Jean Clarke Running For Osoyoos Town Council

Jean ClarkeMy name is Jean Clarke, and I am running for Council because, having just completed the A.A.P. (Alternate Approval Process) also known as the Petition for the proposed New Fire Hall in Osoyoos. I had the chance to chat with a lot of the taxpayers, and I was flabbergasted, and appalled, to hear, time and time again that they felt they had no involvement in any of the financial decisions the present Council is doing on their behalf. It also concerned me that approaching Council to lodge a complaint was a very involved process, there were major issues regarding By-Laws infractions to mention just a few.

I have a very strong  background in clerical, administration, business that relates to Government. I was born and educated in England, and immigrated to Canada in 1975, where I secured employment with all three levels of Government, at different times of course. I became very familiar with Policies and Procedures, also Collective Agreements, attended many meeting both locally, where I worked and in Victoria. I thought that with my background, I could possibly make a difference in our beautiful town of Osoyoos.

We have to get back to fundamentals of local government, they have to also be achievable, whilst working for the betterment and prosperity of the Town, to allow it to grow, and keep our younger generation working on good paying jobs, not just seasonal employment.

We also need financial transparency in all areas of the taxpayers money, but most of all I think we should have the Council reporting to the people, and not the other way around, as that seems to be big problem right now.

I was brought up in a very modest background, where we had to be careful with basic needs to just survive such as food, accommodation, clothing, there were no luxuries., so my values stem for there. It’s very important to me that every taxpayer should not go though hardships because of the mismanagement of our tax dollars.

Communication, teamwork, common sense, and trust are key ingredients to achieve future prosperity of Osoyoos. We need to allow taxpayers to know who they can contact to resolve their personal issues, and to ensure that those issues are dealt with in a timely manner.  I seriously believe I can help to achieve that.

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Osoyoos Photography Club Featured At Art Gallery

osoyoos art gallery osoyoos daily news 2

Exposed – An Exhibit and Sale by the Osoyoos Photography Club is on display now at the Osoyoos Art Gallery. The show runs from October 18 until November 8. Photos by Peter Hovestad.

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Board of Ed Report

Our Board and district staff will be recognizing retirees and long service employees on Wednesday, October 29th at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos. This is our first year for recognizing long service employees with more than 10 years of service in the district, and will be an annual event with the retirement celebration.

Our learning forum, held in Keremeos last week, was on secondary trades and dual credit programs in the district as well as the Yes-2-It In the Classroom program. This year the program will be running in conjunction with the Industry Training Authority’s Yes-2-It Trades Exploration Program under the direction of Boyd Turnbull and other journeymen. All grades 6 and 7 students will build, plumb and wire a wall. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore the trades and to ponder the trades as a career. Thank you to Rod Kitt for this informative presentation.

The next learning forum will be held on November 12th at Oliver Elementary School and the topic will be children and youth anxiety. We invite parents and any interested community members to attend. Anxiety in our students is of great concern to all of us and we are trying many different approaches at school to support students with anxiety issues.

An agreement was reached with the teachers’ union (SOSTU) to make up the August 26, 2014 school plan day at an evening session on October 14th, 2014 in Oliver. The evening was attended by almost 200 teachers, education assistants and administrators and was facilitated by Linda Kaser, co-founder of the Network for Inquiry and Innovation in BC. The evening engaged schools to reflect on their inquiry work and to make plans for this school year. Schools also revisited their school inquiry questions and learning plans. It was wonderful to gather as a district learning community with lots of enthusiasm and positive energy for the new year of learning together. On October 15th Dr. Kaser worked with staff at Osoyoos Elementary and Osoyoos Secondary schools in a focused discussion about their inquiry work and directions for this year.

The Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) and Teacher Education Fund (TEF) process has now been finalized. For 2014/15 the district received $467,723 in Learning Improvement Funds to support class complexities and learning needs. This consisted of $374,178 Teacher Education Funds to be used for additional teacher time and $93,545 in support staff priorities for classrooms These resources will have a positive impact on classrooms in our district.

District staff provided an update on enrollment at the Board of Education meeting and the data showed an overall decrease of about 75 students in the district in comparison to September 30th, 2013. This is concerning to the Board but the good news is that we are still above student numbers projected for this year and our schools are staffed according to projections. We are awaiting final enrolment numbers which are still changing; final numbers are required to be submitted to the Ministry by the end of the month.

Southern Okanagan Secondary (SOSS), Oliver Elementary, Osoyoos Elementary and Osoyoos Secondary students attended We-Day on October 22nd in Vancouver. We hope that this day inspired another year of change by students in our district. We-Day is tied to the year-long We Act program which offers
educational resources, campaigns and support materials to help turn the event’s inspiration into sustained action. Through We Act, students commit to taking on one local and one global action to better the world, earning their way to We Day next year.

