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Kelowna city councillor can keep seat on RDCO board

A Kelowna city councillor who has been nominated as the NDP’s candidate in Kelowna’s new riding can maintain his seat on the board for the regional district.

Loyal Wooldridge made the announcement that he would be seeking nomination as the NDP candidate in Kelowna Centre in early April.

He won the nomination in early May.

Shortly before winning the nomination, Wooldridge announced he would be stepping down as the board chair for the Regional District of Central Okanagan on April 25.

He said the decision to step down was not required legislatively but he was doing it voluntarily for “transparency and integrity purposes.”

He served in the role for just over three years after taking over the position from Gail Given in 2021 and was most recently reelected in late 2023.

Wooldridge has noted he will remain on the board, however.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow file picture

KelownaNow readers have reached out to ask us whether or not Wooldridge is legally allowed to do that.

Turns out, he is allowed to maintain his seat on the regional board.

“Appointments to the Regional District Board are different from mayoral appointments to external agencies, task forces and committees,” says a statement from a spokesperson for the City of Kelowna.

“Appointments to the Board are statutory under the Local Government Act and require a vote of Council.”

According to the statement, as a result of that, the city’s recently adopted code of conduct does not cover council appointments to the RDCO board.

As for his position on Kelowna City Council, the code of conduct suggests any members of council should consider taking a leave of absence once the provincial election is ordered.

“A Council Member who is running for elected office outside of a local government election should consider requesting a leave of absence from Council once the writ is dropped for that election to avoid conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest,” the Code of Conduct says.

Additionally, under the Code of Conduct, Wooldridge will not serve as deputy mayor and will not represent council on internal or external committees, task forces, or agencies while he is a nominee for a provincial party.

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