The Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce is bringing together those individuals seeking to be Salmon Arm’s next Mayor and Council.
The 2022 Municipal All Candidate’s Forum took place on October 4th, 2022 for both Council and Mayoral candidates for the City of Salmon Arm. The video of the event is posted on our YouTube Page and can be watched here:
Below are the responses from the candidates on the following question:
“What are your 3 primary goals for the next 4 years and how are you going to achieve this?”
Goal One: “Attract Young Families.” We are open for business. We have worked on this theme for the past 4 years. The rebranding of Salmon Arm, (Small City, Big Ideas) and the resulting interest from investors and families wanting to move here, has been good for our City. Our Economic Development arm of the City has lead this focus. Collaboration with other providers like Downtown Salmon Arm, Shuswap Tourism, the Chamber and City Tourists Services, makes for a united message. Our target needs to continue to be young families. All of our decisions, whether about housing, policing, recreation or childcare, needs to keep this demographic in mind.
Goal Two: “Project completion and initiation.” I want to see to completion, both the Salmon Arm West four-laning/bridge project and the Ross Street Underpass. I have been intricately involved in both these projects. They are due for completion in spring of 2023. The Lakeshore Road revitalization, which includes water infrastructure upgrades, road rebuild and a parallel pathway is high on my list. Expansion of our sewage treatment plan is a must. With our Active Transportation Network Plan on the verge of completion, funding recommendations to increase our walking and cycling opportunities is important.
Goal Three: “ Continued Progressive Leadership.” Over the past 4 years, Council has followed a shared-leadership model. Of course, there are leadership duties that a mayor must fill, however flattening the leadership spectrum, encouraging each Councillor to lead, is a model I believe in. This philosophy also spreads throughout the City. We are redefining our culture. Our goals: diversity, creativity and innovation. Building relationships with all other levels of government (Indigenous, Regional, Provincial, Federal), regardless of affiliation, is crucial to moving our City forward.
Our infrastructure and services, like the ones our amazing hospital provides, have to grow in step with our population. Transportation systems that are sustainable, like our bus system, must work for the ridership. We should explore e-scooter systems such as Vernon has trialed in an effort to address a potential increase in emissions as our community continues to grow and expand. We also need to address safety as an important aspect of the infrastructure that shouldn’t be overlooked, such as the lack of sidewalks planned for in Canoe. Finally, inequities in infrastructure should not exist, and I would request city staff to review all areas of the city to ensure that every tax dollar is utilized equally when addressing the need for infrastructure in the greater community. To achieve these needs, Council and I will work with all levels of government to ensure that we don’t approve new development without planning for the infrastructure to support the development and the citizens that are part of them.
When business and industry want to locate to or expand here, the people who make the businesses successful must have a place to live, a home, whether rental or purchase, that is attainable within their budget. Business cannot entice qualified workers who cannot find a place for themselves and their families to live. There are methods that we can use as a council to increase the rental stock that would be beneficial to those who live here. The provincial government has recently made suggestions that could potentially assist in increasing housing stock in various communities. Council and I could explore all options with senior governments to work on the housing issue as well as with local developers.
Residents should be able to depend on a transparent and accountable council, one who routinely makes known to the public the issues and projects they are working on, and how those are being funded. Social media, email, and print media are just a few of the options that council has available to them to share news of their efforts on behalf of the community. We could easily take a page from the Mayor of Sparwood who shares the highlights of each council meeting on his social media. I will make communication an essential part of the work that we do as your elected representatives.
Because Salmon Arm Matters.
The 3 primary goals I have as Mayor.
1. Increase in participation from the people in our community.
2. Housing Security, Food Security and Job Security.
3. Utilize public input, resources, energy and expertise to create solutions.
It is time to shift our thinking from, “How is the Government going to fix this?”, to “What things can we do as citizens to better our community”? I will work at great length with agencies, community groups, schools, churches, businesses etc to bring more awareness and request for public participation. Expansion of any existing youth employment/internship programs within the city. Personal and property security in the city will require not only increased law enforcement, but citizen led programs. Initiatives to help educate, encourage and facilitate the public to maintain the cleanliness and vibrancy of the region. Expand our community approach to address the vulnerable populations. Simple acts will start to compound.
I will make it a priority to streamline our development process. There will be an extra focus on the development of multi family and affordable units. I will use my expertise at efficiency management to maximize our capabilities. We need to investigate all existing bylaws that are restrictive and outdated in terms of the current needs of our city. Another immediate concern is the lack of shelter for our homeless population.
