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EDITORIAL – Should mayor resign, or take a leave? It’s not complicated

An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

HERE’S A WAY to settle the question of what Mayor Peter Milobar should do if he’s elected as an MLA on May 9.

The question is whether he should resign immediately — which would force a costly by-election under the Local Government Act — or go on leave until January 2018 and then resign — which wouldn’t.

The best course of action is clear — he should wait until January 2018 before pulling the plug, meanwhile taking a leave of absence. The first obvious reason is that a by-election would cost the taxpayers up to $160,000. The second is that, if a by-election is held, it probably wouldn’t be until this September.

Theoretically, it could be a month or two sooner but in July and August everybody is at the beach and not in a mood for politics, which would mean an embarrassingly low turnout. Even in September, the voter turnout will be in the one-figure range — that is, likely less than 10 per cent, based on history.

Which would mean voters would be going to the time and expense of electing a new mayor to serve for barely a year before they’ll have to vote again in the 2018 regular general civic election.

But the mayor says he has to discuss the matter with council and receive guidance before he makes up his mind. It’s pretty clear the Kamloops public doesn’t want a by-election. And at least five members of council don’t want a by-election, preferring to choose an interim mayor from among themselves.

That makes perfect common sense. But if the mayor still isn’t sure what the majority view of council is, why don’t they all just sit down and hash it out? Get themselves a neutral facilitator if need be.

It’s so simple. Make the decision now, and tell the public what it is.

It doesn’t have to be complicated.

mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca

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About Mel Rothenburger (4605 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Should mayor resign, or take a leave? It’s not complicated

  1. I agree with John, and also with Pierre.

  2. Dare I suggest backing up the bus to the last municipal election?
    If he already had aspirations of running for MLA, why did he not make that his goal instead of selfishly wanting his cake and eating it too? Yes, take a chance on not winning the nomination to be the Liberal’s candidate for this year’s provincial election and not run for Mayor.
    Don’t run for Mayor if you already know part way through you will be wanting to then let your name stand for the candidacy of MLA.
    Sorry, I see this “predicament” as a selfishly motivated set of events.

    • Keep in mind that Terry Lake announced his decision to not run in the next election in September 2016, and Peter was elected in November 2014, that’s 2 years time machine type foresight you expect him to have. At the time, Peter would have had to decide if seeking the nomination in a riding that has a two term Cabinet Member and Deputy Premier in the seat, would be a prudent move. This means that while running for Mayor, he would have to forecast ‘part way through’ changes no one saw coming.
      Only a dunce would have done that.

  3. The best thing to do would be to not spend anymore taxpayers money unless absolutely necessary…a by-election is not a necessity. It can also be argued that sometimes, not even having a council is a necessity.

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