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ROTHENBURGER – City hands pink slip to another volunteer heritage group

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

ANOTHER HERITAGE GROUP is being given its walking papers by City Hall. That makes three. Three strikes and you’re out, in effect.

The circumstances are all somewhat different, but the result is the same. It started with the museum. For 70 years it was operated by the volunteer Kamloops Museum Association until the City removed it from the picture in 2007.

More recently, the Kamloops Heritage Commission got the bum’s rush. The commission, made up of community members with a special interest in the preservation of heritage buildings, served the City for many years in a valuable advisory capacity.

Earlier this year, the commission was relegated to the basement of the new City council committee structure. A few remaining commission members are now part of an “engagement group” that can offer occasional advice through the community services committee made up of councillors and staff.

Now the Kamloops Heritage Society — a different group from the commission — is being shown the door.

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

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About Mel Rothenburger (6933 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ROTHENBURGER – City hands pink slip to another volunteer heritage group

  1. Head shaking…so disappointing to read this and the way it was handled!

  2. Thank you for the update, I was a member of the Kamloops Heritage Commission and am now sadly a member of the very neutered Heritage group the city set up to shut us up and still pretend to care about local history. I joined the Commission to have a voice and to be part of something that would celebrate what got us here, I found a great group of people that cared, I also learned about local government and the small group of people that are the real power in this town, the commission was lied to and lied about in the the media and to our faces. This town stands out from others, I have made the effort to see how other towns celebrate their history’s by visiting their museums and always come away frustrated when I see how good they are. The best city museums are run by societies just like Kamloops use to be. I feel it would be best if the city got out of the history business and return the museum back to a society.

  3. I agree with your assessment. This decision is beyond stupid; it is a prime example of the “heavy hand” of government imposing itself, for no legitimate reason, while concurrently alienating allies who have done a marvellous job of restoring not only the structure, but also the “heart and soul” of a special heritage building.

    This requires a sober second look,…and a degree of knowledge and responsibility from the mayor and council that has, so far, been conspicuously absent.

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