West Kelowna will have a new mayor after the municipal election
Current mayor Doug Findlater is seeking a council position, so West Kelowna residents Gord Milsom and Mary Mandarino have been campaigning to take his spot.
“I’ve prepared very well for this. I actually started campaigning 16 months ago,” Milsom said.
The financial planner served on city council from 2007 to 2014 before taking a break to focus on his business.
If elected, Milsom’s key priorities include safer roads with sidewalks and better sightlines.
Other priorities include improving water quality and reviewing fire and police services, possibly adding two more officers, he added.
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Milsom also wants to take more of a can-do attitude towards development.
“I want to take the attitude of working with developers and approving new housing applications and not the attitude of disapproving new housing applications,” he said.
Meanwhile, community activist Mary Mandarino was a late entry into the mayoral race.
“I decided to run because I don’t consider acclamation democratic,” Mandarino said. “So as there was only one candidate, I put my name forward so people had a choice.”
Mandarino has previously run for both mayor and council. She was unsuccessful both times.
Clean water and safe walkways are important, Mandarino said, adding that another top priority is transforming the empty land behind Bylands Garden Centre into a proper city works yard and a civic centre with amenities like a library and art gallery.
“It’s 11 acres and there is ample room to build a proper community centre here that would include all the amenities people would need: city offices, space for the works crew,” she said.
Mandarino has extensive experience in the construction industry and considers development necessary, but said it should be done in an orderly fashion.
“And make sure we’re not building new structures on old infrastructure. Infrastructure comes first,” she said.
Voters head to the polls on Saturday.
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