Kelowna city council candidates

The Capital News asked the candidates why they deserve your vote on Nov. 19.

  • Nov. 15, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Colin Basran

Age: 33

Family: Married father with one-year-old daughter

Profession: Realtor for Royal LePage Kelowna

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 25 years; organize KGH Foundation  Golf Tournament fundraiser; Member of GenNext (youth wing of Kelowna United Way); Member of Kelowna Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Commission Young Professionals Task Force

“Being born and raised here, my youth was full of fresh air, delicious local produce, sunny beaches and a promising future. Naturally, I want to take great care to assure our children, friends and neighbours get to experience Kelowna the same way. A secure local economy will help us achieve that. “

Tasha Batt

Age: 30

Profession: Administration, upgrading at Okanagan College for Litigation Diploma

Family Status: Single

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 21 years; four years of political activism both in Ontario and U.S. looking to get more people age 35 and under educated and involved in the political process.

“One of the reasons I am running for council is because I believe the general problem with government today, is that too many of our elected representatives are politicians that do not put the people’s interests #1.We need more regular citizens like yourselves to be involved in Kelowna’s future.”

Kevin Craig

Age: 21

Profession: Student at UBC Okanagan, bank teller

Family Status: Single

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for nine years; incumbent city councillor elected in 2009; currently active on United Way board of directors and Ozanam House board of directors, with previous involvement including Kelowna Community Food Bank, Okanagan Mission Residents Association, and Kelowna Rotaract Club.

“I am running for re-election to city council because I remain passionate about the issues facing our community. We must attract more high-paying jobs and address the shortage of affordable housing. I believe I have the skills, passion and vision to be an effective Councillor for a second term.”

Maxine DeHart

Age: 60

Profession: Director of sales, Ramada Hotel & business columnist for Capital News

Family: Married to Christ DeHart

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 40 years; chair of annual Maxine Dehart-United Way Drive-Thru Breakfast that has has raised over $600,000 for the United Wayl director, National RCMP Foundation board; director, Certified Management Accountant’s Board of B.C.; four years on the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce board, the last two as vice-president; United Way board director for 10 years; four  years on the  Kelowna General Hospital Foundation board; 1999 Community Award Citizen of the Year; in 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and YM/YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Leadership; recipient of the 2007 United Way Award of Distinction

“Council is stuck in indecision, pet projects, and red tape. I have spent over 30 years in Kelowna’s business, not-for-profit and media communities, and I have the knowledge, the energy  and experience to be a leader for positive change. I listen, I am accessible and I will get things done!”

Elizabeth Fehr

Age: 32

Profession: Project manager for steel fabrication company/owner of property management company

Family status: married for 10 years

Personal: Lived in Kelowna forliving in Kelowna: 6.5 years; attended past council/committee meetings; past volunteer of Vancouver Rape & Relief Women’s Shelter and crisis phone line; volunteered for several years at senior’s home; regular contributor to the food bank, if elected promises to donate 10% of council  pay to the food bank.  (about $250 per month)

“Council needs balance, not a battle between socialists and capitalists.  I am that balance—parks and community programs are vital but business and development are needed to pay for these.  I am not doing this for money, power or fame. I want to help make Kelowna a better place.”

Michael Fraser

Age: 35

Profession: Writer

Family: Single

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for five years;  volunteered at Esquimalt Neighbourhood House in Victoria for three years helping people on social assistance.

“I am running for city council for several reasons:  I have always had an interest in politics, it seemed like to me a good fit with what I studied at UBCO (political science), and while I was a student, I was often encouraged to run.”



Gail Given

Age: 51

Profession: Currently sitting school trustee, 25 years retail management

Family: Widow of past city councillor Brian Given with three children aged 15, 17 and 23

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 29 years;  attended several UBCM and FCM municipal conferences (at my personal expense), listening to keynote speakers and workshops helped to inform on trending issues and best practice within municipal government; as school trustee met annually with city council to discuss mutual issues.

“My common -sense, balanced approach and  leadership style will add value. Leverage business knowledge, experience with genuine care and concern for people. To ensure as we build, grow, develop, we do so with careful measure and  clear vision. To move our city forward in a livable way.”

Will Gow

Profession: Owner of CBD Network Inc., which helps skilled  workers and professionals in their career transition and job search throughout the Okanagan Valley.

Family: Married, four grown children, three who are now working in Alberta.

