Toni Boot will seek a councillor seat in the Oct. 15 election. For the last four years, she had been Summerland’s mayor. (Contributed)

Toni Boot will seek a councillor seat in the Oct. 15 election. For the last four years, she had been Summerland’s mayor. (Contributed)

Candidate has served as Summerland’s mayor for past four years

Summerland Mayor Toni Boot announced is stepping down from the mayor’s role and will instead seek one of the six councillor seats in the upcoming Oct.15 local government election.

“Council accomplished a lot this term,” she said. “Following our 2019-2022 strategic plan, most of our priority projects and initiatives are either completed or well underway, but I would like to see some longer-term initiatives through and that is why I will be seeking re-election for a third term.”

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Boot said some of the unfinished initiatives include the proposed recreation centre, the Giant’s Head Trail redevelopment project and the Okanagan Food and Innovation Hub, as well as a solution for attainable housing in Summerland.

“The work council has done on strengthening their relationships with the Penticton Indian Band, School District 67 and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce is ongoing,” Boot said. “Working towards reconciliation is a long process and must be done with an open mind, respect for indigenous worldview and a willingness to collaborate. I am hopeful that this next term will see a completed agreement established between the two governments.”

Boot said personal reasons led to her decision not to seek re-election as mayor.

“As much as I enjoyed my role and think our decisions over the past four years have made Summerland an even better place to live, in this time of COVID-19, distrust of government and general society anxiety, I think it is particularly crucial for council to work together,” she said. “Unfortunately, not everyone on council holds this view, and it only takes a single colleague — one weak link — to stress an otherwise healthy team of diverse perspectives.”

My family and close friends support me in my decision to run again for a Council position, as do my business partners at Oasis Lavenders Cooperative.”

Boot is the first vice president of the Southern Interior Local Government Association and will become president if she is re-elected to council.

She is also a member of the provincial Climate Solutions Council, a board governor for the Real Estate Foundation of B.C., chair of the Southern Interior Municipal Employers Association and a member of the South Okanagan Respect Network.

She was a director on the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen board for six years and served as a director on the Okanagan Basin Water Board for two years. She was the vice-chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital Board for two years.

Boot is the co-founder of Oasis Lavenders Cooperative in Summerland. She is also a director on the Grasslands Conservation Council of B.C. and is a volunteer within the community.

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