KAMLOOPS — Ken Christian has announced his intentions to seek re-election as the mayor of Kamloops. He held an event on the steps in front of City Hall, nearly a year after he won the mayor's chair in a by-election last September.
Nearing the one-year anniversary being elected mayor, Christian says he wants more after having a taste of what it's like to be the head of the city.
"Serving in this capacity this past year has been a tremendous honour," he said. "It's shown me how complex and how critical this role is to making Kamloops the affordable and caring community that we all desire."
Christian won last year's by-election on Sept. 30 by more than 6,000 votes. It followed years as a city councillor and previously as a school board trustee.
On Wednesday, in his bid to earn a four-year term as mayor, Christian outlined his five-point platform to build on the promises he made last year.
"Building relationships, controlling taxes, affordable housing, downtown revitalization and a dependable infrastructure for this city," he noted.
Among the infrastructure promises, Christian hinted at a refocused commitment to snow removal, a hot-button topic among citizens every winter in Kamloops. But the mayor wouldn't put a number on any potential budget increases.
"The citizens of Kamloops spoke pretty loud and clear to me over the winter and into the spring about their concern about the deteriorating infrastructure in this city," said Christian. "We need to work with administration and our public works department in terms of making sure we have the best equipment, the best scheduling and the best operators to make sure this city is safe."
He'll have to balance that promise with his commitment to keeping tax increases at a minimum.
"I'm not going to say what the tax increases will be, but I'm going to tell you that I'm going to work hard to make sure that any increase is justified and serves the needs of the citizens of Kamloops," he said.
Christian noted his council has approved a half dozen affordable housing projects during his term as mayor and it will be one of his top priorities moving forward.
"We currently have a need for around 2,000 units in the City of Kamloops," Christian said. "It talks about everything from shelters for the homeless through to affordable, entry-level housing. We're working on all of those fronts to make sure that we have a housing stock that's going to be available."
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