Mayor damaging city’s reputation

I have watched with interest and dismay as you have done more to damage the image of our community

Filed for publication with the Mirror

Mayor Walter Jakeway,

Having served as an Alderman for the District of Campbell River for over six years, the first three under Mayor Ken Forde,  I have watched with interest and dismay as you have done more to damage the image of our community and of the Office of Mayor than I could ever have imagined possible.

Having been in office for nearly four months, you still don’t appear to have any notion as to what your role as mayor involves. I attended one meeting where, when delegations came to speak to council they all seemed to understand that they should, by tradition, protocol, good manners, whatever, direct their remarks to the chair – that would be you Mr. Mayor.  And, you couldn’t even be bothered to look at the presenters – a total lack of good manners on your part. I watched a bit of a couple of the council meetings on TV and found I just couldn’t bear watching your blundering and rudeness and apparent lack of really understanding how you should behave and exactly what you were supposed to be doing as mayor.

Having heard your totally inappropriate remarks on Thursday morning on the CBC, and then watched the appalling performance you put on at the last budget meeting on the 27th, I really felt I could no longer refrain from telling you how much I feel you are damaging the reputation of our city.

You really don’t seem to understand the role you have, as Mayor, of developing good working relationships with both senior levels of government, or with their agencies.  Your public statements regarding VIHA, including derogatory remarks about the CEO, will not do us any favours in our dealings with VIHA regarding future hospital construction.  It’s the “Golden Rule” Mayor Jakeway.   The senior levels have the gold and they make the rules and you’re not playing nice.

And, then March 30  I find headlines in both newspapers announcing that you and Coun. Kerr are urging a citizen tax revolt against your own Council.  Rule #1, Democracy 101: every member of a council or a board of directors, no matter whether they personally supported a motion or not, is expected and should, once the vote is taken, support the intent of that motion.  A person doesn’t have to like it but they are expected to support and abide by the wishes of the collective.

For you and Coun. Kerr taking the position that the budget “can’t end here” makes it obvious that you either didn’t hear or didn’t understand what Mr. Laidlaw stated when the motion on the budget passed.  Unless you can convince at least one other member of council to vote against the first and second readings of the bylaw then indeed the matter of budget creation for this fiscal year is complete.

And, Oh! By the way!   Ever hear of the Community Charter?

Section 116 of the Community Charter, which is the provincial legislation under which the city operates, states that the mayor has several responsibilities including:

“(g) to reflect the will of council and to carry out other duties on behalf of the council.”

We live in what many of us believe is the best community in the country.  We have spent many years enjoying substantial tax revenues available from several major industrial properties. Things have changed and we have to change some of our expectations regarding the level of taxation required to support the maintenance of service levels.

Our property taxes provide each and every one of us with more direct services on a day-by-day basis than we receive from the amounts we pay in income tax, HST, liquor tax, tobacco tax, gasoline tax, etc. etc.  When you take into consideration that the 7.1 per cent annual effective increase of $136 on the “average home” amounts to less than 38 cents a day it is beyond understanding why this would be a cause for revolt.

Please begin to assume the responsibilities you accepted when you ran for and won the job as Mayor of the City of Campbell River.

Joan Stephens