Kelowna city councillor Loyal Wooldridge has been elected as the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s new board chair.
Wooldridge, a first-term city councillor, threw his hat in the ring alongside Central Okanagan West director Wayne Carson. The election was held with a secret ballot vote at the board’s annual inaugural meeting on Nov. 4.
He takes the role from another Kelowna council colleague, Gail Given, who served as head of the board for the past seven years. Given stepped aside so she could spend more time with her family.
The board has long been chaired by a Kelowna representative — ever since Jim Stuart, best known as Kelowna’s mayor from 1986 to 1996, was elected to the board in 1975.
“I’m very honoured to take on this role and grateful for the service that (Given) has given to the organization for the past seven years. Of course, Robert Hobson was in the role for more than 20 years prior to that, so I have a big responsibility on my shoulders,” said Wooldridge.
As the RDCO board chair, Wooldridge wants to tackle various concerns such as climate change, reconciliation and solid waste management. He will be meeting with area directors to better understand Central Okanagan communities and to determine the board’s priorities.
“I have a good grasp on what Kelowna’s priorities are, but it is important that we garner a bit more of an idea of what the region needs. That’s what I’m looking forward to doing over the next few weeks,” said Wooldridge.
Kelowna has a majority mandate over the 13-person board, which consists mostly of members appointed from municipalities within the RDCO. Kelowna appoints seven directors from its council, while West Kelowna selects two and Peachland and Lake Country each get one. There are also two directors elected to the board by unincorporated communities in the Central Okanagan east and west electoral areas.
West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom will continue to serve as vice-chair.
To report a typo, email: