After serving four years on Cranbrook city council, Wayne Price is entering the race for mayor in the upcoming local government election next month.
Price has spent a lifetime in the fire service, previously working as the city’s top fire official before retiring and running for city council following his retirement in the last election cycle.
Price said a number of people in the community — including some colleagues on city council — approached him, expressing their support for his run for mayor.
“I really think Cranbrook is at a crossroads,” Price said. “We’re seeing the city grow, we’re seeing more homeless, we’re seeing more crime, and community services are struggling to catch up. I think we can and need to do better.”
Price said he wants to focus on better communication with citizens and more transparency at city hall, while ensuring fiscal responsibility and finding solutions to addressing increasing crime as well as the city’s vulnerable population.
“Before I was elected councillor, Cranbrook was considered to have one of the most secretive city halls,” Price said. “That has begun to change now, but we need to go further in letting our community know what and why we are doing things.”
Prior to winning a seat on city council in the 2018 election, Price served for over a decade as the city’s Director of Fire and Emergency Services, managing emergency planning, operations, staff and budgets. He also served stints with the provincial Fire Commissioners Office both locally and in Kamloops.
“I know what it means to live within a budget, to do the best you can do with the limited dollars you’ve been given. I will make sure the city spends tax dollars wisely and effectively,” he said.
Addressing topics of homelessness and crime, Price pledged to form a working group of community organizations, law enforcement and business within a month of being elected, pointing to Vernon, which is seeing some positive results in finding solutions to reducing homelessness.
“We need to reach out and share solutions from and with other cities,” Price said. “Saying that, I believe we have the resources within our community — with various agencies, the provincial government, advocates — that we could form our own model for Cranbrook, maybe based on other models that are available.”
Price also touted the work completed over the last four years such as the completion of road paving projects, infrastructure upgrades and replacement and construction of new rental housing.
He said he’s also looking at community improvement, noting an unusual amount of buildings and properties that are run down and unkempt.
“If we don’t take pride in how the city looks, no one else will respect our community spaces,” Price said, pledging to direct more resources to bylaw services and Public Works, while working with community groups willing to get involved in setting a higher standard stretching from downtown into residential neighbourhoods.