Moving forward Together!
Rick de Jong
At 53 years of age, Rick de Jong is a husband, father, and grandfather. Rick has been married to Tracey for 30 years. They have two children aged 25 and 28 years old. In January 2016, Rick and Tracey were introduced to the joys of being grandparents when their first grandchild was born.
Key Accomplishments of Council During Rick’s Time in Office
During his three terms on West Kelowna Council, Rick supported numerous projects and initiatives, such as:
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mission & vision
Together we the people achieve more than any single
person could ever do alone.
Fire Rescue Services
From fires to floods and emergency response services, we rely on the team of men and women within our fire department to keep us safe. As our community grows, so do the demands on our Fire Rescue Services...
As already stated, West Kelowna is a growing community, and if we want safe streets, our RCMP policing services need to keep pace. West Kelowna Council has a role to play beyond just funding enough officers to meet our changing needs...
Essential infrastructure upgrades within our community, such as water, sidewalks, biking paths, and roads, must continue. The Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant continues to be the top priority for West Kelowna...
West Kelowna is a fantastic place to live, work, and play. The various amenities around our community, from ball diamonds, soccer fields, football fields, hiking trails, walking trails, Royal LePage Ice Rink, and Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre, all help improve the quality of life. By building, improving and expanding various community amenities, we are ensuring that West Kelowna remains a beautiful community to call home.
What others think
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Questions & Answers
As a 3 term city councillor I continue to support smart growth. Council can help with housing attainability by encouraging and supporting the development of various housing forms such as apartments, duplexes, townhouses, compact housing, and single family residential houses so that the different needs of those who call West Kelowna home can be met. In-fill development is already happening throughout our community and such development needs to be respectful of the existing neighbourhoods they are in. At the present rate of growth West Kelowna is well positioned to meet the housing demands of our community over the next 10-20 years. Our community is expanding and we are moving forward together!
Safe streets is one of the core focus points of my campaign. City Council works with our local RCMP detachment to set the community policing strategic priorities. West Kelowna residents pay the majority of the costs associated with policing within our community. City council should ensure the money to support local policing is in place. However, accountability on how those dollars are being spent is also important. The city needs to continue lobbying the provincial government to meet their policing responsibilities in the greater area around West Kelowna. Focusing on community policing leads to safer streets and neighborhoods.
Traversing West Kelowna can be challenging, especially during the morning and afternoon commuting hours. We need to continue to prioritize and upgrade our road networks, including the development of new sidewalks and biking paths where appropriate. The Highway 97 corridor is managed by the Province but Council does have a role to play through lobbying efforts and supporting provincial capital plans that improve the flow of traffic.
With a passion for this community, an eagerness to serve, 32 years of business experience, and 3 terms as a City of West Kelowna Councillor, I am a strong candidate for re-election to Council for the City of West Kelowna. My volunteer work over the years includes Central Okanagan Youth Soccer,
Central Okanagan Area Planning Committee, West Kelowna Board of Variance, and West Kelowna Agricultural Advisory Committee. During my time on Council I have represented West Kelowna at the Central Okanagan Regional Board, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, and
the Kelowna Airport Advisory Committee. During my time on Council I have been told that my views are down to earth and practical. As we continue to grow and move forward as a community I would be honoured to serve the residents of West Kelowna for another four years.
The City of West Kelowna incorporated in 2007. We are a young, fast growing community. In my view it is very hard to list just one key issue when there are so many that require attention. My re-election campaign is drawing attention to four key areas of focus as we move forward together; fire rescue services, safe streets, core infrastructure, and community amenities. As our population increases so too do the demands on policing, fire rescue services, community amenities, and core infrastructure such as roads, sidewalks, and water. It is through Council’s Strategic Priorities and the city’s budgeting process that Council provides direction to ensure that city resources are being used to meet the many needs of our community.
Many of those who call West Kelowna home work in Kelowna. For some, improving the bicycle network that can safely get people to the bridge and beyond is an option. For others the answer is a reliable transit system that runs with enough frequency and stops to be viable. Many, especially in winter, rely on their automobile to traverse the Highway 97 corridor, which is managed by the provincial government. When the provincial government is prepared to make upgrades along this route to improve traffic flows, West Kelowna Council needs to be supportive. We need to lobby the Province to follow through on upgrading the various intersections along Highway 97 such as at Boucherie Road and Hudson Road where removal of the lights and the installation of off/on ramps will facilitate the movement of traffic. A new bridge is years away, in the mean time all levels of government and our regional partners such as Kelowna and Westbank First Nation need to work together to find in-term solutions.
I think West Kelowna is growing at the right rate. A recent study presented to Council shows that, at the current rate of housing development, we can meet the expected growth of our community over the years to come. As West Kelowna grows, we need city processes and policies that encourage smart development while being inclusive of public feed back and input. The city’s new Official Community Plan will be finalized by our next Council and it will guide development across West Kelowna for years to come. Getting this document right is critical so having discussions about growth need to continue.
Housing in West Kelowna may be attainable for some but it is certainly not affordable. Many of the tools to address housing attainability rest with higher levels of government, not at the local municipal government level. However, local government does have a role to play by supporting smart development and housing diversity. As the supply and diversity of various housing forms from townhouses, duplexes, apartments, and single family homes increase, we ensure housing availability of different housing forms at different pricing levels to meet the many different needs of those of us who call West Kelowna home.
One million dollars represents roughly a 1.6% tax relief for property taxes across West Kelowna. It is tempting to apply these monies towards a one year tax break, especially today with the rising costs of inflation and the financial pressures many are facing. However, what else could be done with this money that would have longer term impacts and include a message of unity, as we move forward together? If I had a million dollars to spend on anything in the city I would use the funds to build the first inclusive and accessible playground in West Kelowna. Julia’s Junction is being planned as an accessible and inclusive playground for all kids, grand kids and great grand kids around West Kelowna. A local family is spearheading this initiative and one million dollars would really help get the project done. A playground for all kids today, tomorrow, and for years to come.
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On October 15, 2022
For information on who can vote, where to vote and more, please visit the City of West Kelowna website.
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