After spending the past 25 years in Kamloops serving as your local mailman, I felt confident I had a strong grasp on how big the City of Kamloops was.
I was wrong.
Working in city hall and representing Kamloops as your city councillor these past eight months has truly opened my eyes to just how big our community is and what it takes to manage it.
As a mail carrier, I was fortunate enough to interact with the public daily, getting to know and see the people and neighbourhoods that made this city the place I was so blessed to raise my children within.
I heard and saw the issues people faced daily, whether it was the pot holes on their street, the intense winter snowfalls or a feeling of disconnect at city hall.
It helped me engage with members of my community and helped me build my platform to assist in creating a stronger and more united version of Kamloops.
I’m very fortunate to be working with a great and diverse team of councillors, led by Mayor Ken Christian, as well as the staff we have.
Their dedication digging into data, compiling reports and answering our questions around the clock often goes unnoticed — and they are the true unsung heroes of what transpires at city hall.
We would not be able to proceed with a number of local projects without the hard work our city staff does to secure federal and provincial funding.
We should be thankful our federal and provincial taxes are coming back to benefit our city and not going to Kelowna or Prince George, which means local taxpayers do not bear the full burden of needed projects.
I am proud of the amount of events and functions that occur daily and I have tried to attend as many as possible in order to keep a pulse on the community and learn from the amazing leaders and people found within the municipality.
Whether it is festivals, neighbourhood-engagement meetings or more formal functions, I’ve been able to find value and grow as a person, community member and professional through these experiences.
My feelings toward Kamloops have always been those of pride and a feeling of togetherness.
While my perspective has evolved as I’ve stepped away from delivering mail and stepped into the public light as your city councillor, the fact remains the sense of passion I feel for and see in Kamloops is beyond incredible.
It motivates me to serve and give back each and every day.
There are few words to describe my gratitude for this great opportunity. I am truly dedicated to giving back as much as I can to a city that has given so much to me.
While I’ve transitioned away from Mailman Bill and into Coun. Sarai, I hope those who know me (and those who don’t) understand I am always available to talk to — and I will always listen.
I’ll always be a community member first and foremost and I am passionate about how you feel we are doing as a council and as a city.
I’m deeply humbled by the experience thus far and I look forward to continue building upon this journey.
Bill Sarai is a Kamloops councillor. Council columns appear monthly in KTW and online at kamloopsthisweek.com. Sarai can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To comment on this column, email email@example.com.