Trustee elections will take place on November 15th along with other municipal elections. In this district three candidates were nominated for two trustee positions in Oliver. The Board of Education is disappointed that trustee candidates were not invited to participate in the All-Candidates meeting in Oliver. We feel that this sends a message to communities that trustees are not valued and are not active participants in local government elections. Trustees in the communities of Keremeos/Cawston, Okanagan Falls and Osoyoos were elected by acclamation.

A basketball field trip for SOSS students and their coach, Mo Basso, was approved at the last Board of Education meeting. The basketball players will be travelling to Oahu, Hawaii in December to play basketball against local teams. This will be a great team building experience for them and we are sure that they will have lots of fun. Best of luck to all of you!

Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.

Submitted by Marieze Tarr, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)

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Call Alina Lovin For Details

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CJ Rhodes Tries For Third Term On Council

CJ Rhodes Osoyoos Daily NewsMy wife Lisa and I moved to Osoyoos 15 years ago. We are the parents to 4 children and 5 ½ (one on the way) grandchildren. My career as a long time business owner in Osoyoos is rewarding, engaging and, has always helped me understand and appreciate the uniqueness of the Osoyoos business Community.

I was elected to Osoyoos council in 2008 and re-elected in 2011. The confidence that the residents of Osoyoos have placed in me has always humbled me and made me so appreciative of our community and its residents.

I’ve always had hope and optimism on my side and I believe that I can be a part of a team that is focused on our future yet remain independent enough to be creative.

Some of my past accomplishments include being part of the team that removed 121 lakeside septic systems and hooking those residents up to the Osoyoos sewage system thus improving the sustainability of our lake. I was the Osoyoos representative on the Regional District solid waste management plan which helped change our landfill from an indiscriminate dump to an environmentally sustainable facility. Additionally, as the chairperson of the Osoyoos waterfront steering committee, we’ve been able to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in beautifying our waterfront with almost no impact on local taxpayers.

I have a vision for the future of Osoyoos that includes maintaining and improving our quality of life by offering responsible governance to all of our citizens. I am a strong family man and I understand the wellness of our community may be affected by the lack of quality jobs and affordable housing. My future includes hard work and dedication to making these circumstances better. Respect for taxpayers is a priority for me. While many communities in B.C. have been forced into unacceptable tax increases I always have and will continue to work diligently toward sound financial management in Osoyoos so that tax impact is minimal.

My family is a frequent user of our lake. I feel it is mandatory for Town council to become more involved in improving the quality of our lake water and to be relentless in pursuing new and better ways to govern the betterment of our lake and all our groundwater resources. Osoyoos Lake is an important part of our lifestyle and economy and must be preserved and protected for future generations.

For experienced and knowledgeable leadership and to ensure a caring voice on council please vote for CJ Rhodes on November 15th.

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Osoyoos Council Meeting In Pointform

DELEGATIONS

  • Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Okanagan – presented by Shayne Wright, Co-ordinator, Proprietor of Buy Local BC Initiative.
  • Osoyoos Lake Loops Triathlon – Three Lakes Triathlon Series – presented by Sara Opps and Steve Brown –  Director of Community Services to follow up with special event application process.  Destination Osoyoos to be included in event planning.

CORRESPONDENCE

  • Report from the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) regarding the October 2, 2014 meeting highlights received for information.

BUSINESS

·        Final Fire Hall Referendum Information – Administration will follow up with proposed communication plan.

  • September Income Statements received for the Town of Osoyoos and Sun Bowl Arena.

·        Weight Room Afterhours Council directed staff to have the weight room at Sonora Community Centre open from 6:00 am until 8:45 pm on Monday to Friday and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

·        Report 4 Gyro Park Plaza – Stage A and Parking Lot Landscaping – Crown Contracting Ltd. selected to undertake all four base phases and both optional phases of the Gyro Park Plaza – Stage “A” and Parking Lot Landscaping project.

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Local Government Voter’s Guides Now Online

bc logoThe Government of British Columbia is encouraging eligible voters to participate in the local government election process and to vote in local communities on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014.

To support voters, the Voter’s Guide to Local Elections in British Columbia, is now available online at: http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/elections_home.htm

The guides are available in English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Punjabi, French and for the first time, Farsi and Korean, and answer basic questions eligible voters might have as they prepare to vote including:

  • who can vote
  • how to register to vote
  • voting as a non-resident property elector
  • identification required

The guide also covers advance voting. The required advance voting opportunity for the upcoming general local election is Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, and many jurisdictions hold more than one advance voting opportunity.

In addition to being available online, printed voter’s guides are also available through Service BC Centres, and local MLA offices. The voter’s guide is just one of many resources available online.

Important election calendar deadlines and answers to the most commonly asked questions about local government elections are also available by visiting: http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/elections_home.htm

On Nov. 15, 2014, voters will elect mayors, councillors, electoral area directors, Islands Trust local trustees, local community and park board commissioners and school trustees. Election results will be available through the Local Elections 2014 link on the CivicInfo BC website at: www.civicinfo.bc.ca/

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