Kamloops council ready to strategize this week

Council will meet Thursday and Friday with city staff and a facilitator to outline priorities for its four-year-term

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian expects the economy, environment and livability to be top of mind during strategic planning this week.

Council will meet Thursday and Friday with city staff and a facilitator to outline priorities for its four-year-term.

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“I can tell you in broad strokes it will be about the economy, about the environment, about livability,” Christian said.

“Those will be some big-ticket things and sort of some fairly weighty discussions about that.”

The city has been conducting a review of its existing strategic plan and councillor platforms during the recent election campaign.

The last strategic plan resulted in expanded relationships with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, School District 73 and Thompson Rivers University, asset-management planning, KamPlan and a push toward alternative transportation.

Coun. Mike O’Reilly campaigned on keeping Kamloops affordable and investment-friendly.

Those priorities will be top of mind for the first-term councillor in determining council’s direction for the next four years.

Coun. Dale Bass said Kamloops’ population is expected to crest 100,000 people within three to five years — during this council’s term — noting the needs of a rapidly growing city need to be addressed.

“One of the things that I’m concerned about is transit and the road system because once you pass six figures, you have to start thinking in those terms. You can’t keep thinking, you know, we’re just a little tiny city,” Bass said.

“I think that’s going to be a significant rethink for the city administration because they’ve been doing things the same way for so long because we had stagnant growth.”

Coun. Denis Walsh is calling for “bold leadership” from the new council, which he said has potential due to its diversity, youth and creativity.

He said visions for the city are coming from private enterprise and staff recommendations.

“I think we haven’t really got the structure that allows that to happen,” he said.

Coun. Dieter Dudy noted issues of homelessness, community engagement, a cultural centre at Stuart Wood and a performing-arts centre will also likely be brought up.

He would like to see the regional district and Tk’emlups te Secwepemc pitch in cash.

“They’re involved in sharing the benefits,” Dudy said.

The new council earlier approved a committee structure shake-up.

© Kamloops This Week

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