Osoyoos mayor expects close race in October election against Langley businessman – Keremeos Review
Health care and clean drinking water; this is what Sue McKortoff is prepared to work hard on if she is re-elected as mayor of Osoyoos.
The two-term South Okanagan mayor is seeking re-election on Oct. 15, following two sweeping victories in which she won 78% of the vote in 2014 and more than 85% in 2018.
Certainly, however, she does not expect the same lopsided outcome in 2022.
“I have a feeling this time it’s not going to be close to 90%,” McKortoff told Black Press. “There will definitely be people who think the other candidate is a better candidate…but I just don’t know.”
The incumbent mayor has an election challenger – Langley businessman Dustin Sikora, who reportedly donated thousands of dollars to the Freedom Convoy earlier this year, according to Canada’s National Observer and the Toronto Star.
Sikora moved to Osoyoos less than two years ago.
The former Langley resident has yet to respond to comment on his mayoral bid.
McKortoff, meanwhile, cites hiring full-time firefighters, continuing proposed downtown revitalization and preserving the local high school after it was at risk of closing among the successes of her time as mayor. .
“We feel a lot safer in town, we’ve built new trails, we’re putting in new restrooms at Legion Beach, and we’ve done a lot with the fire department,” the mayor said.
Advisories about dark and brown water coming out of Osoyoos faucets were issued this year by the city and Interior Health. McKortoff, who currently sits on the Okanagan Basin Water Board, says his public works team is “working daily, around the clock” to address issues associated with dirty laundry and unsanitary drinking water.
“This is a huge concern in our community,” said the mayor of Osoyoos. “I’ve had people write to me that they have their clothes stained. Manganese happens to be one of the elements that’s in our wells and that’s our problem, but trust me, we’re busy getting that out of our system.
The election talking point of the doctor shortage, meanwhile, is not as easy to break down as it might seem. McKortoff says she herself doesn’t even have a family doctor.
But continuing to team up with Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen to communicate local issues with the province remains more important than ever, she added.
“It’s a very tricky question, believe me,” McKortoff said. “I have been very involved in health care for many, many years. This is a very confusing question, you can’t just say you’re going to hire more doctors.
Johansen was officially acclaimed as Oliver last week as the two South Okanagan mayors met with Health Minister Adrian Dix at UBCM in Whistler.
In addition to the upcoming mayoral vote, Osoyoos will elect four councilors and two water councilors in October.
A total of six people are vying to serve as one of the four board chairs:
• Wes Greve
• Sy Murseli
• Jim King (incumbent)
• Zachary Poturica
• Myers Bennett (starter)
• Johnny Cheong