Incumbent city councillor Mike Peabody is running for another term in the upcoming local government elections on Oct. 15.
A late entry during the nomination period, Peabody he wanted to reflect on work-life balance and consult with his family first, before making the decision.
But the opportunity to continue working on some significant issues and projects was too compelling, he said.
“Right now, I think the city’s got a lot of things on the go,” said Peabody, specifically noting the ongoing work for both the downtown revitalization master plan as well as city’s Official Community Plan.
“To continue working on these projects that are already on the go, to leave now, I’d feel like I just did half the job and I’d like to finish that job.”
In particular, Peabody said he is keen to see more downtown development, particularly residential development, and building up in the downtown core.
Peabody, who grew up in Cranbrook and has an ownership stake in a downtown small business, says the community has changed over the last four years, with more visible issues that require new approaches.
He noted that businesses have been bearing the brunt of challenges with the city’s vulnerable population, adding that homelessness and crime are by far the the most consistent topic raised by citizens in his email inbox.
But he signaled there there needs to be a compassionate approach for the city’s unhoused population.
“They’re people, too, and they need a roof over their head and they need help to get back on their feet,” Peabody said, adding that it will take partnerships within community and between municipal, provincial and federal levels of government to find solutions that address housing, substance use and mental health challenges.
Peabody was first elected to council in a byelection in 2017, and held the seat in the general election a year later.
If elected for another term, Peabody said he’d look forward to adding more housing and jobs, in order to set Cranbrook up for the next generation. Learning the finer details of local governance operations and building relationships with staff has been an asset, Peabody said.
“I think there’s value in that. I’m very dedicated to this job and I want to see Cranbrook succeed.”