Dear Mayor Tait,
It’s been awhile since we last talked, and since you’ll be back on the job Friday, I thought I’d give you a bit of an update of what’s been going on since you left to have baby Ewen.
You’ve been missed.
I don’t think the door slammed behind you before council was embroiled in its first controversy: proposed funding cuts to the arts community.
It was standing room only when council considered recommendations from the community grant review committee, and then reversed most of the recommendations. Like they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
A few week’s later council hired Teresa Sullivan as the district’s new chief administrative officer. Sullivan came with a huge list of accomplishments at the senior government level, and even ran her own consulting business.
It seems, though, as soon as Sullivan started the turnstile rolled at Municipal Hall with the departure of three senior managers. (Two left on their own accord, the other was given a bit of a push, I hear).
Of course, none of this went over very well. Some of those who criticized those same people while they worked for the municipality are now praising them for doing such a stand up job while they were here. Go figure.
But it gets better.
Sullivan then had the “audacity” to restructure the workings of the district in an attempt to make our local government work more efficiently.
She revved up the conspiracy theorists when she hand-picked Gabryel Joseph as the director of corporate services.
Joseph’s resume came with an impressive list of credentials, but because he was hired without advertising the position it left a taste of cronyism.
Council stumbled along in your absence.
Over the four months of your leave, there were three acting mayors and sometimes you got the sense that they were just waiting for your return before they could get down to serious work.
Coun. Kerrie Reay took a good swipe at social media, while councillors Kevin Pearson and Rick Kasper were able to weave council and the community through some twist and turns.
So as you return, you can expect to stamp out some fires (hopefully not in your bare feet), and you’ll need to damper some over-hyped egos and prop up a few bruised ones.
Most importantly, everyone is expecting you to lead the way and move forward.
Welcome back, Maja.
Kevin Laird can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.