October 16, 2014 - 4:36 PM
KELOWNA – First term councillor Gail Given, who has hinted in the past she was considering running for mayor next month, will instead seek to keep her seat on council.
Given, who has lived in Kelowna more than 30 years, says with the majority of the councillors leaving she wanted to ensure there will be stability so decided run for council and not the top job.
“When it became obvious that council would lose some significant knowledge I decided it is not the right time,” she says. “It was a very tough decision.”
In making her announcement, Given chose not to hold a media conference, instead opting to let her record speak for itself.
“I’m probably the least political politician,” she says. “The last time I ran I didn’t do a big press announcement either. I’m actually a little bit media-shy but I really aspire to be a civic leader, not a politician.”
Given says of her current councillors she identifies most with fellow councillor Robert Hobson.
“You don’t have to be sitting in the mayor’s chair to provide leadership,” she says. “I look at Robert Hobson and the impact he’s had on our community. He’s had significant impact and he hasn’t had to run for mayor to do that. It’s not about wearing the crown, it’s about having a positive impact.”
Given says she is proud, not only of how her council has spent the money they had available, but of how they managed to build a substantial reserve for the future as well.
“When we have solid reserves we have money for matching grants,” she says. “So when the province comes and says they will help fund a project we have the money to do that.”
Given isn't throwing support between either of the two main candidates for mayor just yet.
“I haven’t come to a conclusion as to who will best lead us,” she says. “I’m going to have to work with whomever wins… and I see strength in Colin (Basran) and Sharon (Shepherd). I really want to watch this particular campaign and hear their messaging because really there hasn’t been much messaging so far about what each stand for.”
She says she won’t rule out the possibility of running for mayor sometime in the future.
“It’s a possibility,” she says. “It’s a little early to be thinking about the next election though.”
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