New West Kelowna CAO strives for city excellence

Chief adminstrative officer Paul Gipps was hired at the beginning of July

As chief administrative officer for the City of West Kelowna, Paul Gipps ensures that the city’s operations are running at their peak performance.

Gipps was brought in as the new CAO in early July after his career led him through Terrace and the Regional District of the Fraser Valley. Other than choosing West Kelowna for its scenery and location, Gipps was excited to join the young community and the city council team.

“Here, there are seven people focused on one community; it’s very exciting. It’s a young community, it’s learning with developing policies and procedures and there’s going to be a new culture and a chance to create what West Kelowna is, and I’d love to be a part of that.”

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In short, the role of the city’s CAO includes ensuring the polices and programs of the city are correctly, promptly and efficiently implemented.

Gipps’ career has taken him through almost all levels of local government. While with the Regional District of the Fraser Valley, he oversaw 14 jurisdictions and communicated with over 20 elected officials to make sure the district operated at its finest for the community.

Gipps said that his experiences will go towards helping the top customer of the city: the taxpaying community.

“I think it’s really helpful to bring in a variety of experiences to take lessons learned from (other) communities into this community,” he said.

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Already submerging himself into the West Kelowna lifestyle, Gipps has been hiking, getting involved with badminton and preparing for the upcoming ski season. He’s also an avid carpenter and always looks to work towards building and fixing things—something that has translated well into his work within municipalities.

When it comes down to “city excellence,” it all circles back to customer service.

“Serving the public and understanding them is one of the things I hope to emphasize,” Gipps said.

“One of my sayings is that ‘we shouldn’t try to out-think common sense as government’ and I want to make sure that we always keep our customer in focus and how we will (excel) with how we connect to the public.”

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