EDITORIAL – Weeding out the non-starters in civic election platforms

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

MORE AND MORE, the key issue in the October civic election in Kamloops is becoming clear.

It certainly won’t be subsidizing student tuition fees with City taxes, as candidate Darrell LaRiviere proposes. Nor will it be freezing rental prices, as suggested by candidate Corally Delwo.

That’s because neither of those things has anything to do with the authority of City council, and proposing them suggests one of two things: either the proponent doesn’t understand what City councils do, or comes out with them just because they sound good.

Don’t get me wrong. Candidates should be creative. Sometimes the most unlikely of ideas stick, though it’s certain neither of the above will be among them.

More such campaign planks will surely come forward between now and Oct. 15, to be added to the list of non-starters. As we discard them, it helps narrow the list of actual issues.

Interestingly, economy, growth and business development, normally bread and butter for candidates, aren’t emerging as priorities. That’s not good news for the chamber of commerce but that’s the way it is.

Those things aren’t what electors are thinking about right now. What they want are solutions to community safety.

Those two words — community safety — embrace everything from policing to drug addictions to shelters and housing, and they hit us smack in the face every single day on news reports.

While climate change and plastic bags are of interest, they’re simply add-ons to what people are really concerned about. Candidates like Nancy Bepple and Randy Sunderman seem to understand that in the way they’ve rolled out their platforms, and Daphane Nelson at least has condensed her priorities into an easily remembered slogan: “people, planet and prosperity.”

Of those three, “people” will be the focus for voters, and candidates who are able to best present a game plan for tackling the people issue of a safe community will rise to the top.

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 opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 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 – Weeding out the non-starters in civic election platforms

  1. Platforms will be interesting to follow and try to bend from brand-able power phrases, towards real world approaches to issues and decision making processes.

    People, planet and prosperity …. just what does that really even mean Council vote wise??? I for one am auto-weary about candidates playing the autocratic politician lingo game.

    I personally, will definitely look forward to hard statements on the way they would vote on budget items, projects, developments, bylaws and other issues that have fallen out of favour over deer in the headlights community safety, homelessness and addiction types of issues which … as has been said by those in the know … probably not in the jurisdiction of of City Council anyway.

    Call me old school … how ya gonna spend my tax money?

  2. Community safety (as it is playing out during this campaign) truly is important but largely outside of City council jurisdiction. It is not funny you didn’t mentioned it. Community safety is also a very broad issue. Just to name a few, it includes safe commuting, it includes safeguarding the potable water system (the City of Kamloops still doesn’t have a robust cross-connection bylaw for example), it includes an enforceable fire interface mandate and it also does (or it should) include forms of unnecessary noise control. It will be super-interesting to see what the candidates you have endorsed will propose as meaningful game plan. I would bet a large amount they won’t.

  3. John Noakes // August 23, 2022 at 6:25 AM // Reply

    Also included would be the episode of a “concentration camp comparison” by an incumbent. Not only was this totally inappropriate but also, the CAO and Mayor should have ensured an apology was made. That never happened and perhaps the voters will decide an appropriate outcome in October.

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