Personal: I have lived in Kelowna for 25 years;   company has been recognized as a winner of the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award; worked on/developed three affordable housing projects in Kelowna; served as director of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Interior Health Authority board, and federal board tribunal chair; a Rotarian; a member of Human Resource Management Association; a member of the “Leaders of Hope” local business group for the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.

“We have had more than three years of high unemployment and this trend is continuing. Our city, our community can be doing more to provide the opportunities for quality employment and instill confidence in our city. This is just one of my motivating factors to run for city council—knowing we can be a better community, a community of leaders and trust.”



Mary-Ann Graham

Age:  51

Profession: Business owner of Maggie’s Cafe in Rutland.

Family:  Wife, mother, grandmother

Personal: Lived in  Rutland for six years, Joe Rich for 11 years; former regional district board director; Rutland Residents Association president, Uptown Rutland Business Association board director;  Rutland Park Society secretary; Kelowna women and community advisory committee vice-chair

“I am an active volunteer in the community honing my skills as a leader and team player. I want to serve Kelowna in a higher capacity. I have the experience, knowledge and passion to be your representative on city council. Please visit my website or call me at 250-870-4215.”



Carol Gran

Profession: Currently retired, worked in radio and owned a small business

Family: Married to John Gran.

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 10 years, Kelowna city councillor for three years; former MLA and cabinet minister.

“Our community deserves a strong council, able to make decisions, that encourages new business and better paying jobs, and provides services while keeping taxes down. Doing more with less has never been more important. My qualities include common sense, the ability to listen and compassion. I have the time, the experience and the energy to do the job.”



Shane Herrington

Age: 48

Profession: Facility manager at Kelowna General Hospital; professional engineer.

Family: Married for 20 years with one son, aged 17.

Personal: Lived in Kelowna all his life; as a professional engineer has had extensive dealings with city councils and staff on a wide variety of building and social issues.

“The City of Kelowna needs a leadership team with strong diversified skills. As the only professional engineer running in this election, I bring to the group a skill set currently missing. Therefore, I pledge to share my management and engineering knowledge as we enter this critical planning stage for the future look and feel of Kelowna. “



Robert Hobson

Age: 62

Profession: Community planner and orchardist

Family: Married with three children

Personal: Born in Kelowna and returned to live  here 28 years ago;  served on city council: chaired the regional district board for past  17 years; past president of UBCM; trustee for Municipal Finance Authority; trustee for  Municipal Pension Board

“A good council nurtures economic prosperity, social equity, environmental integrity, and cultural vitality. A great council balances these well, ignoring none, and achieves a high quality of life for our community. Choose your mayor and council wisely.  Good luck!”

Charlie Hodge

Age: 56

Profession: A published author (twice) and professional writer by trade; runs his own communications company.

Family: Married with adult step-children, two grandchildren, one adult foster child.

Personal: Born in Penticton and moved to Kelowna at age 7 (1963); worked as a newspaper journalist in Kamloops, Salmon Arm, and Vancouver Island; incumbent who has served on city council for past three years; a director on regional district board; municipal councillor in Parksville from  1997 to 2000; father was also a Kelowna city councillor.

“I want to help create a safer, healthier, more sustainable Kelowna. Provide a consistent, strong voice of reason at council table. Represent the average person; be a voice for those without a voice. I listen, work hard, and have no political aspirations other than to serve my community. I kept my word.:



Graeme James

Age: 55

Family: Three  children

Profession: Business owner and farmer

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for over 30 years; incumbent who has served three years on city council; past president Glenmore Valley Community Association; past president Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters Market

“There are serious issues to be dealt with in the near future and council needs people who can make decisions necessary to move Kelowna to a bright, prosperous future.  I believe my experience and common sense approach to municipal government stand me in good stead to help make those decisions.”



Tisha Kalmanovitch

Age: 58

Profession: Contract work: adult education; editing; writing; and community development

Family Status: Four  adult children and four grandchildren

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for five years;  board member of Elizabeth Fry Society, Kelowna Family Services Society; volunteer and relief worker for Kelowna Women’s Shelter; committee member of Okanagan Health Coalition, Council of Canadians, Kelowna in Transition; previous secretary of North End Neighbourhood Association and now Kelowna South Central Association of Neighbourhoods (KSAN), past president of Kelowna-Mission NDP executive, member-at-large for Kelowna -Lake Country NDP federal executive

“I’m running for Kelowna city council because I want to see a wow-factor happening in Kelowna, one that will attract innovative, energetic young people and experienced, skilled older ones: It’s people and their ideas, skills, energy – passion! – that makes environmentally and socially responsible economic revitalization happen.”



