COLUMN: Councillors should complete terms

I have to get something off my chest that has been bugging me. It is a double standard that only occurs in politics.

I have to get something off my chest that has been bugging me. It is a double standard that only occurs in politics.

We accept it because it is presented as ‘business as usual’.

Let’s imagine that you have a good job.

You signed a four year contract and it’s been two years so far. It was a steep learning curve but you’ve taken on the challenge.

You have responsibilities and people count on you.

One day, you discover that there might be an opportunity for a better job with a larger company. It comes with a title and more power.

You really want this job, however it is not an easy job to get.

So you keep your current gig and try and work to get the new job.

Lots of time is involved in the attempt to get this new opportunity.

It’s hard to concentrate on your current tasks because your mind isn’t really there.

Great news! You get hired at the new job but there is a probation period. There’s the rub.

You don’t want to risk losing your current job while on probation at the new one, so you take a leave of absence.

That way you can return to the job you no longer want if the new one doesn’t work out.

It’s okay, that’s perfectly legal.

No problem, right?

You aren’t really letting anyone down, at least that is what you tell yourself.

Meanwhile your co-workers at your old job have to pick up the slack due to your absence.

In addition, they can’t hire anyone to replace you because there is a chance you might come back.

That’s the beauty of the leave of absence loophole.

This scenario is of course, fictional. There isn’t a company in the real world that would let this happen.

That is what two municipal councillors, one here in Summerland and one in Penticton, would have us do while they compete to get the B.C. NDP nomination to run in the next election.

Unfortunately this seems to be a trend across B.C.

It makes me queasy just thinking about it.

I have a problem with this kind of action because I think it is dereliction of duty.

These two councillors were elected by a voting public to represent them around the municipal table.

To make decisions on their behalf that have a direct impact on their day to day life.

The term was four years. The term was not “until something better pops up.”

People took the time to learn about them, listen to the opinions and plans they presented and they marked an X next to their name on a ballot.

They are counting on them.

Now a chance to compete for a nicer chair comes up, and they want to hit the door.

The proper thing to do, in my opinion, is to resign their municipal seat immediately.

Risky because there is the chance that they might not get the nomination.

With the nomination, they might not win the upcoming election.

They could be right out of work.

However, they could keep their honour and maybe I could keep down my lunch.

Rob Murphy is the sales manager at the Summerland Review.


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