Key West Kelowna City Council Accomplishments while Gord was on Council from 2007 to 2014

Gord Milsom served as a Councillor for West Kelowna for three separate terms, during which he was wholly dedicated to building a strong foundation for local government. When he was first elected onto Council in 2007, there were no goals or priorities yet established. It was not common at the time for City Councils to engage in goal setting. As such, it was Gord's recommendation that Council set clear and measurable priorities and goals for our Council’s first ever term. He used his business background, financial expertise, and planning skills to help guide Council during the municipality’s inception.

This took impeccable communication and collaboration between Council and Staff. As a result, the West Kelowna Council was able to bring about progression for the community, while at the same time keeping taxes affordable. Here were some of their successes:

  • Hired their first employees!
  • Transitioned staff and services from the Regional District
  • Established bylaws and policies.
  • Completed the city's first Official Community Plan, Master Plans and other guiding documents.
  • Created West Kelowna’s first Economic Development Plan and Department.
  • Invested in local infrastructure (for example: roads and sidewalks).
  • Built the RCMP public safety facility
  • Waterfront improvements along Gellatly Road.
  • CNR Wharf improvements
  • Brown and Westlake Road upgrades.
  • Sewer connections for 1500 homes
  • Introduction of the Rapid Bus service along Highway 97 from Westbank Centre to UBCO.
  • Built financial reserves for future capital programs.
  • Maintained property taxes at affordable levels.

The new RCMP facility is a prime example of how Gord's leadership skills were able to benefit the West Kelowna community. Gord recommended that Council defer the tendering of construction a few months because he foresaw a significant drop in costs. Council followed his recommendation and costs came in $1,000,000 under budget, thus saving tax payers a significant amount of money. He was also the proponent for the placement of an RCMP liaison officer within our school system, which has helped reduce crime, drug use, and bullying. It has given students the opportunity to speak openly about such matters. In addition, Gord also supported many other citizens to voice their individual concerns.

Supporting the Community

Current Director and member of the West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club
Gord and his fellow West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club members certainly believe in the Rotarian motto “service above self” . They have raised significant amounts of money to meet the needs of the community.

  • Over $35,000 for the new playground at Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre
  • $20,000 for renovations at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club located in Westbank Centre
  • $50,000 annually at their “Taste of India” dinner and their Rotary Golf Tournament!

Director - Greater Westside Board of Trade
Gord offers leadership for development of policies and events to support and enhance the business climate on behalf of our local businesses. This includes lobbying the provincial and federal governments when necessary. Some of our signature events and funds raised include:

  • Key Business Awards where key business leaders and businesses are honoured for their excellence.
  • Greater Westside Board of Trade Annual Golf Tournament.
  • Providing networking and marketing opportunities for almost 400 members.

Past Director - Westside Community Food Bank
During his years of service he helped develop a business plan to merge the Kelowna and Westside Community Food Banks into one organization, The Central Okanagan Community Food Bank. Combining the food banks increased operating efficiencies, reduced costs, and improved services to those in need.

Past Chair - City of West Kelowna Economic Dvelopment Committee
Gord Milsom provided input/advice to City of West Kelowna staff with regards to the Economic Development and Tourism Operational Plans and the City’s longer term Economic Development Strategic Focus Plan.

Personal Accomplishments

Reflecting on accomplishments prior to his time as a City Councilor, he remembers and cherishes the “wins” which were earned on a collaborative or team basis. Two of his favourite accomplishments involve football and Rotary. One collaborative “win” that stands out, was being team captain of his football team and their team winning the national title “Little Grey Cup”. This was quite a feat considering the team did not win a single game during their previous year. Even though he had his own personal accomplishments as a player and captain, the highlight for Gord was the journey they took as a team to win the title.

In 2005/2006, Gord was President of the Rotary Club of Kelowna, and for that particular year they set some very ambitious goals. With 130 members, they were able to collaborate as a club to achieve their goals, plus they were recognized at the end of the year as “The Most Outstanding Large Club”.