City council begins transition without mayor Milobar, Cavers

By Chad Klassen
April 11, 2017 - 5:00pm Updated: April 11, 2017 - 6:34pm

KAMLOOPS — With the writ dropping on next month's provincial election, Kamloops City Council is feeling the shift.

Council has been without Marg Spina for more than last three months, absent while she's battling breast cancer. Last week, Councillor Donovan Cavers officially went on leave, campaigning for the Green Party in Kamloops South-Thompson. 

Tuesday marked mayor Peter Milobar's final meeting before he hits the campaign trail up the North Thompson for the B.C. Liberal Party. 

WATCH: Full report by Chad Klassen

"It will definitely be different," said Milobar, who'll be out of the mayoral chair for 28 days, and beyond if he wins an MLA seat. "I've been mayor now for almost nine years, the longest-running mayor Kamloops has ever had. It's a little bit of a different feeling knowing that tomorrow morning I won't be coming into the City Hall office and taking care of city business."

Milobar's last meeting on Tuesday wrapped up in a record 12 minutes, with minimal business at City Hall and fellow council members wishing him well.

"I want to personally wish you the best of the campaign," said Councillor Arjun Singh during the meeting. "And I want to say that we're all personally very fond of you, have high respect for your abilities."

City Council is now down to six members for the next 28 days before the May 9 provincial election. The city will have to adapt without Milobar, as well as Cavers and potentially Spina.

"Certainly we're going to be short of staff and we're going to miss both Council Cavers and his worship, mayor Milobar," said Councillor Ken Christian. "But it just means the rest of us have to tkae on a little additional work and we have to be more cautious about timing and making sure we have quorum."

At any meeting, there has to be five Councillors at the table to pass a motion. There is expected to be six at the three meetings happening from now until election night. 

Based on the current rotation, Singh will step in as deputy mayor for the month of April. 

"I've done it a couple times before, sitting in the chair for a meeting and running the meeting on behalf of council. It's something I'm relatively comfortably used to and familiar with," said Singh. "It shouldn't be a problem."

Milobar is seen as a good mediator that keeps discussions going, but councillors don't feel his absence will slow down what needs to be done. 

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