Meet the Mayor
March 4, 2015
Ethical municipal government is solidly rooted in the core values that drive the decisions we make as individuals and as members of Council. Deeper even than the core values of Council lie the core values of the community. Core community values inevitably inform the values of members of Council because we are all elected by the community and, as Council, represent public opinion. However, when I am walking down the street or shopping locally, I do not represent public opinion although my values have not changed from the moment I left the Mayor’s chair in Council chambers.
We all have to identify our core values – an especially crucial exercise for decision makers in public office. Without that identification we are in danger of blundering randomly through the days of our lives without being sure why we do or don’t. That’s an unhealthy circumstance and usually quite unproductive. You, the voters, certainly don’t want your Mayor and Council behaving randomly.
As Mayor and Council, elected to govern the District of Chetwynd, we would be unproductive in our elected roles if we failed to rearticulate our core values from time to time. It’s natural to forget and to get so bound up in daily routine that the clear vision of core values fades away. Chetwynd Council is committed to remembering the values for which we stand and the time is approaching for us to engage in the annual rite of remembering and setting direction for the next year.
What matters most to me as a person?
What matters most to me as Mayor of Chetwynd?
What matters most when I face a challenging decision?
What keeps me on the straight and narrow when the pressure is applied?
The answers to these questions are anchored in the core values I have adopted and maintained.
Understanding our core values as a Council and Mayor will help us avoid some of the frictions that disrupt and derail so many other organizations.
Let me illustrate: if two of the values informing the way I behave toward others include respect and community, I will see our Council as a team of equals and work toward understanding the viewpoints of each member while moving the conversation toward a unified conclusion. Additionally, I will try to build a Council ethos that reflects this attitude.
Suppose I espouse justice and loyalty. Will I not be conscious of the needs of citizens as I debate the latest tax proposals or industrial developments? The answer, of course, is Yes.
If I pride myself on my hard-nosed business sense who will suffer? You’re right.
When you elected me back in 2011 I had a chance to share some of my values – an opportunity I didn’t get this time around. But I’ve repeated some of them since: I believe in a beautiful town and, because I believe in a beautiful town, I will continue to work to achieve the highest level of beauty possible in my short term.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor