April 10, 2014 - 4:50 PM
KAMLOOPS – A former city councillor along with a few other concerned citizens has created a group for downtown residents to voice their concerns.
Denis Walsh helped create the Downtown and West End Residents' Association to represent the concerns of residents living downtown and on the west side of 1 Avenue. The objective of the group is to speak to all levels of government on behalf of residents about issues affecting the neighbourhood.
“I think every area of the city should have an organized neighbourhood association,” said Walsh. “Every neighbourhood is quite unique and has (individual) issues.”
Walsh, who was a city councillor from 2008-11, says although the group is in its infancy the main items up for discussion will be closure of Stuart Wood Elementary School, the proposed Columbia street expansion, and neighbourhood noise concerns. Members of the group are welcome to bring forth any issues worthy of discussion.
“It’s really difficult for a single person to speak in front of city council about any particular issue in their neighbourhood without support from others,” said Walsh.
Yesterday, the group went before the City of Kamloops’ Parks and Recreation Department to gain approval and to receive a $500 grant. Walsh doesn’t see his group needing any more money than that. He plans to use the grant to market the group’s first public meeting and to secure a meeting space.
Walsh expects around 50 to 100 people to turn up at the meeting next week. He and other members proposed nine to 12 board positions for the group and hope to collect nominations at the meeting.
While focusing his time on the group and on his movie rental business, Movie Mart, Walsh is considering a return to city council, or possibly running for mayor.
“I would have to free up some of my time,” said Walsh “I don’t need two full-time jobs.”
The Downtown and West End Residents’ Association will hold its first public meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16 at the Desert Gardens Community Centre on 540 Seymour Street.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014