EDITORIAL – City’s top brass take the guff but get little of the credit

David Duckworth. (Image: CFJC Today)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

WANTED: highly qualified, experienced individual to manage heavy workload, work long hours and handle unrelenting daily stress. Benefits include excellent pay and all the abuse you can take.

That job posting should be going out very soon as the talent leakage at the City of Kamloops continues with yesterday’s announcement that corporate services director David Duckworth will depart in March for a new job in Calgary.

A couple of weeks ago RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller let it known he’ll be heading off to Edmonton, likewise in an upward move.

Over the last year or two, several other City brass have left; it’s all part of the natural coming and going of personnel and there’s  nothing to see here, but it does present challenges — good people are hard to find.

Duckworth, along with CAO David Trawin and parks and recreation director Byron McCorkell were part of a new team with new ideas assembled by Randy Diehl when he took over as CAO at the start of the millennium.

Diehl himself left a few years ago, with Trawin taking his place.

All of them have been top-notch managers, and in my view they don’t get nearly enough credit.

While senior staff at City Hall technically report to the CAO, in practice they answer to  multiple bosses including taxpayers, which as often as not blame them when something goes wrong.

In a candid and insightful book published after he retired, Diehl wrote that “The stress of being constantly criticized can crush the spirit of many professionals who had good intentions of working for local government to build a better community.”

Yet Kamloops City Hall has had, and has, many exceptional managers. Duckworth, despite having to handle some unpopular files like parking, is one of them. On the policing side, so, by all accounts, is Mueller, though I knew him less well.

So, let’s be ready to welcome the next target — I mean, respected member — to the City’s administrative team.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (6879 Articles) 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 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.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – City’s top brass take the guff but get little of the credit

  1. you get what you pay for mostly…..except here…these are people paid Vancouver wages for doing a job. Step up to the plate, comes to mind…I find most of them grossly overpaid.

  2. Thanks Mel: In general I feel the editorial ( or OP_ED ???)was accurate.
    On the other hand I actually agree with Pierre.Those damned parking kiosks are the worst parking machines I’ve ever dealt with.I believe that David was dealt a bad hand and a bill of goods when the selection process was occurring.I don’t need to go into the details.Everyone is now familiar with their shortcomings.I believe that a referendom should be on the next election ballot and then they can be sold to some other unsuspecting municipality..I want my old parking meters back.You know ! the ones that actually work and don’t give you false assurances that your parking is paid for.
    In ending I wish to say thankyou to Mr .Duckworth and wish him and family the best regards for the future,Even if it is in Alberta with Rachel.

  3. Head-scratcher editorial…are the highly controversial stories/choices/proposals/etc. coming out of City Hall just fictional or are we actually facing the need for a new fresher approach? And I am not saying just hiring a new communications manager. I am saying making choices designed to last, making choices destined to withstand reasoned criticism. I was downtown yesterday, encountering none others than Mr. Duckworth himself on his way to a coffee break, then having to reluctantly deal with a parking meter, those things are the worse parking meters I have ever encountered from a functionality point of view and then, driving by the old KDN site reincarnated into an expensive parking lot but not an overly busy one…yes sometimes I think criticism is not enough. Overriding questiable choices should be…a choice.

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