DUDY LOOKS FORWARD TO FIRST TERM
KAMLOOPS - A short ceremony Monday night was the first official business of the newly elected city council and with it the first day of a four-year term began.
The nine newly-elected council members were led on stage by RCMP members in official red serge and and two bagpipers while several dozen family, friends and members of the public looked on. A few former mayors and a couple other politicans, including MLAs Todd Stone and Terry Lake (also a former mayor) and members of the Tk'emlups Indian Band.
Mayor Peter Milobar easily won back his seat in the Nov. 15 election and is rejoined by councillors Ken Christian, Arjun Singh, Donovan Cavers, Tina Lange, Marg Spina and Pat Wallace. New to the table this year are councillors Dieter Dudy and Denis Walsh, though Walsh previously sat on council.
In a short speech Milobar pointed to the dedication of each council member to make Kamloops the best it can be and how the four-year term has increased expectations from the public.
"Now we're at a four-year term and the expectation from the public, and rightfully so, is that we'll be able to get a lot more done," he said, "but with that expecation comes a lot more pressure... and I truly believe after meeting with all of council over the last two weeks, that commonality of working together for the betterment of our community will really shine through. And that's the key for the next four years."
He also noted that while he believes the issue of the proposed Ajax Mine will 'probably come or go one way or another in the next year' there will be something else controversial that will arise aftewards.
"There's still three more years and something else will come up," he said." And in Kamloops, it can be something as simple as a 20 cent parking rate increase in downtown. Because that's the level of government we are.... When we touch on a topic that is near and dear to their heart, to their day to day living, they're going to let us know about that. And that will cause a lot of friction around our table."
As the only completely new member to the council table Dudy has spent upwards of 36 hours getting oriented with his new role and the inaugural meeting Monday night was one just one more item on the list of new things he has encountered in that time.
“There’s a big learning curve. It’s just familiarizing myself with the job, and you can’t do that all in a short two weeks,” he said. “It’s not as intimidating as I thought it would be. I was a little concerned about it at first but when I went through the council session, and I’ve gone through the notes… yes there’s a lot to learn, but it’s not super intimidating.”
Dudy says he plans on working into the role, saying he will likely take it easy for the first little bit as he learns the ins and outs of his role, but that does not mean he will remain quiet.
“If it’s a subject I’m comfortable with obviously I’ll speak to it. If I’m passionate about that you’re going to see that… I tend to call a spade a spade,” he said, adding, “I’m the newbie, and i recognize that, and a lot of people will be looking to me in terms of ‘how is he going to hold up?’”
The first general council meeting of the new term goes today, Tuesday, Dec. 2.
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