EDITORIAL – It’s possible to solve problems and also enjoy life

(Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

SOME PEOPLE WOULD ONLY be happy if the entire world was gray and beige, devoid of extras.

I draw that conclusion from some of the reaction to last week’s Armchair Mayor editorial that praised the Lansdowne parkade mural. Most people agreed it’s a nice thing but, predictably, to some it was a “waste of time and money.”

Taxpayer dollars, they say, should go to reduce homelessness. Or fix the opioid epidemic. Or end poverty. Or fight climate change. Or fill pot holes. Or deal with other social injustices or natural or human-caused disasters or bare necessities.

It’s the same any time money is spent on the enjoyment of life. There’s always something more important. They said it when the Tournament Capital facilities were built, when the art gallery was built, they say it about the performing arts centre, when anything that smacks of being non-essential is done or contemplated.

Such people understand neither the concept of a complete community nor the importance of arts, culture and leisure. They don’t understand that we must and do tackle the problems but at the same time we have to be bold enough to embrace the optional.

A community isn’t just about surviving and working — it’s about playing, too.

It’s admirable to care about the less fortunate, about social and health challenges, about urban decay and public safety. But we need to make time and spaces for ourselves and our children to enjoy.

We should be proud of our community; there’s a lot to be proud of. We need to remember that when we find fault with it, we’re part of what makes it what it is. We can either work to make it better, or simply complain about wasted tax dollars.

It’s our choice.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8047 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – It’s possible to solve problems and also enjoy life

  1. Bang on. I drove by it for the first time the other day and it is lovely So done with the naysayers.

  2. David Goar // June 4, 2019 at 7:27 AM // Reply

    Well said,……and Kamloops has done a good job of maintaining and improving itself as a desirable place to live, work and play.

  3. We sure have to go to work (and pay taxes) so the authorities can spend on questionable projects under questionable circumstances. For sure there will always be disagreements but you can’t say disagreements and complaints are unwelcome. They are an integral part of what makes a community “wholesome”. Complaints, also known as “feedback”, are not necessarily from a world of grey and beige. Al contrario! Perhaps it is the “grey and beige” authorities looking for a little redemption from all the past and concurrent architectural and infrastructural “faux pas” that need a remainder a cohesive whole is better (hence much more enjoyable) than little patches. Regardless of your take, dear MR, a paint job with bright colours (not grey and beige) would’ve achieved probably more for a whole lot less.

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