An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THERE’S ONE MORE THING that has to be said about the storm surrounding Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson. Let’s set aside all the closed meeting stuff for a minute and talk about where things go from here.
The City’s news release on Friday, officially from council but sounding more like a memo from staff, may as well have been headlined, “We’re the boss and you’re not.” It laid out who’s allowed to talk, who’s not, and who’s allowed to do what, and who isn’t.
Basically, it laid down the law to the mayor.
If the council and staff are serious about “bringing this unfortunate distraction to an end,” here’s something to keep in mind.
You — council and staff — did not elect the mayor. Reid Hamer-Jackson owes his job to the voters, who want him to speak and act on their behalf and to do what he said he’d do.
Certainly, there are rules to follow but just because you might not like his style doesn’t mean he’s wrong and you’re right.
Never in the City’s history has a mayor been elected based more clearly on the community’s desire for change.
Council and staff have an obligation to listen to what the voters have said and to work with the new mayor on what can be done within the boundaries of the job. So how to move forward?
Council and staff, suck it up and prepare to meet the mayor half way. Newbies, you don’t get a mulligan. Find a really good mediator, lock yourselves in a room with the mayor and don’t come out until you have a plan.
No more council delegations to the mayor’s office. No more sniping and coy remarks. No fighting it out in the media.
As for Internet haters, get over yourselves. And social agencies, give the mayor a clear signal that you’re ready to work with him.
Bring this “unfortunate distraction” to an end.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.