Thursday night’s special meeting of Morinville Town Council demonstrated a lack of leadership and cohesion among the five remaining members of Council.
Before the reader infers editorial harshness, it was an opinion expressed by at least three of the five members of Council. In short – they don’t have their acts together right now.
Faced with the opportunity of picking one of the five to lead the charge over the final 74 days of this three-year Council term, Council voted 3-2 to defer the matter until Aug. 27, largely because Council does not seem confident to make “good decisions” in a time of difficulty.
Here are the words of Councillor Nicole Boutestein:
“Right now I don’t feel any decision that we’re going to make is going to be an effective one.”
Here are the words of Councillor Sheldon Fingler:
““I think we as a council have not shown leadership through this trying time. I think this has been a delicate issue that we haven’t handled well.”
Here are the words of Deputy Mayor Lisa Holmes:
“We are not communicating well as a Council and until that happens, I don’t think anyone is set up to succeed.”
At least we can take comfort in the fact Council is aware of its present weakness.
It would be easy to speculate what is transpiring behind the scenes. A cynic would see this indecision or desire to make a quick decision as the political posturing common as candidates and potential candidates stand on the precipice of the abyss that is a municipal election.
Giving Council the benefit of the doubt and accepting they need more time to select one of the five to do the simple task of chairing this term’s remaining two Council meetings, one hopes Council will crack open a six-pack of moxie and at least attempt to mask the impotence displayed to the media and the public Thursday evening.
Because when you strip away all the exterior veneer of emotions and whatever the hell else is going on behind the scenes, what is left is the need for one councillor who can preside over the two remaining meetings, sign a few cheques, and perhaps show a little bit of leadership for the other members of Council and this community.
Each of the five members of Council can and have run a meeting. Each of the fire members of Council can and have signed a few cheques. Each of the five members of Council can and have spoken to the public and to the media.
Each of the five members of Council was elected by voters to serve this community for the duration no matter how rough the waters would get. A leader is defined not on calm waters but while sailing on troubled seas.
Shakespeare wrote: “Uneasy is the head that wears the crown.” Indeed, a Council sitting on the edge of a municipal election, unclear as to whom among the five could or should lead, throws the governance of this community into a new light over the next 74 days leading up to Nomination Day.
That this Council will spend more time determining which councillor will serve as mayor for the 27 days between their next regular meeting and Nomination Day should be an embarrassment to each and every one of them.
If after three years together Council itself cannot select one of their own to lead for so short a period of time, what hope does the voter have come Oct. 21 in making those kinds of decisions?
They should have simply drawn straws and let the winner take command from their present chair because Thursday’s blinding display of weak leadership has cast some doubt as to their worthiness to assume the recently vacated middle chair.