11 candidates in the ring for Vernon council seat

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Ed StranksEd Stranks
Andrew Wylie (right), who continues to try and creatre a shrine to Vimy Ridge called Vimy Lane behind his Vernon home, has entered the race for the vacant seat on Vernon council. (Morning Star file photo)Andrew Wylie (right), who continues to try and creatre a shrine to Vimy Ridge called Vimy Lane behind his Vernon home, has entered the race for the vacant seat on Vernon council. (Morning Star file photo)
Vernon businessman Kevin Demers, owner of Hemp and Wellness, is the latest candidate seeking the vacant seat on Vernon council in a Dec. 4 byelection. (Contributed)Vernon businessman Kevin Demers, owner of Hemp and Wellness, is the latest candidate seeking the vacant seat on Vernon council in a Dec. 4 byelection. (Contributed)
Vernon businesswoman and avid volunteer Sherrilee Franks has thrown her name into the ring for a vacant seat on Vernon council Dec. 4. (Contributed)Vernon businesswoman and avid volunteer Sherrilee Franks has thrown her name into the ring for a vacant seat on Vernon council Dec. 4. (Contributed)

UPDATE THURSDAY, OCT. 28, 4:45 P.M.

There are now 11 candidates who are added their names to the ballot for Vernon’s councillor byelection vote on Dec. 4.

Catherine Lord and Ed Stranks are the latest to throw their hats in the ring.

Lord is a former city councillor who served two terms but did not seek re-election in 2018.

Stranks is a former Vernon employee who retired earlier this year following 31 years with the city.

Candidates have until Friday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. to get their nomination packages into City Hall.

UPDATE THURSDAY, OCT. 28, 2 P.M.

Two more individuals have added their names to the ballot for Vernon’s councillor byelection vote on Dec. 4.

Local businesswoman Sherrilee Franks and Andrew Wylie, the man behind a push to create a permanent monument to Vimy Ridge in Vernon, and who helped spearhead a petition drive nationwide to make Feb. 1 RCMP Appreciation Day, have filed their nomination papers.

Franks is a 30-plus year resident of Vernon. She is an entrepreneur, real estate specialist and community advocate working to create positive change within the Greater Vernon community.

“I plan to support Vernon’s entrepreneurial community by leading progressive new policies that create opportunities for continued growth,” said Franks. “As a small business owner myself, I understand how hard local establishments have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. I also recognize they are vital to the success of Vernon’s economy.”

Franks’ various volunteer accomplishments include event managing for the Alzheimer’s Fundraiser and working as the vice-president of the North Okanagan Canada Day Society. She is co-owner and managing broker of the successful local business Keystone Property Management which includes projects such as Vernon’s Historic O’Keefe Ranch, local senior complex and other various investment properties.

Housing initiatives that make affordable/attainable housing achievable for all people of Vernon is another high priority.

It was the spring of 2016 when Wylie announced plans to create Vimy Lane behind his north-end Vernon home, a shrine to Vimy Ridge, one of the most historic battles of the First World War.

That’s the day Canada became truly independent, a nation strong and free, said Wyle, a marketing major Montreal’s Concordia University, in an interview then with the Morning Sar.

“Vimy Ridge was the turning point of the First World War, from trench stalemate to the first Allied victory. It was the First World War’s D-Day and it was Canadian,” he said.

Wylie was also part of the organizing group in Vernon that pushed to make Feb. 1 a nationally recognized day to honour the RCMP.

The idea was to acknowledge a date to honour and recognize the men and women of the RCMP on Feb. 1 of each year. Vernon council unanimously supported the initiative.

ORIGINAL STORY

A vote for Kevin Demers is a vote for renewed perspective and a brighter future for all Vernonites says the latest candidate to put their name forward for the City of Vernon councillor byelection.

Demers is a former oil field consultant from Alberta. He and his family moved to Vernon in 2015 to open Hemp and Wellness, which he says quickly became a popular place for citizens to obtain herbal remedies.

“I’m no stranger to hard work building two businesses from the ground up in the last six years,” said Demers. “I know I’ll make a great city council member. I will focus efforts to positively impact Vernon’s growth with initiatives to develop our downtown core.”

Demers wants to bring Vernon’s downtown core into the 21st century, having business and commerce in tune with affordable high-rise living. He vows to work to pass budgets that improve infrastructure, existing facilities and attract new business to the city.

He will work with council, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and city bylaws to reopen local businesses and restaurants to their total capacity.

“We will do this while keeping a clean environment in mind, continuing to grow the community while allowing families to stay together building forward into the early century and our new way of living,” said Demers.

He is the seventh person to put their name forward, vying for the seat vacated by the passing of Coun. Dalvir Nahal in September.

Others on the ballot include Teresa Durning, Flora Evans, Arthur Gourley, Stephanie Hendy, Jamie Morrow and Erik Olesen.

The closing date for nominations is 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. Campaigning begins Nov. 6 and the Vernonites will cast their ballots Saturday, Dec. 4.

READ MORE: Two more announce candidacy for Vernon byelection

READ MORE: Three individuals put names forward for Vernon byelection

READ MORE: Erik Olesen to run for Vernon council spot



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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