New Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas speaks at the swearing in ceremony for the new city council. (Barry Gerding/Black Press Media)

New Kelowna city council sworn into office

Mayor Tom Dyas heads up council of five incumbents, four newcomers

Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas made a lot of promises during the civic election campaign.

And he is anxious for the new city council to develop a strategic plan based on those promises, which all of council will support, and show politicians can live up to what they say on the campaign trail.

At the inauguration meeting on Monday night after the new council was administered the Oath of Office by Judge Andrew Tam, Dyas said his desire is to have that strategic plan in place within the next few weeks.

“Our goals will be to accomplish what we set out to do,” Dyas said.

While there no shortage of issues on the new council’s plate – housing affordability, crime, development growth, the homeless, value-added audit of city hall department spending, transportation, communication – Dyas said he and his fellow councillors were not elected simply to “pass the buck to other levels of government.”

“We will strive to do better and not be complacent, and not lose sight of the promises that have been made, ” he said.

Dyas said he wants the new council, a mix of incumbents and newcomers to civic politics, to come forward with new ideas for issues facing the city and for council to have the courage to admit when chosen options are not working, listen to alternative ideas and move forward.

“Not everything we bring forward will necessarily work, but we will learn and listen as we go,” he said.

In a post-inauguration media scrum, Dyas acknowledged the reality of him becoming mayor of Kelowna is still sinking in, coupled with the recent passing of him mom in Ontario shortly after the election.

While a newcomer to elected office himself, Dyas said he is not on unfamiliar ground given his career involvement in finance and having served on numerous boards and executives of community organizations for many years.

“The one thing I want to be sure of and the orientation we all went through last week was helpful to make sure our procedures and policies are within the boundaries or fence posts of proper protocol,” he said.

The first act of the new council at the inauguration meeting was the appointment of the city’s representatives on the Central Okanagan Regional District board – Dyas along with councillors Loyal Wooldridge, Charlie Hodge, Ron Cannan, Mohini Singh and Gord Lovegrove. The alternates will be remaining councillors Maxine DeHart, Luke Stack and Rick Webber.

The first regular meeting of the new council will be Nov. 15, 6 p.m., which will also be a public hearing.

READ MORE: Indigenous Veterans Day: Kelowna student honours ancestors in writing

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