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 ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.