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Kelowna city councillors solidly behind their Mayor

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran
October 10, 2018 - 11:48 AM

KELOWNA - If Tom Dyas upsets Mayor Colin Basran in the Oct. 20 municipal election he could face a solid block of Basran supporters on council.

Of the seven incumbent councillors running for re-election, five have filmed videos endorsing Basran, although only three were on his campaign website this morning, Oct. 10.

“After I saw a few of the platforms of the other main contender (Dyas), it was very easy to go from neutral to ‘I don’t have any choice,’” Coun. Ryan Donn told “If I was honest my whole term, then I should be honest here.”

Donn pointed to the controversy over the integration of Kelowna’s water systems as a key issue that propelled him to text Basran and offer his endorsement.

The number one issue for the first two years of this council’s term was improving the water system, Donn said. It entailed some very intense negotiations. It resulted in a merger with the South East Kelowna Irrigation District but resistance from the other three main water providers.

To have Dyas criticize the process and suggest there be no further integration “was the biggest slap in the face to any councillor,” Donn said.

While Donn jumped on the Basran bandwagon in reaction to Dyas entering the race, other supporters were on board from the beginning.

Gail Given was asked, and agreed, to speak about Basran’s leadership at his launch campaign last spring. She happily did that, before they had any idea who might be running against him.

Mohini Singh (whose video is not yet on Basran’s site) said she was a supporter from Day One.

Luke Stack and Charlie Hodge’s videos are on Basran’s website.

“It is good practice for council members not to support a particular mayor or another candidate,” Stack said in his video. “The typical answer is: I can work well with whoever gets elected.

“I guess the reason I came out in support of Colin is, we worked well together and I could see how much he had grown in the position and I saw he was doing an excellent job leading the city.”

He pointed to the controversial Diamond Mountain proposal to put a major housing development near the Glenmore landfill. Council turned down that proposal.

“He (Basran) was able to rise above the political fray and look at what was best for our city and our long term future,” Stack said.

Maxine DeHart and Brad Seiben refused to say who they are going to vote for, although Seiben commented that he did not think this was the start of party politics in Kelowna.

The question — if Dyas wins and the five incumbents who endorsed Basran are elected — is whether they will be able to function as a council?

“I know him (Dyas) well personally,” Singh said. “I have nothing against him per se. I will work with him if he’s the captain.”

Given noted that “the information people have prior to being on council may be limited” so experienced councillors will have a chance to influence him.

“I think, moving forward, we always have the opportunity to listen, to encourage and to share ideas,” Given said. “I think, regardless of the outcome, we do have to work together to make sure things happen in the community.”

As for Dyas’ contention, stated at a mayor’s forum yesterday, that the mayor failed to “engage” with him when he was president of Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Donn strongly disagreed.

“Tom Dyas got everything he asked for as chamber president,” Donn said. “We watered down the sign bylaw, gave short term support around the Cornerstore (homeless shelter). He got everything he asked for. He engaged the mayor.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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