Members of West Kelowna council at its inaugural meeting (Nov. 1) following the Oct. 15, 2022 municipal election. (Photo/Gary Barnes Capital News)

Members of West Kelowna council at its inaugural meeting (Nov. 1) following the Oct. 15, 2022 municipal election. (Photo/Gary Barnes Capital News)

Public safety, managing growth the priorities as new West Kelowna council sworn-in

‘As leaders, we have many ongoing responsibilities to fulfill’

West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom set out some of the priorities for the city over the next four years during his speech at council’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 1.

“We must continue to invest in policing and fire rescue so that our residents are safe and secure,” said Milsom. “We must manage our civic infrastructure and public spaces so that the needs of our residents and businesses are met today and into the future.”

The mayor also noted that council must be fiscally responsible and that decisions must be made with careful consideration and thought, taking into account what is best for the community as a whole.

“As leaders, we have many ongoing responsibilities to fulfill and we must do them to the best of our ability.”

West Kelowna is one of the fastest-growing cities, in one of the fastest-growing regions in B.C., and with growth comes challenges and opportunities, therefore it’s important to plan for the city’s long-term future, Milsom added.

Two new councillors were sworn in at the meeting. Tasha Da Silva finished with 2,595 votes in the Oct. 15 municipal election.

“I’m very excited to be part of council,” said Da Silva. “I think there is so much happening in West Kelowna. It’s exciting to see a lot of the initiatives that have been started when it comes to the new city hall and the new water treatment plant and to be able to see those through.”

Da Silva focused on economic development and small business in West Kelowna during her campaign.

“We could do a lot better as far as access to funding as well as local training for small businesses as well. Connecting them with the right people that they need in order to help grow their businesses.”

New West Kelowna councillor Tasha Da Silva is sworn-in at council’s inaugural meeting (Nov.1) (Photo/Gary Barnes Capital News)

New West Kelowna councillor Tasha Da Silva is sworn-in at council’s inaugural meeting (Nov.1) (Photo/Gary Barnes Capital News)

Garrett Millsap is the other newcomer. He edged candidate Tom Groat by one vote, 2,092 to 2,091 to claim the final council seat.

“Really excited to work with the team,” said Millsap. “I think it’s going to be a great four years for the city of West Kelowna.”

He echoed Milsom’s call on public safety and managing the city’s growth.

“We’re a young community with lots of young families moving here.”

Millsap added he is looking forward to getting to work.

“One of the things we do have coming up on the agenda is short-term accommodations,” he said. “I’m going to be focused on getting that done, and getting that done right for the community.”

New West Kelowna councillor Garrett Millsap is sworn-in at council’s inaugural meeting (Nov.1) (Photo/Gary Barnes Capital News)

New West Kelowna councillor Garrett Millsap is sworn-in at council’s inaugural meeting (Nov.1) (Photo/Gary Barnes Capital News)

Council’s inaugural meeting dealt with the swearing-in of the mayor and councillors to office, and council appointments to the Central Okanagan Regional District Board, Okanagan Regional Library Board and various committees.

The next regular council meeting is Nov. 22.

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@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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