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Lord to pass on third Vernon council term

Two-term incumbent Catherine Lord will not seek re-election Oct. 20

She was shopping at Canada Safeway when a young man, about 19, approached Catherine Lord.

The man asked if she was the Vernon councillor, and when Lord replied in the affirmative, the man said he was part of a couple of committees, and just wanted to say thanks for all the work Lord does on behalf of the city.

“You get that maybe every four or five months, and that makes you feel good, but it doesn’t happen very often,” said Lord, who has announced she will not be seeking a third-consecutive term on council on Oct. 20.

“It’s not a good paying job and it’s not always a nice job to have. You get a lot of negative feedback. It’s really difficult to remember, sometimes, the silent majority is out there and they’re fine with you because you just hear from the people who complain all the time and I think it does get to you.”

First elected in 2011, Lord said she just thinks it’s time to take off and let some new bodies take over.

“I’m getting a little bit cynical about politics right now, that’s one reason,” she said when asked why she was not seeking re-election. “When I first started there were two or three goals that I had and they were met, and I’m happy with all of that.”

One of the goals was making Vernon more efficient.

Lord joined council at the same time as new mayor Rob Sawatzky, with one of his first orders of business being to order a core review of city operations.

“I wanted to see how efficient the city was working and see if we could make it more efficient,” she said. “I think over these last seven years we have pulled together, we have a really good staff now and we’ve made the city a lot more efficient.”

Other goals of Lord’s that were met during her time in office was the Regional District of North Okanagan’s master water plan agreement accepted by Interior Health and the province, and the RDNO’s Greater Vernon partners reaching agreement on changes to the management of local parks.

In fact, improving the City of Vernon’s relationship with the regional district was another of Lord’s ambitions.

“The relationship with the regional district has improved,” she said. “I talked with Rob (Sawatzky) and Juliette (Cunningham) about getting the relationship respectful and listen to each other. I think we’ve managed a lot more closely together and got some agreements in place that we weren’t able to do before.”

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While those goals were met, Lord said goals change and there are things in the city, right now, that need to be looked after.

“I’m a little bit worried about that but I think it’s a good idea to have some new people in there,” she said. “I don’t think it’s always great to have the same people in there forever and a day. Seven years is pretty good.”

So at least two newcomers will join council after the Oct. 20 vote, one replacing Lord, the other replacing the late Bob Spiers, who died in office on June 24. A byelection was not required as it was close enough to the municipal election date.

Coun. Dalvir Nahal has announced her intention to run for a second-straight term, while fellow incumbents Cunningham, Brian Quiring and Scott Anderson have yet to publicly declare their plans.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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