How much is that road?

Ok so I’ll start with an obvious confession. “What’s on?” this week is all about the City of Kelowna budget. It’s not every day that someone (after countless hours of work, research, and consultation) hands you a binder and asks you to vote over 100 times on various line items that make up a City budget. For those who told me council was part time they forgot to mention that it is more than full time during budget season :)
Did you know that the City of Kelowna budget reaches over $400,000,000 considering all of the various departments, airport, etc. 
So here is my behind the scenes perspective. At the core though there is a clear truth that needs to be emphasized; get involved in the process. The best cities have a engaged citizens, who are actively involved in their neighbourhood, and considering their impact on the world beyond their front door.  A number of the projects that are in front of council are there because the community clearly communicated to council about what was going on in their community. This short video gives a snapshot of the budget and also focuses on two of our biggest line items
  1. John Hindle Drive 
  2. The upgrades in front of Anne McClemont School 
As you saw in the video over 500 community members got involved and clearly communicated with council that the upgrades in front of Anne McClemont were a growing priority. It took a few years but it is now on the council agenda. 
Then there is the partnership. John Hindle Drive, although a $11+ million project is a partnership with other levels of government that allows us to leverage tax money to make it happen. 
Another small item that received a lot of attention in my city email ([email protected]) was the Pickleball Court upgrade request at PRC. I think I got over 40 emails about that one line item. To be honest I had never heard of pickle ball before that but it is growing at an incredible pace in our community.  
We just concluded one of the biggest snow systems to land on our community in many years. My kids loved thoroughly enjoyed  first snow day in over 35 years. I was amazed by how much the community worked together to help folks get to where they were going. I live in a cul-de-sac that is cleared by a contractor and when I arrived home there were no less than a dozen of my neighbours with shovels in hand helping clear out those who had gotten stuck in our street. 
Lastly I wanted to share a video that I shot about a Community Futures funding program that was extended. It offers up to $5000 and support for youths (18-29) who are unemployed ineligible for E.I. and have a business idea.
I’ll be back to talking about events next week but in the mean time check out the event page on Castanet: http://www.castanet.net/events/

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About the Author

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating songs, which have been used by the Terry Fox Run, Kelowna’s Centennial Celebration, or heard on various local radio stations. 

In the past few years, I've focused on creating community events including Music in the Park, New York New Years, Castanet’s Free Family Skate, Talented Kids, Talented Kelowna, and others.

Originally from Scotland, I’ve lived in Kelowna for over 20 years. My wife, Kimberly, and our two daughters, Lyla and Bella, share our home with Tom (adult with diverse abilities).

In 2014, I was elected to Kelowna City Council. 

Opinions are my own, and don't represent the City of Kelowna, Festivals Kelowna or Creative Okanagan. 

To connect with Ryan:

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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