EDITORIAL – What if politicians got their ducks in a row and parked the jargon?
An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
DID YOU KNOW that Kamloops is going to get a new piece in the housing continuum?
Yes, indeed, I watched the most recent meeting of Kamloops City council, at which the news came that the Campbell Avenue property behind the old Northbridge Hotel will be the site of a new affordable and social housing project.
Coun. Mike O’Reilly was among those who was happy to hear it.
Said the councillor: “This is one of the big pieces of the puzzle to revitalize the North Shore and not only that, it happens to knock off 80 units in our housing continuum, which, frankly, we are short in every area of our housing continuum.”
Housing continuum. It takes some linguistic dexterity to work that into a sentence not once, but twice.
I’m not being critical of O’Reilly — it’s just an example. He didn’t invent “housing continuum.” Somewhere, some bureaucrat undoubtedly decided it sounded fancier than “housing options.”
But wouldn’t it be nice if politicians at all levels would just speak English? They’re so focused on housing continuums, wrap-around services, asset management plans and complex care models that they’ve forgotten how.
If they would stay in their own lane, maybe they could take it off line, expand their bandwidth, move the needle and do their due diligence.
They need to close the loop and circle back, unpack the optics and hit the ground running. This would enable them to think outside the box, connect the dots and get buy-in to a flagship program that could find the sweet spot.
It we could pick their brains for a moment, maybe they’d do some spit balling, put the clichés and the jargon in the parking lot, get their ducks in a row and reach out for ideation.
It is what it is, of course, but at the end of the day it should be on their radar. Better than reinventing the wheel.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor, searching for the new normal.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, alternate 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.
According to Google translate, “repair pothole” translated to Latin is