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VIDEO: Shock and disappointment over Kelowna council shake-up

People say 'change is good', but not often do they say it when they are on the losing end.

A week ago, three members of Kelowna Council suddenly lost their spot on the regional district board along with the $17,000 that comes with it.

The axe fell at the tail end of a long meeting Monday, April 29.

Councillor Mohini Singh, who had been feeling ill, left the lengthy meeting early, unaware that her appointment to the RDCO board was about to be terminated.

"I had no idea," said Singh today, a week after it happened.

"I was shocked. I was actually quite shocked."

Singh said she sees herself as a very active and dedicated member of the board at which she was voted to chair the Sterile Insect Release Committee.

"And now I have to step aside."

Also having to step aside are councillors Ron Cannan and Gord Lovegrove.

All three of them recently voted against the hefty raises approved for members of Kelowna Council.

But the mayor is shaking off any suggestion that they were stripped of their duties as pay-back for not toeing the line on the pay raises.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

"Simply unfounded," said Dyas, in a follow-up statement after the shake-up.

Singh said she accepts the mayor's explanation that this change was in the works before the pay-raise issue came up.

"But the optics certainly look bad," she said. "That's all."

The matter was dealt with quickly and the vote was taken without debate.

It's been reported that at least one councillor was unaware that three appointments to the RDCO board were being rescinded when their vote was cast.

"I'm disappointed," said Singh, "But this is the Mayor's prerogative."

Dyas did not make himself available for an interview, but he has defended the changes in publicly issued statements.

"These shifts allow for new perspectives to develop and be heard," he said.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

Dyas also points out that the "reallocation of committee appointments" was mentioned at the beginning of this council's term in office.

However, the shuffle is highly unusual.

In the past, appointments to the regional district board have typically been for the duration of the term.

Does all of this leave a council that's fractured over these divisions?

"Temporarily," suggested Singh.

"We're all big boys and girls. Time to move on. This has happened. Put it behind us."

Another councillor, who asked not to be named, suggested to KelownaNow that the issue is already behind us and that it has not left any lasting division.



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