For the first time in more than a decade, the District of Coldstream will have a new mayor.
Incumbent Jim Garlick has, instead, opted to run for a seat on council in the Oct. 15 municipal election. And incumbent councillor Ruth Hoyte has put her name forward to be mayor.
Garlick’s and Hoyte’s intentions have been listed on a candidate’s list on the District of Coldstream website.
“I think it’s time,” said Garlick of his dcision. “I think continuity is important for mayor and council, and I know a councillor has put their name forward. Having previous experience is great.”
Garlick was first elected mayor in 2008, defeating current councillor Glen Taylor in the mayor’s race. Garlick handily survived challenges in 2011 and 2018, and was voted in by acclamation in 2014. He served as a councillor for the district from 2005 to 2008.
One of the reasons he wants to remain with council is to see some projects through to their completion.
“Things like the (Okanagan) rail trail and the amenities around it,” he said. “The Coldstream Municipal Hall and child care centres will be up and running. Finishing off the parks restructuring. We’re looking at a plan for Kal Beach which I think is one of the saddest beaches in the Okanagan. We’ve been looking to do something since the park came back into the public’s hands through the regional district.”
Asked if there was one accomplishment that stood out for him during his tenure as mayor, Garlick chuckled and said “anytime we accomplish anything is a good thing.”
He chaired the revamping of the Master Water Plan with stakeholders; he was in power when Greater Vernon Athletics Park was built in the district at Okanagan College. And the restructuring of parks, he said, has had a lot of positives.
“For Coldstream itself, the Okanagan Rail Trail, having Kelowna work with everyone to purchase the old CN corridor and Coldstream council and the regional district stepping up has been great,” he said, adding that a lot of projects in the district have been done with very little affect to residents’ taxes.
Garlick is joined on the council candidates’ list by incumbents Doug Dirk and Pat Cochrane. Alex Dantzer and Don Jefcoat have also put their names forward.
Hoyte is a long time Coldstream resident and is currently completing her first term as a district councillor.
“I have the upmost respect for Mayor Garlick and my fellow councillors, and believe that with the support of Coldstream residents, I can give a fresh perspective to the position of mayor,” said Hoyte.
“Coldstream council has moved forward with some great community projects, such as two childcare centres and a new community hall. Coldstream Station is nearly complete, and I can see potential of a farmers/artisan market operating on that site.
“Current initiatives include a citizen’s survey and looking for public input on the Head of the Lake master plan. I look forward to reviewing and listening to the input provided by our residents.”
A priority for Hoyte, if elected mayor, she said, is the availability of housing options.
“We must be mindful of development to ensure it meets our needs and provides homes for families and those who wish to downsize or move to our community,” said Hoyte.
“Council has addressed this on several fronts, including zoning for multi-family units as well as carriage homes which can provide additional housing. However, council needs to do more to attract young families so the community can grow.”
Hoyte also recognizes that 60 per cent of Coldstream’s land base is in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
“COVID has highlighted the need for local food sources and the importance of providing support to farmers. I fully support the ability of farmers to earn a living and I want to preserve agriculture on productive land,” she said.
As a Coldstream councillor, Hoyte has served as a director to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee and the Regional Growth Advisory Committee at the Regional District of North Okanagan, and sits as an alternative director at the Regional District of North Okanagan.
Candidates for mayor and council have until Sept. 9 to file papers.