Our food security is also a short term priority. I will explore the abilities that the city has to help alleviate these crisis’ short term and collaborate with the community to help contribute going forward. Over the next 4 years I will focus on efforts to work with all food producers in the city as well as the entire interior BC to understand the difficulties and barriers that restrict them from providing their fresh local food to the homes of our citizens. An affordable, healthy and available hybrid food system that allows us the comforts of the world but will protect us in times of disruption. And job security. Council needs to take an active and aggressive role in attracting and developing well paying jobs locally. This includes investment and growth in the tech sector, secondary manufacturing and food processing.
My vision is to create a Social/Political online platform for Salmon Arm which will allow residents to offer input, solutions, concerns, ideas, resources, etc. To have these ideas be heard by the masses and disseminated will be the ultimate form of democracy. This platform will be created in Salmon Arm and will utilize our tech hub strategy. Our combined brilliance, expertise, perspectives, energy, thought and abilities can all be united and utilized for the benefit of our community. The world is changing at a pace never before seen in history and it is the duty and responsibility of good government to keep up with and adapt to these changes.
For an expanded version please visit www.shuswapcommunity.com
If I’m elected, I will focus on transparency, open dialogue, fair play, cooperation, honesty, integrity, common sense, and strong community.
- No anonymous votes in City Council. Councillors are public servants and people should know how they have represented them
- All invoices, receivables and payables, must be published on the City’s official website so we can all see how public money is spent
- Publishing all information in the public interest relating to City that the public deserves to know about how the city is managed.
- Equal time for open dialogue with every person or organization in the city
- Open dialogue with all level of provincial and federal government and institutions based on equal partnership
- Every council meeting will include time for discussion with the public on any topic without special request
- The removal of all vaccine mandates for City employees
- To create an environment where all people and companies have equal opportunity to work and live in the city
- To facilitate cooperation with every person, company and organization in this city
- To create symbiotic relationships between people in this community
- To build relationships with other municipalities and districts for mutual benefits
- To adhere to this honest platform, point by point
- To commit to be honest with my words, work and actions
- To focus on what’s right for the community and all of its members at all times
- That corruption in any form is impermissible.
- To follow common sense regardless of outside influences
- To focus on priorities that are common to us all: clean air, good water, healthy food, affordable homes and a safe community to live in and raise our children
- Every action focus to build a strong local micro- economy; from global to local.
- Strong community, based on strong families and members of the community.
My primary goals for the next four years if re-elected are as follows:
Attracting large events to our community in the shoulder seasons. I would seek support from my council colleagues and city staff, and work closely with EDS (Economic Development) and their event coordinator, and the Recreation Society.
Expanding and linking our active transportation network. Connectivity and enabling green transportation is so critical – in particular, we need to look at connecting our waterfront trail to Canoe Beach and getting started on the West Bay trail. I will actively seek out relevant funding and continue to support the work of our Active Transportation Committee. I will also collaborate with First Nations and stakeholder community organizations such as the Shuswap Trail Alliance.
New pool and retrofitting of existing recreation centre. Our rec centre is an aging infrastructure, and it is now recognized as medium priority in our strategic plan. Money has been set aside to do the design build, and I have worked hard to ensure this initiative was supported at budget deliberations. I want this project to be “shelf ready” so that when relevant grants come available, we are in a position to pursue them.
My 3 primary goals for the next 4 years are as follows.
Keep Salmon Arm Great
- Actively remove and / or simplify legislation where possible.
- Focus on the creation of an Urgent Care Clinic to work in conjunction with the ER.
- Will advocate for Weekend and Holiday snow removal so we can actually use our sidewalk infrastructure on days where most people are not at work. Over the Christmas holiday last year, the sidewalks around town were unuseable.
- More Garbage / Recycling cans around town. Around town garbage and recycling cans are often too far to be practically used on most walking routes in town. More sites to dispose of waste or recycling will reduce litter around town.
- Focus on the best return on money spent when discussing road construction and maintenance. Also open to exploring new technologies for maintenance/repair.
- Represent Conservative views. Salmon Arm tends to vote Conservative on a federal and provincial level. I would provide a voice that seemingly is underrepresented locally
- Will support enforcement of laws.
Keep Cost of Living Low
- Vote against any tax/fee increases unless absolutely necessary for the next 1-2 years. Salmon Arm is in good financial shape to absorb some of the increased cost of living. Inflation affects everyone, however people on the lower income level feel the impacts most acutely. If the city can absorb some of the financial burden in the short term, everyone here would see the benefits.
- I will also work with other Councillors to see the benefits of keeping taxes low for the population, especially in these times of inflation.
- Will help keep people in their houses and hopefully prevent people from becoming homeless.
