Forget less is more: More is, in fact, more when it comes to Penticton city advisory committees this year.
Mayor Dan Ashton said he wanted to have more citizen members with more varied backgrounds, in addition to more council representation on more advisory committees for 2012.
He thanked those who volunteered their time previously and “have all done a wonderful job.
“Their commitment and dedication to the city have been extraordinary,” For the new people. It’s a big commitment,” he said, noting many new people came forward with a range of expertise. “They do an incredible amount of great work. In my opinion, I don’t think they get the full recognition that they should get.”
Two strategic priorities for council in 2012 included downtown revitalization and waterfront enhancement, which have separate select committees to tackle the large-scale projects.
“They’re going to be front and centre. Those were the areas in our strategic priorities that we focused on,” Ashton said, noting that work would have already begun had it not been for a new council coming in. “I’m quite sure those committees will be very busy right off the bat.”
Councillors John Vassilaki and Judy Sentes will sit on the downtown revitalization committee, alongside Nick Bevanda, Angela Brown, Andre Martin, Jeanette Beaven, Downtown Penticton Association’s Barb Haynes, Penticton Business Development Society’s Marko Cucnik and Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce’s Deb O’Mara.
The waterfront enhancement committee will be headed by Ashton and Coun. Helena Konanz. Staff from operations, development services and the economic development office will liaise with the committee, which will be comprised of Cheryl Watts, Sharon Hickey, Rudy Enzman, Janice Cunsolo, Wayne Lebedow, Rod King, Lauren Cornish, Jim Cooper and Colin Buckingham.
Two advisory committees — fiscal review as well as community and business development — will also see more involvement from Penticton councillors, as part of a committee of the whole structure.
“They’re important enough for all of council to be involved in them,” Ashton said. “We’re trying to get everything under control in the sense of the changes that have taken place here. I think it’s important that all of council is involved in that.”
Community and business development features seats for Jon Milligan from the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and Eric Sorenson of the Penticton Business Development Society. Eleven at-large representatives have been chosen: Don Kendall, Duane Jordan, Erwin Ploner, Mark Ziebarth, Randy Kowalchuk, Jeff Leonard, Ben Minuk, Lori Lawrie, Riley Gettens, Sarah Trudeau, Barb Haynes and Jon Milligan.
The fiscal review committee will also have all councillors on board, alongside city manager Annette Antoniak and financial officer Doug Leahy. Rick Thorpe, Jeff Omlund, Chris Browne, Alan Profili, Paulette Rennie, George Little and Paul McCann have been appointed as well.
The remainder of the committees will see more members in an effort to ensure quorum, but also to have a variety of voices at the table.
“We’ve had some great people, wonderful people, on the committees over the years. This year there was more of a change in individuals,” he said. “We wanted to be more inclusive of having some new blood and new ideas.”
The South Okanagan Events Centre select committee will feature City Hall representatives with two councillors and two staff: Andrew Jakubeit and Garry Litke. Chief financial officer Doug Leahy and recreation general manager Chuck Loewen will also serve, alongside Global Spectrum’s Dean Clarke. Duane Jordan, Don Kendall, Dave Bushby, Ziebarth, Elizabeth Cucnik from the chamber and Gordon Ferguson of the PBDS have also been appointed.
The transportation advisory committee will include Jakubeit and operations director Mitch Moroziuk. Bill Allen, Mel Whitney, Brigid Kemp, Dan Foster, Jim Porteous, Andrew Drouin, Matt Berry and Blake Walkinshaw have all been chosen to sit on the committee. Representation is also expected from Okanagan College and Handy Dart as well.
Development services will feature Ashton and Vassilaki, in addition to several staff from the department. Bruce Schoenne, Bruce Dilley, Matthew Coady, Peggy Gilmore, Nigel Skermer, Frank Conci, Jim Morrison, Matthew Kenyon, Randy Kowalchuk and Mike Brar will all serve as members.
Heritage, arts and culture advisory committee will include representatives from a trio of councillors: Sentes, Hopkin and Konanz. Tom Beardsley, Charlie Utz, Vickie Biddlecombe, Ted Dunnigan, Allison Markin, Barb Haynes and Sandra Henderson have also been appointed. Representatives from the S.S. Sicamous and Okanagan College are forthcoming. Select committees for arts and culture, heritage and museum remain to have terms identified.
The agriculture advisory committee will feature Coun. Wes Hopkin as the council representative, alongside nine at-large members: Rod King, Darshan Jassar, Gerry Smithson, Allan Garland, Rod Hollett, Fritz Hollenbach, Steve Boultbee, Gordon Neish and Julius Bloomfield.
Litke will serve on the climate action advisory committee, alongside seven at-large members: Chris Allen, Douglas Giaidica, Zoe Kirk, David Spear, Peter Benson, Greig Goldstone and Merle Kindred. Pam Moore will represent Interior Health and Perry Feser will represent Fortis B.C. Seats are also set aside for representatives of the Penticton Indian Band, Okanagan College and the high schools.
Ashton and Hopkin will serve on the airport select committee, alongside members: Jim Meyers, Gord Lindsay, Andy Oakes, Peter Byrnes, airport manager Dave Allen, Rick Riddall from the chamber, J.P. Kaumeyer from the PBDS.
Council approved the appointments during an in-camera meeting on Jan. 25, and is scheduled to receive the report at Monday’s regular meeting.