Opinion

Manage mayoral expectations

It’s interesting to hear some of the rumour and speculation about this fall’s mayoral election.

In discussing some of the potential candidates, there are some names being bandied about who you could certainly classify as business leaders in the community. But the funny thing about it is people are wondering if these business leaders will be stepping down from their current positions to fill the mayor’s seat.

News flash: The position of mayor is a part-time job and, quite frankly, it really limits the number of people who would consider running for office. Because while the position may be part-time, the expectation of people in town is certainly that the successful candidate will give his-or-her undivided attention to the office of Mayor.

To be clear, this is not advocating for the position of mayor to be switched from part-time to full-time - everyone knows the city cannot afford that. But with so much investment and development on the horizon, it is certainly something that should be discussed and debated.

The reality is people expect full-time work from a part-time mayor, whether it be traveling for conferences, meetings at all hours throughout the week and weekend and being the face of the City of Prince Rupert to both the world and ceremonial purposes in the community.

And let’s face it, having an employee who can’t work a fixed schedule and may need to come and go at random times throughout the day is not going to appeal to a lot of employers.

In pushing for a full-time mayor for his community, Terrace mayor Dave Pernarowski told council: “What’s going to happen in this region is just going to be incredible. We haven’t even seen the beginning yet ... for us to plow along is just not adequate at this point in time.”

If you expect people to turn away full-time employment for a part-time position that requires full-time commitment, you need to give your head a shake.

Being the mayor of Prince Rupert is and will be and for the foreseeable future a part-time gig. That comes with limitations, and people need to recognize that when they think about what they look for in a mayor.

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