About Armchair Mayor

A blog about Kamloops and region issues established by Mel Rothenburger in 2008, and named after the title of the column he has written for many years.

Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). He continued to write columns for The Daily News until it ceased publication Jan. 11, 2014, and did regular commentary for CBC Radio.


He has previously served as Chair of the Kamloops School Board, Chair of the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission, Director of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, founder and Chair of the Kamloops Graffiti Task Force, founder and Chair of the Kamloops Air Services Committee, founder and Chair of the Kamloops Task Force on the Sex Trade, Director of the Kamloops Airport Society, and founder and Chair of the Kamloops-Tangalle Friendship Committee.

He has also served as a Director on the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce board, the Graffiti Task Force, Kamloops-Tangalle Friendship Committee and many others. He was elected in November 2014 to represent Electoral Area P (Rivers and the Peaks) on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board of directors.

Among other awards, he is the recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal (2003), the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship (2006), the BCYCNA Eric Dunning Integrity Award (2008), the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award — Jack Webster Foundation (2011), the Glacier Media Group President’s Club Award (2011), and the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce President’s Award (2012).



  1. Hello Mel: Greetings from Victoria and the first City Administrator you ever had.
    I read the “News” regularly and always enjoy your column. I guess you can take the boy out of Kamloops, but… Keep up the good writing but, in the interest of “just the facts…” re. today’s column: I’m afraid it’s me that must be held responsible for taking Byron out of the prairie wilderness and foisting him on Kamloops. (I also hired Randy, waay back when).
    I don’t know David, but I’m sure he will make a fine CAO.
    All the best.
    ps: I have a copy of “Friend o’ Mine”, autographed by the author. But I could never part with it.

    • Joe, say it ain’t so that I got it wrong. You are, of course, correct, which means I should check the record more often instead of relying on memory. It also means you deserve a good share of the credit for putting together the team at City Hall. Nice to hear from you.

  2. I enjoy your writing Mel, there’s a conversational tone your blog offers compared to reading your column in the newspaper. Which I don’t read often enough, seems whenever I have a moment to read the paper, someone in our office has taken the damn scissors to it and cut out half the articles.

    That’s one advantage your blog offers over traditional media.

  3. Friend o’ mine: The story of flyin’ Phil Gaglardi

    by Mel Rothenburger

    I was wondering if this book is still in print?


    • No, the book has been out of print for years. I do get requests from time to time for this book, as well as others I’ve written, and the best way of getting hold of one seems to be on the Internet. If you Google it you might well land on a book seller who has a copy. Mel.

  4. I was looking for an article and ended up coming across your blog. I met you 35 years or so ago when I was very little and the paper was still located by the Keg on the North Shore, you were the head boss of my mom, Leta, and both her and my dad thought you were just an amazing man with a huge heart. Just thought you should know her kids still think you’re a pretty great guy and made her feel really special when she was so sick.

    I don’t mean to leave this as a comment on your blog but couldn’t find a direct email address to send this to you.

  5. Hello Mel: Glad to see you’re still stirring the pot and running a damned good newspaper. You must have one super-sized wall to fit all those achievement awards. Sorry to see you didn’t get the Senate job. Among my very large collection of tomes is “They’ve Killed John Ussher” which you penned and gave me in 1973. If you send me your address, I’ll send you mine “Cracking the Glass Darkly.” Keep creating and stay well. Happy Christmas to you and yours. Bob Egby, Chaumont, upstate New York.

  6. Good for you Mel. I’m glad you’ve joined the Bloggers. It seems as if the older intellectuals in society have decided “blogging” is not for them. As a result, there is probably not an intelligent “blogger” out there. —- yet, what do we read? No wonder we’re so well informed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s