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.

If Mexicans are offended by ‘Mexican standoff,’ we shouldn’t use it

March 30, 2017 - 8:02am

KAMLOOPS — One has to be careful with the use of words, but how careful?

An RCMP report on Wednesday told of a routine traffic stop on Halston Avenue. While the officer was talking to the people in the car, another car pulled up and the occupant of the second car started yelling that there were guns in the first car.

At which point someone in the first car started yelling that it was the people in the second car who had guns.

Might be time to put up a parking lot on old KDN site

March 29, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: March 29, 2017 - 4:30pm

KAMLOOPS — Any time you drive downtown along Seymour Street you’ll pass a big, empty, very sad brick building on the corner of Fourth Avenue.

It has a habit of sitting empty between engagements.

Once, it was a department store, then it was the city’s daily newspaper, and then there were high hopes it would become a performing arts centre.

Should the mayor resign, or take a leave? It’s not complicated

March 28, 2017 - 7:45am

KAMLOOPS — Here’s a way to settle the question of what Mayor Peter Milobar should do if he’s elected as an MLA on May 9.

The question is whether he should resign immediately — which would force a costly by-election under the Local Government Act — or go on leave until January 2018 and then resign — which wouldn’t.

Who will be the mayor when dust settles on provincial election?

March 25, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: March 25, 2017 - 7:37am

KAMLOOPS — With little more than a couple of weeks before the writ is dropped and we enter the Campaign Proper, mystery still surrounds one of the more intriguing local aspects of the upcoming election — who will be mayor when the dust settles?

The central question remains: by-election, or no by-election?

Balancing the grief of families with public’s right to know

March 24, 2017 - 7:45am

The concept of keeping secret the names of people who have died does not make sense in this modern world of transparency and rapid dissemination of information.

Yet the B.C. Coroners Service, as reported this week by CFJC Today, is reviewing its policy on releasing names of the dead, and the result might be that it’s tougher to find out the identities of those who have died in events that are themselves well-known to the public.

Terry Lake can't be faulted for lack of effort

March 22, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: March 22, 2017 - 4:00pm

KAMLOOPS — When someone dies, we look for good things to say about them. We talk about their talents, their skills, the people and dogs they loved, their hobbies, and their volunteer work.

When politicians end their careers, they don’t get the same break. Every wart is polished up and put on display for final viewing.

We don’t, after all, trust or think well of politicians, so aiming a kick or two or three at them as they’re on the way out is just something we like to do.

Sorry, but I just don't think we're as polite as we used to be

March 15, 2017 - 6:00am Updated: March 15, 2017 - 12:33pm

KAMLOOPS — This is, if you hadn’t noticed yet, Canada’s 150th birthday. As the year moves along, we’ll all pay a lot more attention to it, and it should be a lot of fun. 

It’s not just a time for cutting ribbons and cakes, though, it’s a time to reflect upon ourselves as Canadians, and who we are. 

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.”