West Kelowna’s new mayor calls on community to work together to build better city - InfoNews

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West Kelowna’s new mayor calls on community to work together to build better city

Mayor Gord Milsom was sworn into office in West Kelowna, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, as deputy CAO Tracey Batten looks on.
November 06, 2018 - 4:11 PM

WEST KELOWNA – There will be two new faces from West Kelowna on the Central Okanagan Regional District board when it holds its first meeting following the recent municipal election.

But don’t expect there to be any change in direction.

“There are some good regional functions,” West Kelowna mayor Gord Milsom told iNFOnews.ca after he and most of the rest of the new council were sworn into office today, Nov. 6. “Parks are a big part of the regional board and economic development.”

Former mayor Doug Findlater, was not able to attend today's ceremony so was sworn in last week as a councillor, after choosing to run for council and give up the mayor’s chair.

Milsom and Coun. Stephen Johnston will replace Findlater and re-elected Coun. Rick de Jong on the regional board, with the two former representatives serving as alternates.

That was done more for the sake of tradition than out of any dissatisfaction with his predecessors, Milsom said, noting the mayor and the councillor who finished first in the polls are usually the appointees to the regional district.

It will also nearly double Johnston’s salary. He earns $22,350 as a West Kelowna councillor and will get a base salary of $18,541 to sit on the regional board, plus $130 for each meeting that lasts four hours or more.

Milsom will add the $18,541 and meeting payments to his $65,848 salary as mayor of West Kelowna.

In his inaugural address, Milsom talked about building a city that is more friendlier to business while having a social conscience.

“In order to take our community to the next level, we need to listen to our citizens,” he said. “We need to manage the city like a business, with a compassionate social conscience.”

He talked about lobbying the provincial government to improve traffic flow along Highway 97, continue with capital projects like the Rose Valley water treatment plant and provide a variety of affordable housing options.

“In order to be successful, we must all, collectively, take responsibility for our city’s future,” Milsom said. “Are you up to the challenge? I know your city council and staff are.”


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