An editorial byMel Rothenburger.
KAMLOOPS FOLKS aren’t as happy as they used to be.
The Citizen Satisfaction Survey has been unveiled and the findings show residents of the Tournament Capital are less content than they were the last time it was done in 2019.
Six in 10 say the quality of life isn’t as good as it was, while only one in 10 say it’s improved.
Eighty per cent feel less safe; that’s double the number since 2019. Shockingly, only 38 per cent say they would recommend Kamloops to someone looking for a new place to live.
Much less surprisingly, the biggest issues are homelessness, crime and safety, housing and health. There’s been a noticeable jump in those categories since the last two times the survey was taken.
If you look on the bright side, the good news is that most people still feel the quality of life here is good, even if not as good as it was. We like the sports and other amenities, the weather, shopping, libraries and green spaces.
At the same time, 55 per cent are satisfied with overall services, even though that number has dropped substantially. Most are satisfied with City Hall’s response when they’ve contacted it about an issue, though that number, too, has dropped.
So what are we to make of all this? Is the town going to hell in a hand basket?
If so, just about every other town is doing the same, since the Kamloops perceptions are, by and large, average for the province. We certainly can’t blame everything on the pandemic. There’s no point in looking through rose-coloured glasses; neither is it good enough to contend, as Coun. Stephen Karpuk did, that much of it is in the “lane” of other levels of government.
The survey confirms what we knew. It’s all grist for the strategic planning and budget mills but it’s clear the old town isn’t what it used to be.
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.