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Vernon councillor passes

The City of Vernon has lost a passionate community supporter.

Patrick Nicol, first elected to City Council in 1985 and chair of the North Okanagan Regional District, has passed away.

In a brief news release issued Thursday afternoon, the city stated:

It is with great sadness that Mayor Robert Sawatzky, City Council colleagues and staff at the City of Vernon recognize the passing of councillor Patrick Nicol.

His length of service on Council was amongst the longest of any Councillor in our province.

His dedication to his community was a foundation of his life and work.

We will all greatly miss his wisdom and kindness, as well as his efforts to make his community a better place.

He acted with dignity and respect for others, and we, the members of his family at the City of Vernon, extend our condolences to his family and friends.

City officials say Nicol had been ill for some time, however, he did take his civic responsibilities seriously and attended most council meetings.

He sat in his customary chair this past Monday, but was not in attendance for budget meetings Wednesday or today.

Nicol was first elected to council in Vernon in 1985 and has held a seat ever since except for two terms when he ran, unsuccessfully for mayor.

Nicol had a background in broadcasting.

He served as program director of KISS-FM from 1977 to 1986 and Vice-President/General Manager from 1987 until 2010.

In his bio on the City of Vernon website, Nicol described his passion for the city.

'It is an honor to represent Vernon citizens. Equally it has been a team effort because the best ideas frequently are produced by the citizens I represent. My focus is always on those matters that provide great value for long periods into our future. The fact that I have funded all campaigns personally, allows me to listen to both sides of vital neighborhood issues.

My passion is serving the community in a number of roles including Honorary Chair of the Canadian Cancer Society, long time BC President for all volunteer Canada Day Celebrations and our city event.'

City Council will need to decide at some point in the near future whether to hold a by-election for Nicol's vacant seat or hold it open until the next round of municipal elections in November.

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