Debbie and Alan Harrison join the crowd at the Salmon Arm Curling Rink where supporters were celebrating his victory as the city’s next mayor. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Highway bypass, hosting 55-plus BC Games on new council’s list

Salmon Arm council assigned committee and community positions

In addition to the business of their bi-weekly meetings, Salmon Arm’s new mayor and council will be busy working behind the scenes on 11 municipal committees and commissions as well as numerous external boards and community groups.

Mayor Alan Harrison announced who would be working with which municipal and/or external bodies at council’s inaugural meeting of Monday, Nov. 5.

“The work that councillors do on committees is often unseen work, yet it is amongst the most important work that we do here,” said Harrison. “I want to thank councillors for their part in building committee assignments that allow each councillor to use their strengths in the very best way for the city.”

In addition to representing council on the city’s Environmental Advisory Committee, council newcomer Sylvia Lindgren be working with the Okanagan College Regional Advisory Committee, the Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society and as the city’s Salmon Arm Fall Fair Liaison.

“These committees will provide Coun. Lindgren with the opportunity to get experience across a wide breadth of our community, and I appreciate her taking them on,” said Harrison.

Related: 2011 – City councillors divide the work

Coun. Debbie Cannon will be chairing the city’s Community Heritage Commission, and will also serve on the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District Tourism committee, the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues board and the Shuswap Recreation Society.

“Coun.Cannon and I, along with other councillors here and community members, share the idea of hosting the 55-plus Games in 2023 – that’s our goal,” said Harrison. “Many of these committees have connections with those, so I appreciate Coun. Cannon taking them on.”

Coun. Chad Eliason will be on the city’s Downtown Parking Commission and will represent the city on the CSRD board.

“While this list appears short, what does not appear on the list are Coun. Eliason’s involvement in a lot of regional work, including being on the board of Southern Interior Local Government Association, past president, the Municipal Insurance Association board and the UBCM (Union of B.C. Municipalities) board,” said Harrison. “This is very important and time- consuming work, and it certainly benefits the City of Salmon Arm. Thank you Coun. Eliason for taking those on.”

Also representing the city on the CSRD board will be Coun. Kevin Flynn, in addition to being the city’s voice with Downtown Salmon Arm, Salmon Arm Economic Development and Shuswap Community Futures. Harrison noted Flynn’s expertise and experience makes him well suited for each of these.

Related: 2014 – Council examines committees

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond will be getting back to work with the city’s Social Impact Advisory Committee and Housing Task Force. She’ll also be representing council on the city’s Cultural Master Plan Task Force and working on partnerships with First Nations.

“Coun. Wallace Richmond has started some important work on these committees,” said Harrison. “Her work with social impact and preparing for the building of the cultural master plan are works in progress – they are very important to our city. Thank you for taking them on and continuing.”

Coun. Tim Lavery will be working with the city’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, Greenways Liaison Committee and the Housing Task Force, as well as represent the city with the CSRD’s Shuswap Emergency Program, Okanagan Regional Library Board and the Shuswap Watershed Council. Harrison stressed the Housing Task Force is a key portfolio for the city.

“Our goal is to position ourselves so that we pull together multiple players and funding sources enabling affordable housing to be built,” said Harrison. “I am very appreciative of the work that you two (Couns. Lavery and Wallace Richmond) have done this far and educating us.”

Speaking for himself, Harrison noted the mayor is an ex officio member of all the city’s committees, “but with this incredibly capable group, I’m certainly wanting to let them take the lead on the areas that they’re in.”

Harrison said he looks forward to resuming work with both the Shuswap Regional Airport’s commission and committee, as well the Kelowna Airport Committee. He will also work with the Shuswap Emergency Program, be the city’s liaison with the fire department and the RCMP, and work with Wallace Richmond on First Nations partnerships.

“We will continue to grow these relationships that Mayor Cooper has established and we will work with our neighbours on mutually beneficial projects,” said Harrison.

Related: Shuswap athletes make strong showing at 55-plus BC Games

Lastly, Harrison said that in the new year he would be pulling together a mayor’s task force that would address local concerns regarding the Trans-Canada Highway.

“This task force will have three jobs,” said Harrison. “One, to research and recommend to council a bypass option for commercial traffic; two, to make recommendations to council to make recommendations to council to insure safer pedestrian and vehicular traffic through Salmon Arm; and three, to research sites along the highway that might be established as a tourism information, RV pull off and truck stop.”

Harrison closed by saying council has agreed to review the committees in two years.


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