Meet the Mayor
July 2, 2015
I occasionally write a column when I am away from home. This is one of those occasions. This week, because of Canada Day, I have to submit on Friday and my work schedule at the 2015 Chief Elected Official Forum won’t permit for writing later today or tomorrow.
So? You say.
“So” can be a good question deserving of a rational answer. Here’s my answer: I just have to get up before breakfast and do it. Nothin’ to it; just do it. OK. Give me a moment and I’ll have it done.
The most difficult part of any column is finding the idea. Once the idea is in mind, I can usually work it into a column. Occasionally it comes together. Frequently it’s a struggle. The idea came to me at 5 something this morning so I got up to put the marks on the screen before they faded irretrievably in my mind.
I had intended to take two days to drive to the forum but Sunday afternoon I decided I shouldn’t leave the chairing of the Monday Public Hearing on rezoning the former hotel property to the Deputy Mayor. That left only one day for the drive. That’s OK. With two drivers to spell each other off it’s doable.
Of course I brought Mirja. This is the weekend of our 52nd wedding anniversary. Would I leave her home alone? Not for very long. My commitment to public service is not that great – or blind. District policy allows spouses to travel with elected officials provided the cost of travel is no greater than the cost for single travel by air. As it happens, with the present cost of air fare, it takes money out of my pocket to travel by car. But it’s worth it to travel with a great companion.
But why am I here? You’re so full of thoughtful questions.
It’s to learn how to be a better Mayor in the remaining 42 months of this term.
One of the major benefits of attending this forum is hearing of the problems faced by Mayors in other communities. I am reminded once again that life and work in Chetwynd, though challenging at times, carries with it enormous rewards.
And the challenges and problems I hear of at the forum tell me that in too many home towns around our fair province and indeed, across our great country, Mayors, Councillors, and communities have problems I wouldn’t exchange for our home-grown challenges in Chetwynd. We can be truly thankful for the blessings we have been given.
I believe that Chetwynd’s Council, with its understanding and application of roles and boundaries in governance, allows Administration and Council to work together in mutual respect to accomplish community goals with minimal disruption.
I’ll leave you with a bit of wisdom from the ancient wisdom literature that I just read again: “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13).
Merlin Nichols, Mayor