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ROTHENBURGER – Arjun Singh’s valiant, short-lived plan to get something done

(Image: CFJC Today)

THERE ARE ALWAYS GOOD REASONS not to do something. Coun. Arjun Singh heard a lot about that this week.

Singh put together a notice of motion asking City staff to look into fast forwarding plans for an integrated network of multi-use walkways and cycling/ rolling paths around the City.

Specifically, his motion asked administration to look at the costs of accomplishing high and medium priorities in the transportation master plan in five years, to look for senior-government grants, to consider a community fundraising program, encourage the use of e-bikes and create an education program around safe transportation etiquette.

After getting some feedback from the public and other councillors, Singh dropped a proposal to declare 2021 as the “Year of the Cyclist” because that made the concept too narrow.

Every single member of council talked about what a fine initiative it was, and how Singh should be commended… before they shot it down.

No question speeding up this long unrequited civic dream by at least a decade was a worthy goal. But there were all those reasons….

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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 mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8419 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.

6 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Arjun Singh’s valiant, short-lived plan to get something done

  1. A good way to think about life in general is to make one’s own plans with only a bit of help from government.
    One of the best things we did (although we have had dogs before), was to adopt a rescue, invest time and patience and a lot of time walking it. I/we have met people who stop and chat about lots of things. They all know our dog’s name; don’t really care if they know mine.
    I even had gal just under 20 years old tell me she didn’t want to be like her mom. Oooops….. too much information.
    Doctors would do well to suggest or prescribe a pet to people who will be responsible owners. A pet benefits physical & emotional health. Our dog was a rescue but became a therapy dog through St. John Ambulance. Gotta love that. On leave due to the pandemic, however.
    No master plan from any politician went into the lifestyle. Maybe look for a busy dog; one that needs a job to do; one that loves to walk and be friends with people. Three walks a day & we both love it.
    Ours might even make a great mayor, I would think.

  2. Or to quote the Great One – You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take!

  3. Converse to Mr Pierre here, accepting Arjuns basic concept but giving it a pass at this juncture is simply prudent, and the 5 members who voted against it should be (be it in an unexcited, small flag waving, eye roll kind of way) held up as listening to tax payers for once and questioning visionary projects like this, as appropriate at this time.

    Lets be clear here; it was just last year that Council agreed to, and voted to focus financial decision making, with the goal of not increasing property taxes this year … period, and the requirement that creates is at moments like this making decisions aligned to that concept. Whether or not they were aware of it, thats exactly what these 5 members did.

    I for one am not surprised that Mr. Walsh and Ms. Sinclair argued and voted for this idea, as in the past many of their votes can be analogised in the realm of a toddler demanding to eat their desert first, then during dinner refusing to accept the promise to eat their broccoli in order to get their preferred piece of pie … and ruining everyone’s evening by their run rampant mood.

    As Mel describes, the potential grant that might pay for these projects makes the conversation much more complex than a simple yay/nay, but to get there from here would require ‘a study’ … that terrifying word that automatically equates a $30,000 cost to the City that would inevitably end up requiring another ‘study’ to study the first ‘study’ … the unending cyclical process that Council should be wary of.

    It is fair to define this vote as transparent, reasoned and based on actual street level, tax payer public engagement as apposed to the usual timbit fuelled ‘engagement events’ real Kamloopians dont attend because they are too busy working to pay their taxes.

    • The preparations could have began and without any tax increases as everyone is aware of the present predicament. Arjun motion was, I believe investigative. Kamloopsian don’t attend “engagement evens” (or otherwise engaging) not because they are too busy working to pay taxes but because they are too busy with an attitude of indifference.

    • David: Your comment and the recent council decision made me think of the apt (for the circumstances) Economist magazine slogan: “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”

  4. Yes the rhetoric and the posturing won again. They campaigned on transparency, they campaigned because they were tired of the status quo, they campaigned on engagement, they campaigned on reasoned arguments but basically they campaigned on falsification of their true intentions. There should be an impeachment process at the municipal level! The five that voted against this proposal have pretty much showed consistency in their inability to steer Kamloops onto a new, modern, intelligent path. We are unquestionably worse off with them at the helm.

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