Armchair Mayor

By: Mel Rothenburger

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.

A ‘tail’ too many – why terms limits are worth considering

March 11, 2017 - 5:00am

Term limits have never floated my boat. I’ve always been of the view that voters are capable of deciding when a politician has overstayed his or her welcome.

I might be rethinking that. This week, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver introduced a bill to limit B.C. MLAs to three terms, 12 years. Premiers would be limited to eight years in the top job.

Says Weaver: “The introduction of term limits would ensure that those seeking elected office recognize that serving the people of British Columbia should be interpreted as a sense of civic duty, not a career path.”

Sometimes you can carry criticism too far

March 9, 2017 - 8:07am

KAMLOOPS — Oh, c’mon. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau can’t post a picture of herself holding hands with her husband without being criticized?

The wife of the prime minister got a lot of brickbats on International Women’s Day yesterday for the photo, and her accompanying comment that said, “This week, as we mark International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect, and who aren’t afraid to speak up in front of others. “

Feeling like a healthcare football these days

March 8, 2017 - 8:00am Updated: March 8, 2017 - 3:44pm

KAMLOOPS —You’ll have to excuse me if I’m feeling like the proverbial football these days when it comes to my health care, and I’m willing to bet a lot of others are feeling the same way.

A couple of years ago, our family doctor had to shut down his practice, and I’ve been availing myself of take-a-number medical care ever since.

You know, that’s the one where you line up at the front door of a walk-in clinic bright and early, wait for it to open, then take a number and sit down with a whole bunch of sick people there for roughly the same reasons you are.

Best thing for all would be a graceful exit by KGHM

March 6, 2017 - 10:30am

KAMLOOPS — Can there be any doubt that the proposed Ajax mine is dead?

The importance of the decision by local First Nations to unequivocally reject the project can’t be under-estimated.

This past weekend, the Tk’emlúps and Skeetchestn Bands, acting together as the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN) came out full-bore against Ajax, joining with a great many in the Kamloops community to ‘just say no.’

‘Slow’ snow removal nothing that higher taxes can’t fix

March 2, 2017 - 8:00am

KAMLOOPS — Would you have paid more for faster snow removal this past winter?

Would you pay more next winter?

These are questions taxpayers need to ask themselves every time they complain about city services, which a good number have done with respect to the snow situation this season.

City councillors had a lengthy discussion about it at this week’s council meeting and will talk about it more at a workshop in the fall.

Where were critics of the downtown core last night?

March 1, 2017 - 6:45am Updated: March 1, 2017 - 6:07pm

KAMLOOPS — I went to the annual general meeting of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association last night. I didn’t see Coun. Denis Walsh there. Or Nelly Dever.

I mention this because they’re two people who seem to know what’s best for the downtown. Walsh has been on the BIA’s case this past week over the supposed need for new blood and new ideas. Dever, you’ll recall, led the fight to kill the performing arts centre.

So if they have better ideas, last night’s meeting would have been a good place to bring them.

Three things I want, and might not have, when I get old

February 25, 2017 - 9:00am

KAMLOOPS — When I get old, I’d like certain things: a bath or shower every day, all my faculties, and a comfortable bed in my own home.

The first is non-negotiable. The second is beyond my control. As for the third, if I can’t be in my own home, I’d at least like to know who my landlord is.

These things don’t seem too much to ask, but this week we were reminded we can’t take anything for granted. This week we’re hearing about seniors who can’t get a bath, and their retirement homes being bought by somebody who lives in Beijing.