Woe is me, whatever will happen to City council?

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
January 4, 2017 - 5:30pm

KAMLOOPS — I don’t remember when Kamloops City council has been in such a state of functional uncertainty as it is now.

There have been times in its history, to be sure, when council members could barely stand to be in the same room with each other.

There was one notorious day when the then-City administrator was asked in a public meeting to read out the law that gave council authority to fire him.

And, Team Council has often had to play short-handed.

But, with illness and an upcoming provincial election, never has it faced such a numbers crunch as now. During the weeks between the dropping of the writ and the provincial election in May, only a half dozen councillors will answer the roll call at City council meetings.

Question is, can the City run with anything close to normalcy in such a situation? And what about after the election, if the mayor becomes an MLA, and the shuffling of chairs that will cause?

What will happen during these uncertain times with the Ajax issue, for example? Will someone force a vote of support or non-support based on who happens to be sitting there at the time?

My advice is, relax.  Fortunately, for the most part those left at the table get along fine. They’ll get the job done.

Despite disagreements on issues, they avoid the toxicity that infuses some other councils, such as in Nanaimo where a councillor reportedly told the mayor several times to “bite me,” or the incident years ago when a White Rock councillor allegedly went at another with a pen during a wild closed-door meeting, resulting in a court case, which was later stayed.

Besides, I’ve often said City council would be better with fewer members — less yakking, quicker decisions, cheaper to run. We’ll have a chance to find out.

So don’t worry; be happy.

Mel Rothenburger blogs at ArmchairMayor.ca and can be contacted at [email protected].

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