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Sunderman enters Kamloops civic election race

Kamloops Voters Society president is seeking a seat on council in the Oct. 15 election
Sunderman, Randy portrait HORIZ
Randy Sunderman has announced his candidacy for Kamloops city council in the Oct. 15 civic election.

The president of the Kamloops Voters Society has entered the 2022 civic election race.

Shrouded in fog and blessed with a pause in rain showers on June 3, Randy Sunderland and his supporters gathered at the amphitheatre in Aberdeen’s West Highlands Park, where he listed six areas of municipal concern on which his campaign will be focused.

Those include ensuring fiscal responsibility, addressing community safety/pubic well-being, diversity and growth in housing stock, enabling effective climate action, establishing business-friendly practices and insisting on meaningful public engagement.

Sunderman said he wants to focus on non-tax revenue possibilities for the city and ensuring there is value for the dollar in expenditures.

He called community safety “perhaps the most complicated issue we will face in this election,” citing the resources being asked for, and used for, complex care and the homelessness issue.

As for the housing situation, Sunderman said the city has a good policy.

“But we need to focus on implementation, implementation, implementation,” he said.

In the 2014 civic election, five members of the Kamloops Voters Society ran for council under Vision Kamloops, a loose coalition that was not officially a slate.

Two of those members — Dieter Dudy and Denis Walsh — remain on council.

Sunderman said there are no plans to replicate such a coalition in this year’s election, noting he is the only candidate representing the principles of the Kamloops Voters Society.

On the city’s recently adopted climate action plan, Sunderman said the initiates are sound.

“But what I’m looking for is how we implement them in a cost-effective or a measured way,” he told KTW.

“It’s not about always spending the big dollars. I want to see where we’re going to get the best return to reduce greenhouse gases.”

Sunderman said the public needs to be more involved in city decisions.

“Effective decision involvement,” he said. “We have a lot to processes, which I would really call communications, you know, reporting out, which to me really isn’t engagement.”

Sunderman referred to it as the city “talking to” rather than “working with” residents.

As an example, he cited the situation during the 2018 civic election campaign, when a coalition of neighbourhood associations (Sunderman is chair of the Aberdeen Neighbourhood Association) asked that they be considered “stakeholders” to be consulted when the city is deciding on various issues.

“And everybody on council, during the election [campaign], said they would support that,” he said, noting council after the election voted down the proposal when the coalition of neighbourhood associations brought it forward.

As for the mayoral campaign, Sunderman said he knows three of the four candidates well — Dieter Dudy, Arjun Singh and Reid Hamer-Jackson — but does not know Ray Dhaliwal.

When asked which candidate he will support, Sunderman replied: “I’ll support all three that I know well. My goal is to work with whomever the mayor is. The objective is to try to bring my platform forward.”

Connecting

Sunderman can be contacted by phone at 250-314-1842, by email at rsunman@telus.net and via his website at sunderman-for-council.com.

The race is on

Sunderman joins a number of others — incumbents and challengers — seeking a spot on council as mayor or councillor.

Among incumbents, councillors Bill Sarai and Dale Bass have confirmed re-election bids. Kathy Sinclair will not seek re-election, while Sadie Hunter and Denis Walsh have yet to reveal their plans.

Mike O’Reilly is expected to announce soon whether he will seek re-election, take a run at the empty mayor’s chair or focus on private life.

Mayor Ken Christian will not seek re-election, which has led to councillors Dudy and Singh announcing mayoral campaigns, along with business owners Hamer-Jackson and Dhaliwal.

Also announcing intentions to run for council are former city councillor Nancy Bepple, business owner Shantel Renner and contracting firm manager Norris Laitinen.

Any others who have declared their candidacy or who plan on doing so can email KTW at editor@kamloopsthisweek.com.