Bill Sarai says he will have time to give back to his community when he retires from Canada Post after more than three decades as a letter carrier. Sarai ran in the 2017 byelection, placing fifth out of 21 candidates seeking to fill two seats.
The 56-year-old married father of three ran, in part, because he felt the city had become divided over the proposed Ajax mine. He said the city has yet to heal from division over the since-defeated project south of Aberdeen.
“It’ll take fresh voices and knowledge to bring our city back together again,” he said.
Sarai hopes to be one of those fresh voices on council when voters go to the polls on Oct. 20. He said attracting new business would keep crime down and taxes low. As a letter carrier, he took on an advocacy role for improved snow removal in the city. He rallied together 90 or more letter carriers in town to canvas city streets and found that “some streets weren’t done at all.”
He notified city staff and is pleased the issue will be addressed in next year’s budget talks. City staff has asked for more funding to maintain service levels as the city grows.
“I always said I want to speak up for the people of Kamloops,” Sarai said.
He has volunteered for the city’s Social Planning Council, Kamloops Youth Soccer Association, the Western Canada Summer Games and the recent BC Winter Games. He has been a member at the Eagles Hall, Moose Hall and the Royal Canadian Legion.
Asked to evaluate city council in its last term, Sarai said his time delivering mail in Kamloops has allowed him to see and speak to everybody.
“I see a disconnect between the citizens of Kamloops and city council,” he said, noting residents’ concerns don’t match up with actions by council.
He’d prefer potholes be repaired before the city promotes Bike to Work Week. Another priority would be to “jump start” the economy to allow students who are educated in the city to stay and work in Kamloops once they graduate. The Brocklehurst resident also noted a lack of sidewalks in areas of Brock and North Kamloops, with kids walking to school on the shoulder of a road.
“That’s unacceptable,” he said.
Sarai will be at the upcoming Labour Day picnic in McDonald Park, will host a mid-September campaign barbecue and can be found on Facebook.
He can also be reached by email here, while his phone number is 250-574-2646.