Kamloops chiropractor Stephen Karpuk has some ideas for the city.
He envisions a public market at Sixth Avenue and Columbia Street, near the Peterson Creek multi-use pathway, a covered pathway over the Thompson River, expanding the Rivers Trail and relaxing zoning regulations to allow people to operate businesses in their backyards. The latter could result in a pizza shop, craft brewery or scooter shop along the Rivers Trail, Karpuk said.
“There’s lots of opportunity to enhance that, but we have to get creative,” he told KTW.
The 49-year-old has long been an ideas man. He helped launch Thompson Rivers University’s Back to School Barbecue and helped lure the RCMP Musical Ride to the city as a longtime member of the Aurora Rotary Club of Kamloops.
While Karpuk said the city needs to address homelessness and affordable housing, he noted amenities will draw professionals to the city to deliver services.
He used the Rivers Trail as an example, calling it an “incomplete project.”
Karpuk would like to see it completed from one side of the city to the other, to help commuters and encourage visitors. He sees tourism as an opportunity for the city and pointed to a recent study by Tourism Kamloops estimating economic spinoff in 2017 was $449 million.
Karpuk became a chiropractor and opened Aberdeen Chiropractic Clinic in 2003. Before that, he worked as a forestry planner. He also wants to see the city take a proactive approach to reduce interface fire risks.
Karpuk has been attending council meetings for the past five months and said staff aren’t being asked hard questions. He thinks communication could also be improved.
Karpuk ran in the 2017 byelection. He placed seventh among 21 candidates and cited his lack of social-media skills as a reason he did not snare one of the two seats up for grabs. A one-man operation during that campaign, he said he will have help this time around.
Karpuk is married to school trustee Kathleen Karpuk and the couple has three kids, ages eight, 10 and 13. Karpuk is also chair of his business’s strata board and dealt with complaints about Canna Clinic, which made headlines in the city.
While he wasn’t against the operation, the clinic was unneighbourly, he said.
“I’ve had some pretty good dealings with the city on that one,” he said.