Bobby Kennedy

“I am running for city council because Kelowna is the best place to call home and I can not think of a better place or cause to dedicate my time towards. I am a strong leader who has what it takes to move Kelowna forward and will work hard everyday to help Kelowna continue to exceed the bar we have already set so high.:



Rob Mabry

Age: 44

Profession: Managing director, associate portfolio manager for TD Bank Financial Group

Family: Married with two girls, ages 13 and 12

Personal: Born and raised in Kelowna, left to go to university, returned 16 years ago; member of elowna city council’s accessibility advisory committee; past member orf Kelowna Chamber of Commerce; South Kelowna Elementary parent advisory council member;  treasurer of WC (Wheelchair) Race Series; Ironman triathlete for wheelchair racing

“I bring business experience and education ot help manage your tax dollars. Reclaim parks and downtown to make more  safe and comfortable. Appreciate importance of green space, bike lanes, arts and culture. Accessibility—moving everyone safely and efficiently around our city.”



Andrew Powell (No photo available)

Age: 26

Profession: Student

Family: Single

Personal: Lived in Kelowna all his life; past president of the Theatre Kelowna Society.

“I am running for council to be a better man. Not the most orthodox answer, nor does it make much intuitive sense, but running for city council presents a myriad of challenges and throws a person into the public eye in an uncommon way offering a real opportunity to develop one’s self and one’s ideas.”



JC Rathwell (No photo available)

“I will welcome new business and development back to Kelowna. I will create new jobs, enhancing Kelowna’s economy. What we need are business owners on city council. It is time for change and I want to be the “voice of business” on city council. For more information go to www.VOTEforJC.CA.



Ron Ready (No photo available)


Profession: Retired building inspection supervisor with the City of Kelowna

Family:  Married with four grown up children

Personal: Resident of the City of Kelowna for over 40 years; 35 years of extensive experience and knowledge in municipal government in the area of building development, land use and planning with in-depth understanding of the City of Kelowna’s policies and procedures, budgetary issues and  overall operations.

“I feel it is time for a change! City council needs new energy, passion, knowledge and teamwork to make effective decisions to lead us now and into the future.  That is why I am running for city council. Recently retired, I have the time, energy and experience to make a difference.”



Angela Reid-Nagy

Age: 33

Profession: CEO, GreenStep Sustainability Coaching

Family Status: Married

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 33 years; incumbent councillor having served three years.

“Kelowna can achieve a vision of sustainable prosperity; creating fertile ground for jobs, and building resiliency into the social, cultural, environmental and economic fabric of our community. I am running again because we need councillors who have the courage to boldly move Kelowna towards this vision. Visit to learn more.”



Scott Ross

Age: 28

Profession: FortisBC customer service

Family Status: Not married with tight knit family

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 16 years;  done community service with  Trinity Baptist Church, Kelowna food bank and other charitable groups.

“I want to make Kelowna a better city; to do that I will work with council to balance our local economy with our community. We need our downtown revitalized, safer streets with more police, a lower business property tax rate, and affordable housing. “

Michele Rule:

Age: 45

Profession: Consultant

Family: Mother of two

Personal: Lived in Kelowna all her life; incumbent Kelowna city councillor for the past 6 years.

“Running for Kelowna city council to provide a balanced economic, environmental and social approach to decision-making that affect our future and our everyday lives. See my platform at or call me at 250-717-6359 to talk about your thoughts on making Kelowna a better community.”





Gail Scanlan

Age: 55

Profession: Currently a Central Okanagan School District trustee

Family: Married with two children

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 21 years;  member of the City of Kelowna’s women’s and community advisory committee; for six years was amember with CATCH (Community Action towards Children’s Health),   a coalition of partners, individuals and organizations that work together for the healthy development of children;  active and involved member of the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association and Minor Baseball Association; past director of the Mission Residents Association for six years;  member of the city parks and recreation committee working closely to develop a recreation facility in the Mission.

“I have a passion for community involvement and public service.  For the past nine years I have been an elected school trustee in Kelowna, before that, I was a small business owner and a union employee. My experience and strong decision making skills will be an asset to city council.”



