No perfect path for Kamloops council

Two & Out
By James Peters
May 12, 2017 - 7:00pm

KAMLOOPS — Now that Peter Milobar is off to Victoria, Kamloops city council will soon find itself without its leader. 

That's a problem. 

While some might find disagreements with Milobar's leanings on particular political issues, or his larger ideological bent, few could argue his steady hand leading this council. 

It's the third council Milobar has been elected to preside over, and it's a group that might be his most difficult. 

He has had to keep a group of disparate voices and experience levels on task and on target - not an easy mission, especially when some councillors seemed more enamoured with city council as dogmatic forum than utilitarian decision-making body. 

It's a ship that, without a rudder, may simply turn in ever-tightening circles as it drifts further out to sea. 

We should all be paying extremely close attention later this year when council finally registers its opinion on the Ajax project. 

Those waters are shark-infested, and losing Milobar won't help the navigation effort. 

So what to do? 

The three options have been well-spelled out. 

Milobar could resign and trigger a byelection. 

If this is the favoured path, he should gather the council behind closed doors and make it clear in no uncertain terms that if anyone else wants off the ship, now's the time. 

An expensive byelection may as well serve to elect more than one civic leader, if that's what's required. 

The other two options involve stop-gap mayors filling the breach until the next general election in 2018. 

A rotating group of acting mayors is possible, but certainly not favourable, especially when one or more members of this council have aspirations of taking the job full time. 

It makes more sense for council to choose one person to head up the group for the next 18 months.

It may not be what Kamloops residents voted for in 2014, but we have to acknowledge that circumstances change. 

Terry Lake didn't know he was going to retire when Milobar let his name stand for re-election three years ago, and Milobar wouldn't have known then he would be ready to step up to the provincial stage now. 

We get a chance to exercise our democratic rights once again in a year and a half. 

Until then, we can make do with a makeshift council under a short term leader.

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