Statement from the Mayor:
Today I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election on October 15, 2022. My final day as mayor will be November 1, 2022 and I commit, along with Council, to continue to work hard on your behalf as we complete the final elements of our Strategic Plan. I am making this announcement now to allow those who would seek to become Mayor a clear runway to organize a solid campaign and vision for the future of Kamloops. I will not endorse nor become involved in the 2022 election except to correct the record should anyone misrepresent the work of this administration. The Office of the Mayor is your office and who fills it will be your choice. Choose carefully.
I will offer some advice to those aspiring to become Mayor. To use an Olympic analogy being Mayor is more a team sport than an individual event. Your effectiveness will only be as strong as your ability to form a strong team with Council, administration and more recently with the British Columbia Urban Mayors Caucus. Without the support of Council you will suffer many humiliating defeats and votes. Without the support of administration you will see resignations, retirements, strikes, and grievances. Without the support of fellow Mayors, you will not be effective in important lobbying and legislative renewal initiatives.
I have been in public office for 29 consecutive years. I have run successfully in the last 10 municipal elections. I have served as a School Trustee, Chair of the School Board, Councillor, TNRD Director, President of the Airport Authority, Chair of the Hospital District, and for the past five years Mayor of Kamloops. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve in these positions and to serve you, the public.
I want to take some time to thank those that support me. First to Cyrstal Gelineau (and Jody Lewis before her) I owe a great deal of thanks for organizing and managing this office and keeping me pointed in the right direction every day. I have had candid respectful support throughout the organization. And, while I am most familiar with, and have the most interaction with, David Trawin and his senior leadership team it is the employees that really Make Kamloops Shine. It is Julia at the museum, Henry on Engine One, Howard in IT, Sarah in communications, Carol in payroll, Erik in the shop, and hundreds like them that bring their A-game every day. Whether they are employees like Inspector Jeff or seasoned veterans like Rod the Approving Officer, they come to work in service of our community.
I will admit these past two years have been difficult. Leadership in times of uncertainty and risk is much harder than in times of stability, yet Council and staff have performed admirably, and I sense now we are approaching a period of normalization. I do note that the toxicity of complaints and commentary is wearing but I am equally sure that it is a symptom of our time rather than a reflection of who and what Kamloops is.
For the most part the snow gets plowed, the potholes are filled, Kamloops Fire Rescue gets knock downs, the RCMP arrest the criminals, the sewers are not plugged, and clean safe water flows from our taps. This is the work of local governments and while we often take it for granted it is not the case everywhere and we should be grateful for the efficient and effective delivery of core municipal services.
So, on this Family Day 2022, I re-commit to my wife and partner Brenda, our three wonderful children, Nic, Jon and Taryn. You have made many sacrifices over many years that have allowed me to serve the community we all love. My service will now be directed to you, your dreams, and your pursuits.
Ken Christian, Mayor
City of Kamloops