Simon Shaw

“I am running for council because I can offer Kelowna my innovative and creative problem solving skills. I offer a unique, high tech approach and outside the box thinking to get the job done of moving Kelowna forward. I feel the current council has been slow to make decisions and needs fresh experienced leaders. I am a leader who makes decisions. I am a negotiator that can discuss issues from many points of view, bringing clarity, honesty and understanding to difficult issues facing council.”

Mohini Singh

Age: 52

Profession: communications specialist

Family: Married with one daughter

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 22 years; numerous community volunteer activities which led to her being awarded Kelowna Woman of the Year in 2009 and the recipient of the Order of B.C. in 2008; currently sits on UBC O cabinet committee; lead organizer of the DeepakBinning Foundation; founder of East meets West Orphans Foundation.

“Kelowna is ready for change. It is time to elect councillors with new attitudes and ideas. I want Kelowna to be an inclusive, vibrant city ready to embrace change.We must encourage growth and development that is economically and environmentally viable and sustainable.Both must go together. We need a council that is decisive and pro-active to ensure a quality of life that is healthy in all ways for our older people as well as our youth. I want to be part of a team that says, “Let’s get at it!”

Luke Stack

Age: 54

Profession: Executive director

Family:  Married, three adult children

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 30 years; incubment city councillor elected three years ago; ha served with Chamber of Commerce, Interior Health Project Liaison Committee, Kelowna Kasugai Sister City Association, Advisory Planning Commission and Affordable Housing Committee

“During my first term on Kelowna city council, many significant infrastructure projects were constructed, such as the completion of Stuart Park, including the innovative skating rink, the Laurel Building renovation; the construction of two new transition housing projects and the creation of many new parks and bike paths throughout the city.

I am enthusiastic about the many initiatives Council is currently working on, such as implementing the new Downtown Plan, (Including high density and up to 26 story buildings), designing a long-term plan for Kelowna Police and Protective Services, constructing the new Seniors Centre, and planning a new recreation park in Glenmore. These projects are important for the wellbeing of Kelowna residents, and I believe we can accomplish them while keeping property taxes in check.”

Mark Thompson

Age: 60

Profession: Pharmacist and businessman

Family: Married 40 years with four  children and three grandchildren.

Personal: Has lived in Kelowna for living in Kelowna seven years; current  vice-chair of Kelowna  Advisory Planning Commission; director for Okanagan Mission Residents Association board; director of the  Okanagan  Technology and Innovation Co-operative.

“I was a city councillor in Saskatoon for nine years is experience and brings a different perspective to Kelowna. A champion for low taxes, a Ward System and Transit 15-15-15—a bus stop within a 15 minute walk, a bus every 15 minutes and at least 15 hours daily.”

Dan Thornburn

Age: 32

Profession: Employed with TNI (The Network Inc.) and do freelance website design and devleopent

Family: Married with one daughter

Personal: Born in Surrey, lived overseas for most his childhood in  Ethiopia, India and Tanzania; graduated from BCIT in June 2000 as a multimedia software developer; moved to Kelowna in  May 2007; was candidate in provincial election for B.C. Refederation Party; was area organizer for anti-HST campaign;

“I bring a youthful, energetic and positive approach to council in support of local, quality jobs for a community based economy with reduced taxes and no more wasteful spending. My vision for Kelowna is a vibrant, bustling city that is founded on a sustainable balance between business, community and people.

Dayleen Van Ryswyk

Age: 44

Family: Married, with husband 29 years, two  teenage boys

Profession: Entrepreneur and successful business owner in Kelowna;    ALR land owner/operator

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for eight years; experienced in dealing with municipal and provincial governments; volunteer and provide financial assistance for several community groups.

“I’m running for council because I’m disappointed with how Kelowna is being run. Council has dropped the ball on encouraging business and growth. Jobs, affordable housing, tourism and public safety are priority. We must get Kelowna moving forward. Please see my website for more information on my platform”



Gerry Zimmermann

Age  62

Profession: Retired Kelowna Fire Chief

Family: Married, three children, four grandchildren

Personal: Lived in Kelowna for 42 years; was manager with fire department for 24 years;  served on Agricultural Land Commission, Black Mountain Irrigation Trustee, CORD Air Quality Committee and CORD Fire Chiefs Committee.

“I am running for council because I believe that council needs to be made up of nine strong leaders who have the experience and ability to make hard decisions in a timely manner. Common sense decisions and the desire to deal with the major issues as priorities should be councils main objective.”


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