Resist the “Woke” Culture Shift
- Repeal Non-Gendered Washroom Designation. This legislation was passed unanimously and does not in any way reflect the views of the people. It is likely the beginning of more legislation that would put the health and safety of women and girls at risk. Predatory men will always take advantage of laws like this.
- Use Objective vs Subjective Reasoning when Discussing Gender Ideology and laws relating to social issues.
- Will not simply follow others to virtue signal, and will use common sense.
- Will vote and advocate against all medical mandates. I actively believe in informed medical consent. Forcing medical treatments on people is unethical.
As a 5 term City Councilor seeking re-election, I have never ran on a single issue, or even stated three issues or goals in any campaign. My overarching goal as an elected official is to work positively and professionally with honesty, respect and integrity to improve Salmon Arm.
This should not be about my goals and objectives, it should be about what the community wants and needs and what services/infrastructure we as a Council and Staff are mandated and/or asked to deliver. I want to ensure we know what the “must haves”, “needs” and “wants” are and then ensure we deliver services and infrastructure effectively and efficiently. Property taxes are our one source of revenue, and as a business owner with a financial background I will continue to make sure we are efficient in our spending.
If successfully re-elected I will work hard to move our new, updated Strategic Plan forward. My decisions at the council table will be guided by this important document. The strategic plan was updated and expanded recently and is about to be released to the public.
A very respected consultant who provides services to municipalities all over Canada worked with staff, council, community groups, and citizens to get input on projects, infrastructure, needs, wants and desires. The financial plan then determines how we pay for the “stuff”. Obviously, all those that have provided input into the plan have different perspectives. This document is a roadmap on how we move forward together and achieve our goals.
The Strategic Plan breaks deliverables and projects into Short Term, Mid Term, and Long Term deliverables. It is very detailed, and the lengthy process included many touch points for the community, staff and council.
I will never pick personal pet projects but to me deliverables that excite me or I feel are must-haves and should be included in the Short term are as follows: Lakeshore Road widening and improvements with alternative transportation options (bike/walking path), the Auto Road Connector (key transportation connector), Wastewater/Treatment plant upgrades (odour control) and improved capacity as our population grows, improving Indiginous relations with our neighbors, and planning for a new/expanded Aquatic Center and Rec facility.
The bottom line is that everyone has had an opportunity to be involved in the development of our new Community Strategic Plan. If re-elected I will work on execution of the plan. Staff, Council and the Community developed this road map. I want to help drive us down the chosen road as we all work together to deliver and make Salmon Arm better for everyone. We all live in an amazing community and I want to lead improvement for all our residents, including my children and my grandchildren.
Kevin Flynn…for “Positive Experience”
Thank you for the invitation to participate during the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce’s All-Candidates Forum. I am sincerely excited to have the opportunity to connect with the electorate and discuss my passion to serve the community.
First and foremost, I want to provide a broader understanding of what I will bring to the table as your next Councillor. If you vote for me, I promise to work diligently as a:
➡ Community Coalition Builder; I will bring diverse groups and stakeholders together towards the common goals of developing a sustainable, creative and vibrant City and surrounding area.
➡ Fiscally Responsible Representative; I will wisely use our financial resources to create opportunities for sustainable growth, long term plan achievement, and short term benefits. I will work to utilise funding opportunities through grants and co-operatives with various levels of provincial and federal government.
➡ Collaborative Innovator and Creative Problem Solver; I will play well with others by recognizing and utilising the power of combining ideas, approaches, and responses to issues in constructive and empowering ways while moving forward. I will bring a fresh perspective towards creative solutions and I am excited to work with others as well as spearhead new initiatives in the areas of culture building, complex housing issues, the economy and the environment.
Together we have an opportunity to create a fresh and new perspective for our community that embraces a vibrant, inclusive, sustainable and creative Salmon Arm.
My primary goal for Salmon Arm is to empower the community. I want the people to have a say in their life, health, and city. Never again will a blanket mandate be forced on the people. Groups will also be supported in what they do best. Be it community gardens, helping the vulnerable, or planning a barbecue. People working together for each other will be encouraged.
I am very interested in coming up with a solution for the homeless. My focus being recovery rather than enabling sickness. I have a 4 step plan. First will be reopening the shelters. Then recruiting helpers from the recovery community to interact with those who want a new way of life. As they begin to heal they will progress to second stage housing Finally we will find jobs and volunteer opportunities in the city to bring purpose back into their lives.
Affordable housing is an absolute must in Salmon Arm. This will be developed even if something else has to suffer. We need places for young families and employees for entry level jobs. All levels of housing is necessary for a community to thrive.
