KAMLOOPS — 16 days after they claimed victory at the polls, Kamloops’ newest city council was sworn in at a special meeting held at the Coast Hotel & Conference centre Monday night.
Joining incumbents Ken Christian, Arjun Singh, Kathy Sinclair, Dieter Dudy and Dennis Walsh on stage were four brand new councillors: Mike O’Reilly, Dale Bass, Sadie Hunter, and Bill Sarai.
Mayor Ken Christian says while the learning curve will be steep for the new councillors, he and the other returning councillors, as well as city staff will be there to make sure the first few weeks go according to plan.
“One of the things myself and administration have done is planned a fairly extensive orientation,” Christian told CFJC Today after the swearing-in ceremony. “It will take around the next six weeks… everything from the cells at the RCM Police office, to the cemeteries, to the TCC and Westside Pool. We’ll be all over the city.”
For Arjun Singh, who is now in his fourth term on council, these new faces will help energize him and the other long-time incumbents and help them stay focused on making progress.
“I think having the new faces, new voices, new energy is so important for someone like myself,” Singh explained. “You can get comfortable with a group of people and the situation that you’re in. These new people will infuse a much-needed energy and ideas.”
With the departure of Pat Wallace and Tina Lange, Kathy Sinclair is now the senior female councillor in the city. With just a year at the table under her belt, she’s looking forward to embracing a leadership role, while continuing to learn the finer points of civic politics.
“I’m really honored to be serving again on the council,” Sinclair said. “I feel like I can build on that first year, and hopefully show some of the newcomers the ropes, which I’ve gone through very recently. I am still learning, as well, and that’s part of it too.”
The first official meeting for the new council is Tuesday, November 6th. Among items on the agenda are an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw, a pair of Development Variance Permit applications, and a report from the Civic Operations Department on Organic Matter Recycling Regulation.
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