Editorial – Talk the talk, walk the walk

Jeff Burgar
April 25 was not the first time one of our local government councils waded into a quicksand swamp of their own making.
Judging from history, it won’t be the last.

Municipal consultant and writer on governance, George Cuff, didn’t express surprise at how some people, once they win an election, suddenly decide, “Hey, I must really be the bestest and the smartest in the region. The people voted me so! I can do no wrong!”

Cuff said it happens much too often. Intellectual modesty sometimes goes completely out the window. As he wrote, all one can do about such silliness is try to train elected officials to learn about their job. As the saying goes however, it’s always the ones who need it the most, who never show up. Of course not! Now they are in office, they are legends in their own mind.

Now we have the situation of Simone Blacha. She has devoted 12 years to the High Prairie Municpal Library as a volunteer. She has risen to chair. Her appointment as a member at large was up for renewal. Her reward was to be kicked off the library board by town council April 25.

Blacha’s shortcoming, it was declared by the wise heads on council, was nothing at all. Nope. Just time for her to move on. Council, in its wisdom, says it is “time for new blood.”

This is some kind of story that pops up when somebody’s nose is out of joint. We submit there are better ways to handle a situation like that.

First, never let it get out of hand to start with.

Second, let the duly appointed board do their job and deal with it internally and as best they can.

Unlike the incestuous, four-person, High Prairie and District Recreation Board, most boards have enough people on them to make sense of any situation. Since there is no evidence of anything unusual at the library, we are left with the “new blood” story.

So be it.

Space does not permit us to present all the ideas for or against “new blood”. The best one against is that of losing experience, easily solved by split terms. That is where this is going. New blood is really an argument for term limits. Term limits usually apply to just chairs, like mayors and reeves and presidents, such as the American presidency of two terms maximum.

So we say, High Prairie town council’s opinion is awash in hypocrisy. Unless, of course, it will soon be on the council agenda that all councillors will also only be allowed two terms, or eight years, similar to the 12 served by Blacha.

Until that happens, council might as well appoint Blacha back to her position. Maybe, just maybe, put in process the steps to make such positions, including their own, limited to two terms.

When that idea was presented to a High Prairie councillor, it was immediately shot down as “probably against the Municipal Government Act”.

Yeah, right. It is not. Even if it were, there are ways around such doodlewash.

If you are going to talk this kind of talk, check the mirror. Then be ready to walk the walk.

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