Alan Harrison and Jim Kimmerly listen as fellow mayoral candidate Nancy Cooper gives her introductory speech at the Salmon Arm chamber-hosted all-candidates meeting held at the Salmar Classic Tuesday, Oct. 2. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Update: Salmon Arm mayoralty candidates provide views on city issues

Each candidate has answered two new questions in addition to their bio and the underpass question.

The Observer asked all three mayoralty candidates, Nancy Cooper, Alan Harrison and Jim Kimmerly, to provide a brief bio as well as a 75-word answer to the question: Are you for or against the Ross Street underpass project and why?

Two new questions have been added. The candidates’ answers are listed below, alphabetically.

Nancy Cooper

Bio:

Having lived in Salmon Arm most of my life and raising my family here, I am quite familiar with our wonderful city. My background includes 25 years family construction business partner, 20 years Okanagan College instructor, five years Business Manager for CMHA, active community volunteer for many years for non-profit organizations, as well as serving one term as city councillor and two terms as mayor.

Underpass:

In favour – accessibility and safety are my top reasons. The Ross Street Underpass will have sidewalks for pedestrians, scooters, and bicycles to navigate to the waterfront safely. The underpass will be high enough to provide uninterrupted access for buses, transport trucks, emergency vehicles, ambulances and firetrucks. The design includes a storm drain upgrade which is absolutely necessary and will alleviate flooding on Ross Street. The good news is there will be no tax increase!

Question 2: What should the city do to address homelessness?

I am in support of the City working with local non-profit agencies applying for provincial funding for a homelessness outreach worker for Salmon Arm, similar to what other communities have already done. These outreach workers connect with homeless individuals assessing individual needs and connecting them to appropriate services. I also support the City working with BC Housing and other local housing providers to increase the variety of available housing options, and thereby alleviating rental pressures.

Question 3: What do you think is the city’s most pressing need or issue and what is your solution?

As Salmon Arm continues to grow, our health and wellbeing facilities will need expansion. Our lovely hospital was last upgraded 10 years ago and I will lobby the province for the needed improvements.

In addition, recreation is an investment in our physical and mental wellbeing, helping to promote a healthy lifestyle, easing stress, and reducing the risk of disease. A new recreation centre can be designed by the community, for the community, for our future!

*****

Alan Harrison

Bio:

I was raised in Salmon Arm on a rural property at the foot of Mt. Ida. Following graduation, I worked at Federated Co-op, to help fund my schooling. After graduating from UBC, my wife and I went north. After five years in Tumbler Ridge, we returned to Salmon Arm, where I worked as a school principal for 29 years. Debbie and I loved raising our three boys here. I have served on City Council for 19 years. Recently retired, I have the time, experience and skills to be your mayor.

Underpass:

I will vote yes on my referendum ballot. Here is why:

#1. This will provide a permanent, safe transportation route for pedestrians, bikes and vehicles.

#2. The project can be completed with no tax increase. The debt on Shaw Centre will be retired in 2019. These savings will more than cover the annual debt payment.

#3. If we don’t complete the project now, Transport Canada will mandate on-going improvements to the present level crossings, which will result only in short term solutions.

Question 2: What should the city do to address homelessness?

The City needs to help support the construction of affordable housing. The key to building affordable housing is to assemble the involvement of multiple players – we at the City can do our part, but the taxpayers of Salmon Arm cannot do it alone. Public/Private partnerships, provincial assistance and having not for profit operators on board, are all necessary ingredients. I support this approach, and as Mayor will advocate strongly for provincial government funding.

Question 3: What do you think is the city’s most pressing need or issue and what is your solution?

If elected I will appoint a “Mayor’s Task Force,” on the highway through Salmon Arm. It will be asked to make recommendations in 3 areas:

• Recommend a bypass route for commercial traffic away from downtown Salmon Arm, to be implemented in our OCP.

• Recommend calming measures to the present highway traffic, that will increase the safety of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

• Recommend a site for a truck stop/tourist information/RV pull out along the highway, within city limits.

*****

Jim Kimmerly

Bio:

Jim is a resident of Salmon Arm, having lived here for 18 years. He operated a successful downtown financial services business for 16 years helping people with their financial goals. Jim became very active in the community with service in the Shuswap Rotary Club, Downtown Improvement Association and the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, becoming president of each of those organizations. He also served as a director on the Shuswap Hospital Foundation. Jim is married, enjoys biking, golf and investing.

Underpass:

I am in favour of better access to the waterfront but I am not convinced that the Ross Street Underpass is the best solution. Other options should have been presented to the public years ago for their input and consideration. Periodic flooding that will prevent use of the underpass on occasion along with traffic issues at Ross and Lakeshore are concerning. I will go with what the voters decide.

Question 2: What should the city do to address homelessness?

The number of homeless people is growing and needs immediate action or it will spiral into an unmanageable situation. Having a bylaw or fining homeless people in the downtown is not going to be the solution. We need to understand what the route causes of homelessness in the community are and develop a plan to fit the needs. This should include providing shelter and treatment that will help homeless people onto a more positive path.

Question 3: What do you think is the city’s most pressing need or issue and what is your solution?

The most urgent issue is housing for the homeless, low income and middle income people. To help meet these housing needs we need to have more multi family complexes built including apartment buildings for people to rent. There are developers who are interested in constructing multi family units but they need some financial incentives to help lower the cost of the land. I am willing to support this approach if i am elected.

*****


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