Lake Country gets new mayor after contender drops out | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Mainly Clear  14.7°C

Kelowna News

Lake Country gets new mayor after contender drops out

Okanagan Centre's Coun. Blair Ireland will be Lake Country's next mayor.
Image Credit: District of Lake Country

After the only other contender dropped out of the race, Blair Ireland will become Lake Country’s new mayor.

Mayor James Baker has called an end to his political career after 41 years. He has served as mayor for the last 17 years.

READ MORE: Lake Country's Mayor Baker calling it a day at age 80, and 40 years of public service

Ireland has been Okanagan Centre’s councillor for the last eight years. He worked at Big White Ski Resort before retiring after 28 years as the director of guest services.

Since contender Barry Rhodes, who also ran for mayor and came close to winning in the last municipal election, decided to drop out for personal reasons, Ireland will be acclaimed to the seat.

Rhodes told Ireland he was dropping out of the race earlier last week, when Ireland was in Whistler for the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities. The pair had a lengthy conversation, Ireland said. "I listened to his issues and his problems and I respect what he had to say."

“I’m not really a world domination kind of guy, I was a little bit hesitant about it… but I think I can help us to have some change and a lot of people in the community are telling me ‘you better run for mayor or I’m not inviting you over for coffee anymore,’” Ireland said. “I got a lot of push from the community to do that.”

Some of the issues Ireland said the new council will be facing is dealing with the strain of rapid growth on civil services.

“It overwhelms the municipal staff and it’s tough to say we’re handling it well because we’ve tried,” he said. “I think we’ve turned a corner.”

Another issue facing the district is the rising costs of construction, he said. “We’re going to have to find a lot of money to filter our water out of Beaver Lake.”

Oyama Coun. Todd McKenzie and Carr’s Landing Coun. Cara Reed has also been acclaimed as they are the only contestants vying for spots in their wards.

Long-time Coun. Penny Gambell is not running for a seat this year. She has served as councillor at large since 2005.

Lake Country's municipal election will be held Oct. 15.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 


News from © iNFOnews, 2022

  • Popular kamloops News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile