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Kamloops mayor seeks input from election candidates

Former candidates who wish to provide feedback on strategic planning are asked to contact the mayor and council at city hall
Kamloops Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson.

Kamloops Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson wants input on city council’s strategic planning from all candidates who ran in last year’s civic election.

Hamer-Jackson told KTW he is trying to reach out to his four mayoral challengers and the 15 unsuccessful councillor candidates to gauge their opinions ahead of council’s strategic planning meeting which is set for Jan. 27.

The mayor said he feels it would be a good idea to include input from more people who put their names on the ballot as they would likely have ideas from their campaigns on ways to improve Kamloops.

“It’s just a thought to include people that have all been running to make Kamloops a better place and I’m here to make Kamloops a better place,” Hamer-Jackson said. “And if we can get more participants in there, especially people who ran for mayor and council, why wouldn’t we?”

Former councillor and mayoral candidate Arjun Singh said Hamer-Jackson reached out to him about the idea, noting he agreed to offer some suggestions. Ultimately, though, Singh feels such decisions have to come from the elected council.

“Those people rose to the top of the ballot and that’s their responsibility and their role now,” Singh told KTW, noting the city’s recently published community satisfaction survey was deliberately timed to be published in time for the new council’s strategic planning session.

Singh said while it’s admirable Hamer-Jackson wants to invite the candidate field into the strategic planning process, it’s important not to give any one person or group any privilege in the process just because they ran for office. He added that any such consultation should be done with the consent of the rest of city council.

Hamer-Jackson said he had not posed the idea to the rest of council as of Jan. 23, but feels it’s a positive step that will be inclusive of more of the community. He told KTW it will ultimately be up to council to decide if any feedback it receives is included in the new strategic plan.

Hamer-Jackson said he has his own ideas for strategic planning, noting he has read the previous council’s 2019-2022 document and wants to see more of it implemented. He said he would also like to tweak some of it, such as making community safety a higher priority.

Former candidates who wish to provide feedback on strategic planning are asked to contact the mayor and council at city hall, at 250-828-3311.