My number one goal in running for council is to do whatever can be done at the local level to prevent the tyranny and authoritarianism we’ve seen for the last two and half years from ever happening again. As a healthcare professional, I’m ethically and morally obligated to defend patient autonomy and privacy. Governments have demonstrated an unacceptable willingness to trample on our rights in the name of the ‘greater good’. There is no greater good than protecting the sovereignty of the individual. It is extremely unwise to give up freedom in the name of security, and I hope it’s not too late to turn the tide.
My second goal is to make sure the council does whatever we can to facilitate the completion of the new aquatic centre/rec centre/performing arts centre. I would love to see Salmon Arm have an amazing venue to host world-class events. There are a lot of new, young families in this community and the existing pool facilities could use a major upgrade. I’m not sure what is required in terms of partnerships with the provincial or federal governments, or the private sector, but obviously my bias is towards the private sector.
My third goal is to address the homelessness and addiction issues that have gotten dramatically worse over the past few years. It’s sad to see the graffiti at Blackburn park, and it’s terrible to have to worry that there could be someone doing drugs in the bathroom so you can’t send a child in there alone. Again, I prefer not to have government solving problems, but, until we figure that out, I think the city needs to work with the province, and local agencies that already understand the problem, to come up with the resources necessary to provide shelter and care for people.
The primary job of an elected official is to make decisions and set policy directions with the support of a majority of council. While some decisions may be relatively minor or short term, many decisions are consequential for the future of Salmon Arm. To get these important decisions right, it requires elected officials to know about the community, what it needs and how to get there. It requires measured, researched and thoughtful approaches; understanding how council works; having the capacity and experience to deal with complex issues and knowing how to navigate with higher levels of government who often control the needed purse strings. It requires advocating ideas with the community and productively collaborating with the other decision-makers on council to get things done.
I have the local government experience, skills and standing with both colleagues and the community to craft effective policies and make the consequential decisions that are required. That’s my track record of “How” things get achieved.
My primary goals for this next term are contained within the Four Pillars of initiatives I will advance and support. They reflect what a Liveable, Reliable, Affordable and Sustainable Salmon Arm can accomplish. My top goals are increased support for our residents who are vulnerable, supporting affordable housing solutions across the housing spectrum, developing a best-practice Climate Action plan with new funding that is just now available and implementing the soon-to-be released Active Transportation plan for safe connecting walking and biking infrastructure over the next 20 years.
There are numerous goals under each pillar that I am proposing for this next term. Some initiatives are now underway but need to be further supported, some are in the hopper and will be coming before the new council to decide and others are ideas and motions for the future that I will introduce.
I expect all the goals that I have laid out to be underway in the first 12 months of the next term.
These four pillars and the many corresponding proposed initiatives – including rationale and specifics – can be found in my platform at timlavery.ca
Please check it out.
Four years seems like a long time but it’s a short window to work towards long term goals for the city. In the last four years my initiatives included safe spaces for diverse folks, the first electric car in the city fleet, charging infrastructure at city hall, a living wage employer certification, tree protection, pesticide safeguards and supported other great works. As a team council and staff worked together to build a cultural master plan, an active transportation plan, renewed the strategic plan, approved over 800 new housing units including 130 units of social housing, reviewed our corporate energy consumption, developed social issues strategies….and we did it all while under the ever changing restrictions and uncertainty of a global pandemic. We did this in conjunction with the community, who were asking for progress in these areas, by working with experts and by building relationships amongst council, staff and other levels of government.
As restrictions become a distant memory we can devote our energy to preparation and mitigation for the changing climate. We will reduce our green house gas by improving our active transportation routes (ie bike lanes), adding more electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, encouraging the installation of heat pumps, improving our food security through local food sourcing and updating systems at the pool and Recreation Centre to improve efficiencies…just to name a few. Increasing density by building ‘up’ will improve walkability and increasing transit to the rural areas would reduce our reliance on private vehicles. Forest fires and flooding as well as extreme weather events are now more common and we have to take measures to increase fire protection and protect our infrastructure, particularly the water and sewer systems.
Safety for Salmon Arm residents is also of paramount importance. The beautiful diversity of our community is evident and all residents deserve to have safe spaces. The cultural mapping done by the community and the Arts Centre revealed that some spaces were not safe for gender diverse residents. Some areas of our province have seen a rise in aggression against culturally diverse folks and the current council and staff have committed to not allowing that to grow here. I am committed to support destigmatization and awareness and to stop discrimination and intolerance wherever I can.
