The taxpayers of Campbell River have just spent more than $37,000 to tell them something they already know.
Mayor Walter Jakeway has turned into a one man wrecking crew and everyone else at city hall has all but lost the ability to communicate respectfully or effectively.
Municipal consultant George Cuff’s audit of city hall reveals a local government that has lost touch with its mandate to generously serve the broad interests of the community.
When you digest Cuff’s report it boils down to this: We elected a mayor who believes it is his job to stomp around like a bull in a china shop; and, a culture of abuse has taken hold in which verbal assaults on senior staff are considered an acceptable way of doing business.
When Jakeway ran for mayor a year ago he was pretty clear that he wanted to shake up the city. The majority of voters agreed with his premise that there was an “old boys” mentality at city hall that needed to be refreshed.
That said, voters did not give Jakeway a mandate to be rude and offensive to his colleagues on council and to senior staff. Voters had every right to assume that Jakeway was entering political life with a basic understanding that his voice would be one of several on council and that his power to effect change would spring from his ability to achieve consensus.
Mayor Jakeway has repeatedly shown that he does not have the slightest idea how democracy works in a municipal setting.
He is persuaded that if he yells loud enough the status quo will collapse and an efficient administration will rise from the dust.
Is the mayor the only problem at city hall? Certainly not. Is change needed? Certainly it is. But change is about leadership and Mayor Jakeway needs to take a long look in the mirror and mend his ways or the final two years of his mandate will be grim.