? Business-owners wonder what a by-pass will do to their bottom line. There are a lot of very reasonable concerns out there. Fortunately, we can begin to address them if we get started. We can educate ourselves.
Maybe you feel that Peachland won’t be as busy without a highway running through the middle of town? Maybe you don’t want Peachland to get any busier anyway? Your opinion is valid.