Congratulations to Walter Jakeway and his successful election to Mayor of Campbell River on Saturday. Congratulations, also to the successful city councillors, regional district directors and school board trustees and thank-you for your willingness to work on our behalf for the betterment of our community. Additional thanks, also, to all who ran for election to local government.
Now, the task at hand begins. It was widely accepted that this was a crucial election for the future of Campbell River. Mayor-elect Jakeway in particular advocated wholesale change in the way we run our city and the council that runs it. Jakeway said that we would be getting a new mayor no matter what and that voters should dump the incumbents and elect all new city councillors in order to enact real change. Well, that didn’t happen and now Jakeway has to work with an experienced core of incumbent city councillors who were all re-elected. Even the two new councillors are well known people active in the community.
So, Jakeway needs to be careful with any belief that he has a mandate for change. Perhaps voters aren’t as discontented as the conventional wisdom would have indicated. Now the corollary to that is that only about 30 per cent of eligible voters elected our mayor and council. Those who are unhappy with the previous council must lie in that vast 70 per cent who didn’t vote. Unfortunately, not voting isn’t the same as casting a vote for change. If you wanted change, then you should have voted.
Our new mayor will now have to mend bridges and learn to work with an experienced team of councillors. Campbell River will need all that experience as well as the new perspective our rookie mayor can bring to the process. Good luck.