Mayoralty by-election issue like a ‘who’s on first’ comedy routine

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
May 17, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: May 17, 2017 - 6:11pm

KAMLOOPS — We were supposed to find out yesterday if there’ll be a by-election for the mayor of Kamloops.

We didn’t. It’s getting to be like that old Abbott and Costello ‘who’s on first’ skit.

Instead of either resigning immediately and forcing a by-election, or taking a leave of absence until the end of the year — which would mean a by-election wouldn’t be needed — Peter Milobar, in effect, did neither.

He will take a leave as of June 1, but hasn’t put an end date on it. He could end his leave and resign any time. 

During the next six weeks he’ll decide, as he puts it, whether “things seem to be working well.” That six weeks is the time it takes to put a bylaw in place for a by-election that might not happen and the City certainly doesn’t need.

If he isn’t happy, or if he decides the public isn’t happy, Milobar can pull the plug and force a by-election, which would cost north of $100,000.

Further complicating things is the announcement by the ailing Marg Spina that she’ll resign at the end of June, which would also force a by-election. Then Milobar may as well resign too.

At the behest of her fellow councillors, she’ll think that one over. Instead of resigning sooner, Spina could resign later, simply taking an extended leave, along with Milobar, to Jan. 1 and avoiding the by-election. 

Here’s what should happen. Instead of leaving a by-election hanging over the heads of council and the community, as well as interim deputy mayor Arjun Singh, Milobar needs to let go. He needs to cut the cord. He needs to let council fly on its own. He’s the one who decided he’d rather be an MLA than a mayor and created this mess in the first place. Make a decision one way or the other.

Spina — who, by the way, deserves admiration for her courage and gratitude for her service — should remove her resignation deadline, serve as long as she feels she can, then go on leave to the end of the year.

Is that too logical?