Bob Coyne

A Spotlight interview with Bob Coyne

Area H director seeks third term

Bob Coyne calls himself “just a farmer.”

That’s after a lifetime of various work experiences, operating businesses, and volunteering and serving for two terms as director of Area H for the Regional District of South Okanagan (RDOS.)

Indeed, he lives on and works the family farm near Princeton that was purchased by his grandfather in 1928.

He has worked as an automotive mechanic, spent several years at Similkameen Mine (previously Copper Mountain), and was a mechanic for the Town of Princeton’s public works department, as well as its water operator, for 23 years.

Coyne and his wife Sue raised three children. Together, at different times, they operated a gas station, a catering company and a coffee business.

He said the next four years present unique challenges for the region, especially as it grapples with new emergency management strategies.

“I have more experience with disasters, unfortunately, than any other director in the RDOS because we’ve had more states of emergency than anybody else. I believe I have a lot to offer.”

Another project he is intent to finish is the replacement of the Chain Lake dam.

“It affects everybody from Chain Lake all the way to the Similkameen River and we need to have a lot of public input into what happens with that dam.”

Coyne is especially proud of the work the area’s Tulameen, Erris, Hayes Creek and Eastgate fire departments.

“We have got some of the best equipped volunteer fire departments anywhere…It’s just because we have amazing people in all of these departments and they are great to work with.”

He became involved in regional politics to give back to the area, she said.

“I’ve always been involved in community stuff my whole life, from high school all the way through…Fall fair and 4-H and unions and all kinds of things so it just kind of seemed like a natural fit to go there.”

His other natural fit is farm, and the market garden he runs with Sue.

The couple uses sustainable farming practices including drip irrigation, crop rotations, cover crops and green manure crops.

“I am a very firm believer that we are caretakers of the land for our grandchildren and the generations to come.

“If we mess it up now, it will be messed up for a long, long time.”

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