West Kelowna potential civic candidates are coming forward

This week, three more people publicly announced their desire to run in the upcoming District of West Kelowna municipal election on Nov. 19.

This week, three more people publicly announced their desire to run in the upcoming District of West Kelowna municipal election on Nov. 19.

Rick de Jong, brother of Liberal cabinet minister Mike de Jong, formally announced his candidacy for councillor on Thursday.

Prior to the last provincial election, de Jong ran against Ben Stewart for the Liberal Party nomination in the newly established Westside-Kelowna riding.

He learned the importance of community service through the process of running.

“Whether you win or lose, I admire anybody who is willing to step forward and put their name forward for community service,” said de Jong.

The former Rotary Club of Westbank president refused to criticize the current council.

“I commend them for the hard work that they’ve done. We now need to work forward with the community plans for infrastructure and development,” he said.

“But, as we do that, we need to stay focused on the families that live in this community.”

Incumbent councillors David Knowles and Duane Ophus, who have been on council since incorporation, have also stated that they would both seek re-election this fall.

Knowles said that his experience and tenacity are assets that are needed on council.

He noted that his main focus for the future is seeing through the completion of 13 major plans.

“It’s not simply that you just finish (the plans), you’ve got to implement them as well,” said Knowles.

He is hoping to extend his time with what he believes is a strong district staff. “It’s just been a great experience to be on a team like this.”

Ophus, who has lived in West Kelowna for more than 16 years, said that his experience and financial management skills are strengths that he brings to the table.

He said he wants to use his 35 years of business experience to continue building on what council has already accomplished.

As of Thursday, one mayor, 11 councillor and four school trustee election packages had been picked up from the DWK office.




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