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Tough as nails councillor announces his retirement

After three years on council and 15 as fire chief, Gerry Zimmermann is stepping down from public office.
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September 16, 2014 - 3:24 PM

KELOWNA – After three years on council and 15 as fire chief, Coun. Gerry Zimmermann is stepping down from public office.

Zimmermann was first elected to council in 2011, was Fire Chief from 1990 to 2005 and also served one term on the Agricultural Land Commision.

“I had a hard time making this decision but now that I’ve made it I feel good about it,” he says. “I’m looking forward to a little bit more time to myself.”

“I’ve been in the public for a while now,” he says. “You’ve got to know when it’s time to step away. We’ve had such a good run with the current council and there’s just things that I want to do. I’d like to spend more time on my farm and my wife is retiring in November so maybe we’ll do some traveling.”

Zimmermann, who has been married to his wife Sandy for ten years, has three kids and four grandkids. He says although he is looking forward to spending more time with them, he is proud of the work he has done over the span of his career.

“The thing that I’m going to take away is I was on a council that made decisions both hard and easy,” he says. “Some of my favourites were the new police station and the Interior Health building

Zimmermann was also instrumental in getting the soccer dome behind H2O up and running.

“It’s the smaller projects like that that I’ll remember the most,” he says. “The smaller ones are sometimes more personal.”

Zimmermann says he will miss the working relationship he’s had with the other councillors more than anything else.

“I’m going to miss the people that I work with,” he says. “It’s been an amazing council. I couldn’t believe how well we all got along with each other. We each had our own opinions but it was a very respectful, hard-working bunch and there weren’t any hidden agendas that I ever saw.”

During his term on the ALC in 2009, a severe case of pancreatitis left him in an induced coma for two months. Doctors told him he might not survive, but the 65-year-old says he is feeling better now than he has in many years.

“I wasn’t expected to live and when you get a second chance like that, it makes you want to take advantage and do the things you always wanted to do.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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