The current work of the city committees is of great importance to me. We need diverse input. Some of the current issues can be addressed locally but others are bigger than our resources can manage and will require the input of provincial and federal funding sources. Partnerships based on trust and good will have been forged over the last four years and I am committed to building on that trust to bring resources to Salmon Arm so we can grow together. I ask for your support to re-elect me so that I can continue with this good work that we have begun. Please vote on October 15.
Please feel free to email email@example.com if you have further questions.
When seated at the Council table, elected representatives are not just making decisions about their own priorities, they are making decisions about shared ones. Everyone on Council has unique skill sets, interests and experience bringing diverse perspectives to important debates and decisions. My many years of experience in management and communication as a business owner and part time professor at the Okanagan College School of Business has helped me in those deliberations and in this role. It’s a job that I love. Don’t get me wrong, the first part of my first term was like drinking from a fire hose, but I learned and appreciate the rigour, rationale, expertise and effectiveness a functional council can contribute to a strong community.
And while I do have projects that I think are of value such as establishing a volunteer bureau, re-establishing our Youth Council and an annual Open House inviting community members to tour city facilities, my greater role, if re-elected, is to make a meaningful and measurable contribution to our shared priorities.
The city never stops, not even for election campaigns. As an operating organization with an annual budget of over 35 million, shared infrastructure and assets valued at almost a quarter of a billion dollars, over 100 employees, serving 8,500 households and 20,000 residents, it has to keep going. In order to properly allocate resources and tax dollars, the priorities are defined in the city’s strategic plan which is regularly updated. The most recent updated plan can be found here: https://www.salmonarm.ca/292/Corporate-Strategic-Plan. It lists the current, short, medium and long term city projects. In addition, these priorities are accounted for in the city’s long term financial and capital plan because, to some extent, like normal households, there’s only so much money to spend and limited borrowing capacity. Cities, unlike the provincial or federal government, can’t run deficits.
So back to the Chamber of Commerce’s question. What are my goals if elected for the next four years?
- An official community plan update for our growing community consistently ranked as one of BC’s best small cities
- A budget that supports the expansion/improvement of the waste water plant and climate resilient public infrastructure
- Borrowing capacity and planning for the new swimming pool
- A healthy relationship with the Province who, wether we like it or not, helps to pay the big bills
- Last but not least, a respectful and responsible council team that collaborates with community partners and understands that we are a better, more vibrant, more inclusive and more resilient, together
On October 15, it’ll be your call. My name is the longest one on the ballot. If you put your X next to it, you have my word.
- Salmon Arm has grown in the last 10 yrs, and yet the councilors have stayed largely the same. I see a gap in connection to our newer citizens and believe I can fill that gap as a “newcomer” that has also forged relationships with people that are deeply rooted in our community over the last decade. This kind of marriage between institutional knowledge and fresh ideas is necessary for the vitality and sustainability of a community. I’ve been engaging with citizens and organizations of all different backgrounds and goals throughout my campaign and this is just the beginning. I’ll continue this work with you long after October 15.
- Land use management is a big responsibility of the local government. The official community plan, developed in consultation with staff and outside consultants is a critical governance document and is coming up for review. My priorities will be to ensure that the consultants hired understand our unique challenges like geographical restraints and demographics. They must also be keenly dialed into the societal issues we are facing as a city and global citizens like affordability and climate disaster mitigation. Proving that they are evidence-based, data-driven, and pulling from the best practices from other municipalities while maintaining a strong willingness to collaborate with local knowledge keepers like committees and experts is paramount. I’m confident with the right professionals and strong community engagement Salmon Arm will be poised to come up with a plan that meets this moment at the scale and urgency required. Once the plan is developed we will need to implement mechanisms to hold ourselves and land users accountable to the plan. I am pro-ethical development that fulfills its responsibility to the community and honours those that have stewarded this land for time immemorial. It’s critical to future generations to give this the thought and follow through it deserves. It’s time to re-group, make a relevant plan, and stick to the plan where it is reasonable to do so.
- I participated in the branding committee for Salmon Arm which resulted in the small city big ideas tagline. Consultants were hired and they identified competitive advantages that resonated with my lived experience in Salmon Arm. Among those were affordability, work-life balance, and safety. The branding worked-Salmon Arm has grown. What I didn’t realize is that we didn’t have a plan or the infrastructure to handle that kind of growth and make good on those promises. Five short years later home ownership is less and less attainable for our young people and the working class, people are; grinding harder than ever, have less access to services they need, and are feeling less safe. My priorities will be advocating for our community needs at the provincial and federal levels where I have existing political relationships to work quickly and effectively to get us back on track. Whether new or old to Salmon Arm people deserve the good life that was promised to them. We can get back there together.
electkristinewickner.ca for more