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Turnbull pushes people power in his bid for mayor

William Turnbull wants to listen and speak up. The mayoral hopeful told KTW he wants the city to be run by residents and council, not by mayor and city staff.
William Turnbull
William Turnbull is seeking the mayor's chair in ther Oct. 20 civic election.

William Turnbull wants to listen and speak up.

The mayoral hopeful told KTW he wants the city to be run by residents and council, not by mayor and city staff.

He pointed to the defeated performing-arts centre proposal, which he said was destined to become a parking lot from the beginning.

Turnbull said public input could be improved if rules were changed to allow residents to speak at council meetings about topics that don’t relate to the business of the meeting.

“We need to have a look at that and we need to have a lawyer look at that,” Turnbull said.

The 51-year-old retiree has lived in Kamloops for little more than a decade after moving to the city from Williams Lake. He is married to Jennifer Turnbull, who works for Interior Health, and has an adult daughter, who lives on the Coast.

Affordable housing tops issues facing the Tournament Capital, said Turnbull.

“Which means it’s housing for everyone,” he said. “Housing is a concern for most people.”

Asked how he would tackle affordable housing as mayor, Turnbull said he has already started — by setting up a meeting with BC Housing’s regional director and donating $2,500 to JUMP, a drop-in soup kitchen in North Kamloops.

Turnbull does philanthropy work under the moniker Turnbull Humanitarian Foundation, though it is not a registered charity. Money comes from deceased family members, he said, which was invested, along with his own income, to live off while donating to various causes.

A logo for the foundation includes the motto “Fortuna Favet Audaci,” which translates from Latin to “Fortune Favours the Bold.”

Turnbull also donated to the first Pride Parade last year in downtown Kamloops, along with donating to the campaigns of Kathy Sinclair, Sadie Hunter and Bill McQuarrie in the 2017 byelection.

“One of the first things I asked was, a) are they human?” he said. “Reason being for that is do they care about other people?”

In evaluating council’s past term, Turnbull lauded Coun. Denis Walsh for standing alone on issues. He saw Walsh’s push for council agendas to be released earlier as a “slam dunk” and was surprised and angered when it wasn’t supported until it was “watered down.”

Asked if he would resemble Walsh if elected mayor, Turnbull said he has much to learn in his first run for politics.

“I would definitely continue to do my best to be passionate,” he said. “I’d be pretty surprised if it [being elected] silenced me.”

Asked about his ability to manage meetings, which would be part of the job as the city’s top elected official, Turnbull noted he has chaired the Downtown Neighbourhood Association (he lives downtown) and his strata council.

As the lone mayoral candidate to challenge Mayor Ken Christian, Turnbull noted Christian received 10,000 votes in last year’s byelection.

“If two-thirds of the progressives come out to vote, we got this,” he said.

Find Turnbull on Facebook by searching “William James Turnbull for Mayor of Kamloops.”