Salmon Arm was a beautiful sight from above at midnight on New Year’s Eve as mist and fireworks created a captivating scene.	(Brad Calkins photo)

Salmon Arm was a beautiful sight from above at midnight on New Year’s Eve as mist and fireworks created a captivating scene. (Brad Calkins photo)

Members of council reveal Top 3 wishes for Salmon Arm in 2023

Answers vary from developing long-term housing to citizens treating each other with kindness

As the community enters 2023, members of council were asked what their ‘Top 3’ wishes are for Salmon Arm this year.

Coun. Kevin Flynn

Looking ahead to 2023, my first wish for our community is to see the successful completion of the two ongoing major infrastructure projects, and the very important start of an integral new project.

Both the Ross Street Underpass and the Highway 1 improvements west of town will significantly improve our transportation network.

Plans are also moving forward on much-needed upgrades to Lakeshore Road. The key to all these projects is that they not only improve vehicular movement and safety, they also have focus on enhancements for alternative transportation modes. Whether you drive, walk, or bike, I know getting around in our community will be easier, and much safer, when these projects are completed.

My second wish is for more engagement and citizen participation. Our Official Community Plan needs a full review. We also need to update our Liquid Waste Plan and start upgrades at our Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Further, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is planning a lengthy Solid Waste Plan Review process for the region. For all of this planning to be successful, and for the results to be what the community wants and needs, we must get involvement and engagement from our residents.

My final wish for Salmon Arm is that all the hard work, time and energy that organizations and individuals put into special events, tournaments, sports tourism, and the promotion of Salmon Arm and the Shuswap is rewarded with nothing but success. Our Small City hosts Big Events, and they are a key to our social fabric. They all deserve to be the best events ever this year.

Three wishes – infrastructure improvements, increased engagement, wildly successful events!

Coun. Tim Lavery

In 2023, for each of you and for all of us, I hope for gratitude, kindness and compassion in all of our personal interactions.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond

My wish for 2023 is that each of us do three things to make our community better. It’s not a new idea, attributed to Naheed Nenshi, former mayor of Calgary, but it’s a powerful one. If you haven’t already, consider donating, volunteering or joining a community group. It’s my deeply held belief that Salmon Arm is capable of extraordinary things, great big city things: innovative housing solutions extending safe, dignified and hopeful housing to those at risk of homelessness; world class events such as the many we’ve held in just the past year; and leading-edge city plans that see Salmon Arm as a leader in small city potential nationwide.

For any of these wishes to come to fruition, it takes engaged, caring, creative citizens willing to work collaboratively towards not just any solution, but the ones with the most potential and greatest impact, from volunteering with social agencies, to signing up to help host the 2024 Senior Games, to getting engaged in the Official Community Plan review soon coming our way.

Mayor Alan Harrison

My top three wishes for Salmon Arm for 2023:

• We will all enjoy a smokeless, algae bloom free summer.

• We will walk, cycle and drive through the Ross Street Underpass to the waterfront.

• We will prosper and move forward both as individuals and as a city.

Coun. Debbie Cannon

I feel 2023 will be a great year! I look forward to the Ross Street Underpass being completed, and the official opening of the Salmon River Bridge.

Our pool is an aging infrastructure. It is recognized as a medium priority in our strategic plan and we need to continue this design forward so we stay on track.

The West Bay Trail is something I want to see moved along in 2023. With the new Salmon River Bridge almost finished, the West Bay Trail will be a great connection from our downtown to our First Nations neighbours.

I’m very excited for the successful bid on the 2024 Senior Games and look forward to the planning and reaching out for volunteers.

I know Salmon Arm will hit this out of the park.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren

Over the last three years we have seen an unprecedented growth of anti-government, extreme right wing mentality which I personally have found quite frightening. The world is moving towards hate-fueled totalitarianism.

Those who wish to take power for themselves are feeding this mistrust and angst with misinformation meant to create negative feelings and division.

My wish for Salmon Arm is that we stay open and embrace education, community and diversity.

Democracy only works if we are educated about the issues we face and vote for candidates who put people before power.

This is as much true at the local government level as it is at the federal or provincial. The only way to dissolve this mistrust is through transparency. Earlier this year we saw one person, who has no faith in our local government, come to council meetings with a video camera and record our meetings. Presumably, they hoped to find proof of wrongdoing to support their ideology that we can’t be trusted. This is an extreme case, of course, but there are small pockets of people who are fostering this hate and mistrust.

I want to remind the residents of Salmon Arm that all council meetings are fully open to the public and are recorded and available on YouTube. I invite you to attend meetings, watch the videos, form an informed opinion, and offer your assistance on committees and working groups. My hope for the next year is that we open our hearts to each other again, we face the hard issues together, and move our city forward on issues that matter like being climate ready, planning of the sewage treatment center and swimming pool, celebrating the opening of the Ross Street Underpass and fostering a sense of community and celebration in all that we do.

Coun. David Gonella

My personal ‘Top 3’ wishes for Salmon Arm in 2023:

• Increase affordable housing for individuals, families and seniors.

• Continue to transition individuals living in tents, mocked-up shelters into long-term housing.

• Develop an urban agricultural strategic plan to support a regional food security master plan.

Read more: Opening of Popeyes Chicken in Salmon Arm met with enthusiastic patrons

Read more: ‘It was very successful’: Rotary clubs distribute 600 Christmas dinners in Salmon Arm
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