Judge Ann Wallace congratulates James Baker after he is sworn into office as Lake Country mayor Tuesday.

Judge Ann Wallace congratulates James Baker after he is sworn into office as Lake Country mayor Tuesday.

New council duties begin

Lake Country Mayor James Baker and his six councillors were sworn into office during a ceremony Tuesday.

The formalities are over and Lake Country politicians are now getting down to business.

Mayor James Baker and his six councillors were sworn into office during a ceremony Tuesday.

“It’s going to be fun working with this group,” said Baker, who was re-elected to another term Nov. 15.

“They are prepared to sit down and get to work.”

Beyond ongoing issues like infrastructure, council will be focused on the recent decision by area jurisdictions to purchase the CN rail line between Coldstream and Kelowna.

While it’s not determined how much Lake Country will contribute towards the $22 million purchase price, public approval will be needed before funds are borrowed.

Baker is joined on council by incumbent councillors Penny Gambell, Owen Dickie and Rob Geier, former councillor Bill Scarrow and newcomers Blair Ireland and Matt Vader.

Baker isn’t concerned that there will be a steep learning curve for those sitting on council for the first time.

“All of the people were concerned with keeping track of what the previous council was up to so they are up to speed already.”

The next step is to make council appointments to various committees.

“We will hash that out at a strategic planning session,” said Baker, adding that appointments will be partially decided based on councillors’ interests.