Our View: Familiar face returns to city hall

One step back, one step forward is how one might sum up the results or the Kelowna elections for mayor and city council.

One step back, one step forward is how one might sum up the results or the Kelowna elections for mayor and city council on Saturday.

Reaching into the past was reflected in Kelowna voters, while by a very close margin,  choosing to bring back Walter Gray as mayor.

After he had served three terms as mayor before losing to Sharon Shepherd in the 2005 election, Gray seemingly dropping out of political life, until the perceived inactions of the last council and no apparent credible candidate able to challenge that record brought him back into the local political game at age 71.

His campaign was tightly controlled by his campaign managers, as Gray stuck to message, that under his leadership Kelowna would be open for business, while not getting dragged down on specifics. Gray had a few gaffes during the debates, but his campaign themes resonated with voters, leaving Shepherd on the defensive throughout the campaign. But as the votes were being counted, it became apparent that whoever would preside over a divided city.

That division is less apparent on the new council, as five incumbents were voted out, something unheard of before in Kelowna’s civic election history.

While the last group sitting around the council table were often called a do-nothing council during the election campaign, the reality is the new council will be putting into action many of the policies the outgoing council established— downtown development, sustainable growth outlined in the Official Community Plan, revitalizing Bernard Avenue, establishing a growth plan for Glenmore and a development plan the Central Green project.

The more things change, sometimes they stay the same.


Just Posted

UPDATE: Vehicle rollover on Highway 33

Emergency crews are responding to a single vehicle rollover near Big White Road

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Fence to go up along part of Mission Creek

360 metres of chain-link fence to go up in Mission Creek Regional Park

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Three-vehicle accident on Highway 33

Crews are on the scene of the multi vehicle collision about 10 kms east of Kelowna

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Most Read