Kelowna’s incumbent mayor and councillors shared their farewell thoughts at their last meeting (Oct. 3) before municipal elections on Oct. 15.
There was much mutual respect, compliments, and also recognition that they didn’t always agree.
“What I admire about this council is that we can fight like cats and dogs…when that one particular issue is over, and we move on to the next one, it’s a clean slate,” said Charlie Hodge.
Loyal Wooldridge noted a particular feeling that all were dealing with.
“Wow, four years really goes fast,” he said. “I’m really proud of the work we’ve done. I just really note the collaboration of working with everyone around this table.”
Gail Given thanked all for their hard work over the past four years.
“It is nine varied opinions around this table and no one person decides how we move forward but rather as a collective is how we move forward.”
Mohini Singh said she felt this past term was the most difficult.
“Because we’ve had so many challenges,” she added. “Ranging from floods to COVID, and how we had to pivot and make decisions that would better our community.”
Luke Stack said he was grateful for the friendships and it was a pleasure to have served for the past four years.
“I know that’s not the norm on city councils,” he added. “I really care for each of you. I respect your opinions.”
There was also significant recognition for the job the mayor has done for the city, as well as working with the Urban Mayor’s Caucus and the provincial and federal governments.
“Like all of you it has been an absolute pleasure to have served our community the last four years,” said Colin Basran. “It’s been a dream come true to have advanced some of the things we have amidst some really challenging times.”
Brad Sieben and Ryan Donn are not seeking re-election.
“Everybody is here for the right reasons,” said Sieben. “It’s really everybody’s hearts in it to make the city better.”
Donn said he might be back one day.
“I really have just appreciated being alongside all of you,” he said. “I love you all, it’s been a gift. Thank you.”
Maxine DeHart was not at the Oct. 3 meeting. New council orientation is Oct. 31 and the inaugural council meeting is Nov. 7.