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New Kamloops council has more equal gender balance

There were five men and four women elected on Oct. 15
city hall april

On Oct. 15, Kamloops voters elected Reid Hamer-Jackson as the city’s new mayor and Dale Bass, Nancy Bepple, Kelly Hall, Stephen Karpuk, Margot Middleton, Katie Neustaeter, Mike O’Reilly and Bill Sarai as councillors.

Here is some information on the makeup of the new council.

The new council has five men and four women. The outgoing council consists of six men and three women.

The areas of town in which they live:

• Brocklehurst (Karpuk, Sarai);

• Dallas (Bass, Neustaeter);

• Downtown (Bepple);

• Sagebrush/South Kamloops (Middleton)

• West End (O’Reilly);

• Westsyde (Hamer-Jackson, Hall).

Neighbourhoods absent a city council member include Aberdeen, Pineview Valley, Barnhartvale, Juniper, Sahali, Dufferin, Batchelor Heights, North Kamloops and Valleyview.

A majority of those on city council are in their 50s or 60s. O’Reilly and Neustaeter are the exceptions, at ages 39 and 40, respectively.

Occupation-wise, the new council appears to have a strong communications and business background. Nearly half of those elected (Bepple, Hamer-Jackson, O’Reilly and Middleton) either own or operate a business.

Three have experience in professional communications, including a trio who formerly worked in media (Bass, Hall and Neustaeter). Neustaeter now works as director of communications for United Way British Columbia.

Karpuk is a chiropractor and Sarai is a retired Canada Post mail carrier.

Slightly less than half of those elected (Bass, Bepple, O’Reilly and Sarai) have pre-existing local government experience, for a combined local government experience of 18 years (four years each for three incumbent councillors Bass, O’Reilly and Sarai and six years for former councillor Bepple).

Karpuk is also married to Kathleen Karpuk, who was re-elected on Saturday to the School District 73 board of education.