City’s top brass take the guff, get little of the credit

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
January 31, 2018 - 6:15am Updated: January 31, 2018 - 11:33am
Image Credit: CFJC Today

KAMLOOPS — Wanted: highly qualified, experienced individual to manage heavy workload, work long hours and handle unrelenting daily stress. Benefits include excellent pay and all the abuse you can take.

That job posting should be going out very soon as the talent leakage at the City of Kamloops continues with yesterday’s announcement that corporate services director David Duckworth will depart in March for a new job in Calgary.

A couple of weeks ago RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller let it known he’ll be heading off to Edmonton, likewise in an upward move.

Over the last year or two, several other City brass have left; it’s all part of the natural coming and going of personnel and there’s nothing to see here, but it does present challenges — good people are hard to find.

Duckworth, along with CAO David Trawin and parks and recreation director Byron McCorkell were part of a new team with new ideas assembled by Randy Diehl when he took over as CAO at the start of the millennium.

Diehl himself left a few years ago, with Trawin taking his place.

All of them have been top-notch managers, and in my view they don’t get nearly enough credit.

While senior staff at City Hall technically report to the CAO, in practice they answer to multiple bosses including taxpayers, which as often as not blame them when something goes wrong.

In a candid and insightful book published after he retired, Diehl wrote that “The stress of being constantly criticized can crush the spirit of many professionals who had good intentions of working for local government to build a better community.”

Yet Kamloops City Hall has had, and has, many exceptional managers. Duckworth, despite having to handle some unpopular files like parking, is one of them. On the policing side, so, by all accounts, is Mueller, though I knew him less well.

So, let’s be ready to welcome the next target — I mean, respected member — to the City’s administrative team.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops. publishes the website.