I’ve had enough of reading Mayor Walter Jakeway’s petulant and disparaging attacks week after week, and it is time people in Campbell River made it clear to him his tone is unacceptable and he needs to focus his attentions in a more productive fashion before he wreaks any more damage.
As if his magnificently ill-conceived tax revolt wasn’t bad enough, I was truly aghast to learn about his inexplicable comments at the Rotary lunch, and I am quite sure everyone there was wondering what on earth was he thinking? The answer is clear, he was not thinking at all. Even though our family is in the process of moving out of town, I could no longer continue to hear about his churlish comments without speaking up. And I am willing to bet that a great deal of people in Campbell River share my thoughts.
The mayor is supposed to be in a leadership position and among other things, this requires diplomacy, professionalism and a constructive, collaborative approach in all circumstances; Jakeway should be looking to help council function efficiently as a whole instead of pounding a wedge in it every chance he gets. And what kind of CEO inexplicably and incessantly takes every opportunity to attack his senior management? Anyone like that in the private sector wouldn’t last a week. I would love to see what kind of moral and engagement levels exist at city hall with a mayor who is incapable of displaying even a modicum of leadership skills.
During the election, it seemed Jakeway had no grasp on the reality that the mayor has in fact one vote, and he needs to curry favour to get things done by influencing and working with people in a positive, productive fashion. Not running around like a dictator about to be usurped.
Mr. Jakeway, it is time to be constructive, to start building bridges, not blowing them up. Otherwise, for everyone’s good, please think before you speak or just resign. You need to realize that all you’re doing is hurting Campbell River in a myriad of ways. Just think about someone entertaining the notion of moving to Campbell River, and then they Google the city and find articles about the brash, big mouth mayor constantly bashing the City, staff, and councillors; not exactly a good first impression is it?
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe Jakeway indubitably has some very valid points to make; he is right that significant change is necessary and inevitable on many levels as Campbell River undergoes significant transformation. Things cannot stay the same but the way he goes about trying to communicate is so overbearing, destructive and so confrontational, that any substance is completely drowned out by his delivery.
Moreover, some of what he says isn’t just incendiary, it’s false. If you are going to say things publicly, be sure of your facts first, because I have seen many occasions where you didn’t bother to check them. But that is his style, fly solo, because checking facts might actually mean communicating with people in a fruitful manner; a concept apparently foreign to him.
Jakeway’s confrontational tone is reminiscent of loudmouth Toronto mayor Rob Ford who came into power attacking everything he could with reckless abandon. And where did it get him? Completely marginalized by council, staff and the citizens of Toronto who can’t believe they were duped by a buffoon and can’t wait for the end of the term. And that is exactly where Jakeway is headed if he doesn’t change directions quickly. In fact, I would suggest he is already there. He has a lot of damage control to do with staff, councillors and the citizens of Campbell River and residents should demand he start now. And it starts with an apology to all who he has been mercilessly attacking all year.