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Mayor and chamber kiss and make up

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 | 5:32 pm

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Mayor Sharon Shepherd

By Kathy Michaels

Tensions that came to a head in a Monday council meeting were laid to rest this afternoon.

Mayor Sharon Shepherd met with representatives of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce today to discuss both the Official Community Plan and the kerfuffle that ensued following the last council meeting. And it appears  the two parties are feeling good about working together in the future.

“We’re going to continue to collaborate and we will be giving our feedback in the same format,” said Norm LeCavalier, chamber president, who noted yesterday that the way the two parties were exchanging information may have to change.

“The meeting gave us an opportunity to discuss the mayor’s concerns about the way the information was presented, and explain how the report was prepared.”

Before today’s meeting it looked as though the two parties were lining up for a blow out. The mayor was less than pleased with the chamber’s feedback about the official community plan, pointing out that their recommendations on various issues weren’t refined enough and didn’t take into account what the city was already doing. In turn, chamber representatives were aghast about the treatment they received.

“As a result of the meeting, we’ve found ways to improve communication between the city and the chamber, and I’m encouraged that we have a common understanding of Kelowna’s priorities,” said LeCavalier, adding that the language will be refined in future presentations.

A prepared statement from the city says Mayor Shepherd believes the meeting led to a renewed commitment to keep talking as the OCP process continues through 2010.

“I’m glad we had a chance to sit down together and talk about the issues one-on-one,” said Shepherd. “As suspected, improved communication and sharing of information goes a long way toward a better understanding of our shared objectives.”

Visit for information about the Official Community Plan, which seeks to map out a prosperous and sustainable future for the city for the next 20 year and click here to get a better idea of what issues the Chamber of Commerce brought to the last meeting.

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