There are two mayors working at Kelowna city hall these days.
Not only is the building on Doyle Avenue home to Kelowna’s Mayor Colin Basran’s office, it’s also the workplace of new Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen—at least for the next few months.
Johansen, Kelowna’s manager of building operations and civic properties, was elected in the Oct. 20 civic election in Oliver, defeating incumbent Ron Hovanes.
After a 18-years with the City of Kelowna, Johansen plans to retire in February and decided last year he would move to Oliver when he leave finishes work. So, he and his wife, who works at Kelowna General Hospital but is originally from Oliver, sold their home in the Wet Kelowna neighbourhood of Glenrosa and bought a house in the South Okanagan city.
And the move got him to thinking about what he would do in retirement. So he he decided to take a shot at local politics.
He said he ran for mayor feeling he had a lot to offer and sensing the community was looking for a change.
“I don’t see myself as a politician,” Johansen said, adding he feels his years of experience working for a municipality will stand him in good stead as Oliver’s new mayor.
His election came despite him not having a lot of personal history in Oliver. However, he said his family has deep roots in the community.
Since being sworn in as mayor a few weeks ago he said he has been doing a lot of reading and studying to bring himself up to speed on Oliver’s issues.
As for his job in Kelowna, he said the city has already posted for his replacement and has asked him to stay on for a month to help bring his successor up to speed.
Johansen said he talked to superiors at Kelowna city hall before running for mayor and had their blessing.
And he is is not the only politician from another city now working at Kelowna City Hall.
Doug Patan, Kelowna’s chief building officer was also elected to public office in the Oct. 20 civic election, becoming a town councillor in Summerland.
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