On Nov. 19, Gord Milsom will find out if the third time’s a charm.
Milsom recently announced his plans to run as councillor in West Kelowna. If elected, he will enter his third consecutive term on council.
“The main reason (I chose to run) is that there’s more work to be done,” said Milsom.
“We’ve accomplished a lot over the last four years. Now that we’ve got that foundation built for the municipality, it’s time to move on with other priorities.”
Milsom noted that, over the past two terms, council has been able to hire staff to work on master plans and build financial reserves, while at the same time, keep taxes low.
A graduate of Concordia University, Milsom is a certified financial planner and operates an independent financial planning practice. He said there are a number of key items that council needs to focus on in the future.
“First, we have to remain fiscally conservative. Even though we have really healthy reserves and we’ve been able to keep our taxes down, there’s going to be a lot of demands to invest capital into infrastructure: Roads, water systems and storm drainage systems,” Milsom outlined.
“That’s really important that we plan those capital costs very well over time and continue to manage our money carefully because there’s only so many dollars that residents have available to pay towards property taxes and pay for services.”
Another key, according to Milsom, is to better the flow of traffic through the Westbank town centre.
“One of our master plans is a rehabilitation and revitalization plan of the Westbank town centre. A critical aspect of that is to bring the southbound lane on the highway back to main street, back to the public. That’s really important.”
Milsom said council must work with developers to have high quality developments in West Kelowna.
As a result, it will increase the tax base and it will help bring forward housing options for the public.
“We also need to continue to lobby for the Westside health centre, as our population is aging. I think it’s really important for our seniors to have great access to health care on the Westside.”
Introducing an RCMP school liaison officer within the school systems is another step that Milsom feels will increase public safety.
From discussions with West Kelowna residents, Milsom is confident that the public has noticed the changes over the past four years.
“By and large I believe that the community recognizes what’s been achieved. Visually, they can see we have a new RCMP building: That was our first capital project for the municipality. It’s a beautiful building, built on time, under budget.
“Four years ago we had one employee; the public recognizes that we’ve come a long way.”
Although many in West Kelowna see the glass half full, Milsom insisted that service levels can be improved.
“We’re doing some work to help identify ways to make our services better,” he said.
“You need the infrastructure in place first, now our task is to make sure that our services developed to the community are top notch in every department.”
Milsom said he looks forward to the opportunity of serving the community again and speaking to residents face to face about what matters to them.