The list of Salmon Arm residents hitting the campaign trail continues to grow, with three running for mayor and eight seeking a seat on council.
Recent additions to the race for council are newcomer Chris Meikle and incumbent Louise Wallace Richmond.
For Wallace Richmond, the decision to seek re-election was an easy one to make. She says she enjoys the work, that it’s a compelling thing to be a part of, and she wishes to keep the momentum going.
“You get out what you put in. And so I kind of made the decision early on, you know what, I’m all in,” said Wallace Richmond.
Having already gone through what she describes as a “super humbling learning curve” of being a city councillor, Wallace Richmond says she is better equipped to focus her attention on issues over and above the city’s main responsibilities (road, sewer, water, etc.) She explains more and more cities are recognizing the power of social development, and how if you really want to harness that power, you have to take a leadership role in terms of bringing people to the table, understanding their needs, their pain points and whether or not there’s opportunities to facilitate simple solutions.
“My focus has always been social impact of decisions, open communication and a sense of belonging, because if you don’t belong to something you can’t help it,” said Wallace Richmond. “And I feel like I belong here. Salmon Arm has invested in me, I’ve invested in Salmon Arm, we have this reciprocal relationship and I think we’re in a good place and I’d really like to keep on keeping on.”
Meikle is running with the Prosperity 4 Salmon Arm campaign slate of council candidates Sylvia Lindgren and Mary-Louise McCausland, and Jim Kimmerly, who is no longer running for council but is now seeking the mayor’s chair.
Kimmerly, who spearheaded the community group, says Meikle, 30, offers a young person’s perspective on local government.
“Chris wants to see more industry in Salmon Arm that offers good employment opportunities for young people,” said Kimmerly.
Meikle is a contractor with 15 years in the steel fabrication industry, and runs Idea 64 Projects.
Kimmerly will be campaigning against incumbent Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper and Coun. Alan Harrison.
“I just kind of looked at what I thought needed to be done here, I thought I could do that as a councillor,” explained Kimmerly. “But when I look at the way things are shaping up, the things that our group would like to see and myself personally, they’re not going to happen unless there’s someone in the mayor’s chair who can push that forward and turn it into reality.
Kimmerly said he wants to see strong leadership in the mayor’s chair and, “I don’t think the two candidates that are declared at this stage have that type of background.”
“You have to be able to sell ideas and concepts and get people excited about things and build some momentum and bring people together and all those types of things,” said Kimmerly. “And we’re not getting that and haven’t been for a long time. We haven’t had a leader in the mayor’s chair for 13 years.”
Wallace Richmond and Meikle are up against incumbent Couns. Kevin Flynn and Tim Lavery, newcomer Aaron Brooks and Wayne Matthews, a former city councillor who, initially, was running with Prosperity 4 Salmon Arm but is now running on his own.
Couns. Chad Eliason and Ken Jamieson have not yet stated they’ll be seeking re-election.
Nomination packages can be found online at salmonarm.ca, and can be filed between Sept. 4 and 14.