Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Area D director Tom Siddon believes the electoral riding will be split into two before the next municipal election. Submitted photo

New electoral area for Okanagan Falls/Apex could come soon

Area D Director Tom Siddon believes new electoral area will happen before next election

With Okanagan Falls and the region east of Skaha Lake on the brink of breaking apart from the rest of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Area D Director Tom Siddon has announced he will not be running in the next municipal election.

“I’ve indicated it’s probably time to not run again and give potential candidates the opportunity to start thinking if they are going to run,” said Siddon.

Related: Okanagan Falls district could split

Siddon said his announcement is early enough to have candidates come forward in what he believes will become two ridings by the time municipal elections begin in October. The division would see Area D consist of Okanagan Falls and the east side of Skaha Lake (Heritage Hills, Skaha Estates and other rural areas) and a new Area I created for Kaleden, Apex, Twin Lakes and the rural areas west of Skaha Lake. It is a model that Siddon helped lead the charge on over two years ago.

Related: Okanagan Falls governance study begins

“I think it is an important step. For a long time Okanagan Falls sought to be incorporated, but the minister of the previous government suggested a governance study which took two years. It was headed by a group of citizens and a consulting group that guided them through the process. Splitting is a consequence of the options,” said Siddon.

If the change occurs, it will be 55-45 split of the population down the watershed line.

The director believes, from the information he has been told, that the addition of a new electoral area will come after a provincial cabinet meeting in March. This will give time to implement the boundary changes and documentation in time for the next election. The RDOS has already approved the recommendation that came out of the study, that included public input.

Siddon said adding another chair around the RDOS table will not only help take some of the workload off the expansive boundaries of Area D, but will add another important voice for the constituents in those communities.

While he believes it is a step in the right direction, Siddon said ultimately the best outcome would be Okanagan Falls incorporating in the future. If that occurred, Okanagan Falls would make decisions through an elected mayor and council. The incorporated area would also have a seat at the RDOS.

“I think splitting still has significant merit but ultimately as Okanagan Falls grows incorporation could happen. I am not pushing for or against, that will be the challenge for the next director of Area D,” said Siddon. “I think Okanagan Falls would benefit from the ultimate structure of an advisory group to advise the new director. The group would bring the pulse of the community into debate on issues that are important.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Princeton ATV rider slapped with numerous charges after complaint of near miss on the KVR

‘I would never defend actions like that’ - Ed Vermette, Princeton ATV Club president

Anarchist Mountain Fire Department extinguishes ‘flaming river’ on Highway 3

Blaze caused by truck that caught fire and leaked diesel across the road

Lower Similkameen Indian Band closes beach near Cawston to non-band members

The COVID-19 crisis “has not gone away” and “remains an ever present threat” says the LSIB

Morning Start: Dogs can smell cancer

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Summerland subdivision was developed in 1912

Victoria Gardens was created by Summerland pioneer couple

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

Aces aplenty at Okanagan golf course

Vernon Golf and Country Club has 14 recorded holes-in-one since April 30

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

Sad ending in case of missing Okanagan senior

Body of Vernon man Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read