ROTHENBURGER: City council still a has long way to go on building teamwork

Photo posted on social media of council team-building meeting, minus the mayor. (Image: Facebook)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

KAMLOOPS CITY COUNCIL held a team-building exercise on Tuesday. A facilitator was there to help. CAO David Trawin was there. Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson wasn’t.

According to Deputy Mayor Dale Bass, the meeting was about working together, council’s community involvement and strategic planning — all of it the kind of stuff the new council needs to noodle about.

So how can it be done without the mayor being in the room? There are different versions of why he wasn’t.

Bass tells me the meeting was in the council calendar as far back as Oct. 17.

“He returned from his vacation last week. Council at the workshop yesterday authorized me to, if asked, confirm he was absent and that he is back but we do not know where he is or what he is doing.”

But it turns out Hamer-Jackson was delayed getting back from Mexico. When I caught up to him last night, he was sitting in the Calgary airport.

Even if he’d been in town, though, he says he wouldn’t have attended, because he feels the mayor should be the one to lead council team building, not CAO David Trawin, who scheduled and attended the meeting.

“I don’t need to be facilitated by someone the CAO has ordered up.”

The mayor questions paying to bring in a facilitator. “I’m supposed to be the one having team-building meetings for mayor and council.”

He did, he says, make it known through his office that he wouldn’t attend so it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

(Coun. Bill Sarai, vacationing in India, also missed the meeting, and had let them know.)

Councillors are putting up an enthusiastic front talking about how they’ve coalesced as a team but it’s a tough sell.

Hamer-Jackson returns to City Hall today and intends to start one-on-one meetings with councillors. He has his work cut out finding common ground — City council’s team-building aspirations, and its communications, remain in need of some serious fine tuning.

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 opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9657 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.

4 Comments on ROTHENBURGER: City council still a has long way to go on building teamwork

  1. This is a question I asked Jim Peters on his editorial related to your article. Mr Peters infers that the team building exercise was one week. While your article indicates it was one day.

    PETERS: Opportunity cost is mounting for Kamloops council

    If it was truly one whole week of facilitated team building,then we as a City are in very, very deep trouble as far as city council leadership.

    To be clear..was it a week long team building session as in your column or was it one day. “council used part of this week’s team-building exercise “

    “KAMLOOPS CITY COUNCIL held a team-building exercise on Tuesday. A facilitator was there to help. CAO David Trawin was there.”



  2. Why wasn’t the session deferred to a date so all can attend?
    Nothing is etched in stone as far as meetings go.
    I would like to see what the “ Outcomes “ are from the facilitated session.
    Will they be provided to the KAMLOOPS citizens?

    Hard to have a team building session when the whole team isn’t participating, It’s a good start to create a dysfunctional group.
    I see a level 3 intervention session or conflict resolution meeting in the near future for city council.

    Buckle up.

  3. Good luck to all of them, they will need it with Hamer Jackson “running” the show.

  4. This has the appearance of a session with church gossip. The outcome from one of those is seldom positive.
    Welcome home, Mayor Hamer-Jackson. You are not the only one who was delayed flying home.
    I’m thinking that Councillor Bass might have to eat and digest the misleading information she spread about our Mayor. It could be a very interesting one on one between her and the Mayor.

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