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.

Holding a by-election to fill mayor’s chair is crazy talk

December 3, 2016 - 5:00am Updated: December 3, 2016 - 9:40am

KAMLOOPS — Excuse the locker-room talk but this idea of holding a mayoral by-election is just nuts.

Here’s how the chain of events plays out, in simplified form. When the writ is dropped 28 days before Voting Day next May, Mayor Peter Milobar takes a leave so he can run full-time as a BC Liberal candidate (instead of what he’s currently doing, which is sort of half and half).

If he’s elected as an MLA on May 9, he then resigns as mayor. A mayorless Kamloops must decide what to do.

Pipeline decision imperfect, but let's get on with it

November 30, 2016 - 6:24am Updated: November 30, 2016 - 3:54pm

KAMLOOPS — The pipeline decision is so typically Canadian, isn’t it?

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway is a no go and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain twinning gets the green light. 

It only looks as though the baby is being cut in half, of course, because the prime minister assures us the decisions were based on science, not politics.

Mayor Foghorn would be anything but boring

November 26, 2016 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — It’s enough to tickle the fancy of any political junky, the prospect of Kevin Krueger directing traffic in City Hall, sitting up there in the mayor’s chair presiding over council meetings.

For Krueger, who got his nickname Foghorn back in the days when as a Liberal MLA and cabinet minister he relentlessly heckled and bellowed at the hapless New Democrats on the other side of the Legislature, is suddenly a player in the complicated web of possibilities in civic politics.

Elections just won't be the same without polls

November 16, 2016 - 5:05am Updated: November 18, 2016 - 9:50am

There’s an old joke that 82.6 percent of statistics are made up on the spot.

Toss that one out at a dinner party or a coffee klatch and see how many get it.

Truth is, stats have power. Talk about whether a corporation is doing well or poorly and it means little, but announce the latest quarterly numbers for earnings-before-interest-taxation-depreciation-and- amortization, and you’re well into MBA country.

Hanging out in the laundromat with Leonard Cohen

November 12, 2016 - 11:04am Updated: November 14, 2016 - 11:33am

A LAUNDROMAT on Seymour Street was visited many years ago — maybe 25 or so — by a man who could have been anyone with some dirty socks and underwear that needed washing.

He was an entertainer, passing through town with his band on the way to someplace else. Acting on a tip, a young Kamloops Daily News reporter approached him and asked if he was willing to talk for a few minutes. Today, she remembers him as a pleasant man, who chatted amiably with her as he folded his laundry.

Don’t hold your breath if you’re on new doctor wait list

November 7, 2016 - 11:05am Updated: November 14, 2016 - 11:06am

I’M IN. I’m on the list.

And I have absolutely no hope my name will be drawn any time soon in the get-a-doctor lottery.

I’m not going to get all negative about the new HealthLink BC wait list for those needing family doctors. It’s definitely a big improvement over the old GP For Me wait list operated by the Divisions of Family Practice.

You can put lipstick on it, but it’s still a walk-in clinic

November 1, 2016 - 12:07pm Updated: November 14, 2016 - 11:10am

DESPITE WHAT those in the healthcare bureaucracy would like to think, there’s no way of fixing the walk-in clinic model. They can dress it up and put lipstick on it — as the newly appointed Interior Health board chair John O’Fee alludes to, though not in those words — but they can never take it to town.