Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said he would have run again in the fall municipal elections if municipal terms had been shorter.
Council terms last four years, after increasing to four years in 2014. In the past, they were only two years.
“I think term length affects a lot of people’s decisions,” Christian told KTW.
While larger communities can attract candidates seeking a career in municipal politics, Christian said that’s not possible in smaller communities like Lytton, Clinton and Barrière, where the salary isn’t enough to work solely in as an adviser.
Christian said his own term as mayor was cut short by a pandemic for about two years, which is why he would have sought re-election if the terms had been that long.
“If it was a two-year term, I’d gladly jump on it,” Christian said. “But I’m 68 and if I were to be elected, I’d be 72 when I’m done. You know, it’s too old? I don’t know, but Brenda [wife] and I have things that we want to do and so I chose to go do those things with her. Baby Jack [grandson] factors in it. So that’s what it is.
Christian said he has no regrets serving as mayor during the pandemic, noting the time he led the city with his background in public health. He spent 37 years working in public health with Interior Health, before becoming regional director of health protection.
Christian, however, said the mayor’s role has changed without events to connect with residents.
« Go to KIBIHT [Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament] and go here and listen to other people’s impression of your city,” he said. “And the students and all those sorts of things that I think really enrich the experience of being mayor.”