An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
A MEMORIAL FOR CAPT. JENNIFER CASEY will be discussed by Kamloops City council and that’s good news. The only thing missing so far is any consideration of input from the public.
Mayor Ken Christian proposes some sort of permanent memorial be installed at what he calls Observation Park, a patch of grass and trees planned for an orphaned piece of ground off Tranquille Road.
That suggests the likelihood of a plaque and it’s not a bad idea. His memo to council on tomorrow’s agenda recommends that it direct staff to liaise with Casey’s family and the RCAF to “explore options for a permanent memorial in the new Observation Park which will be created at the end of Runway 09-27 as part of the new Airport Gateway Corridor project.”
That project has been in the works for more than five years and currently awaits construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that will run immediately east of the airport.
Consulting with Capt. Casey’s family and the Snowbirds is, of course, entirely appropriate and there was never any suggestion otherwise. But the family and the Snowbirds should know what the Kamloops public thinks, as well.
The idea of a permanent memorial first came up when an online petition was launched to change the name of Airport Road to Capt. J. Casey Memorial Way. More than 45,000 signatures appear on that petition so far, equivalent to roughly half the population of the entire city.
For whatever reason, the mayor hasn’t taken a shine to the idea. There’s no provision for even considering it in his proposal. Neither, for that matter, does he leave room for any other proposals than the one he puts forward.
Christian’s idea should be considered one option, not the only one. Put it out to the public to suggest ideas to Capt. Casey’s family and the Snowbirds. This isn’t a City Hall project, it’s a tribute from the community.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.