Mayor Cecil Clarke caused a great deal of controversy when he announced that he's actively running for leadership of the provincial PC party without resigning his position as CBRM Mayor.
Many of his supporters are willing to accept the idea that it isn't prohibited by the Municipal Government Act, so it should be ok. I and others see it as a clear conflict of interest, and an unacceptable sacrifice to his focus on a great deal of unfinished business in his role as mayor.
Did you know Cape Breton is currently only 10 places from the bottom in the ranking of 417 places to live in the entire country by MoneySense magazine? The reality is: Major projects Clarke has promised are still incomplete, and after 5 years of Clarke as mayor, we're still actively shrinking. This is a municipality that demands the full attention of our elected leaders.
For Conservative voters who will support Clarke's desires just because he represents the party, there's not much I can say that will change your partisan view. You're no more likely to consider other alternatives than a Montreal Canadiens fan is to start rooting for the Leafs. But you're not alone. Many of your Liberal and NDP friends are just as blindly faithful at times (unfortunately).
With that said, I was able to track down a prominent Conservative leader who is more torn on the issue. He currently supports Cecil Clarke staying on as mayor while putting his focus and attention on the job he really wants with the provincial Conservatives.
But this man also has some very strong ideas about leadership and what the expectation is from voters who elect someone as mayor, or even Member of Parliament.
On that he's clear:
A mayor needs to be a "full-time mayor" and to put "every energy and drive" into the job.
In a previous speech, this man passionately asked his supporters to take a moment to "imagine"... He wanted them to imagine sending him to Ottawa "100% of the time" where he would be "working for you every single hour of every single day". He wanted them to imagine the possibilities and opportunities of having that level of commitment.
I guess there's a flip side to that coin. Just imagine, my friends, the missed opportunities and jeopardized possibilities of having someone represent us that isn't fully committed to the job...
Rather than explain further, I'm going to let this prominent Conservative tell you why being a mayor is a full-time job.
Credit: CBC Interview, 2012 post-election victory as Mayor of the CBRM
NOTE: The views expressed above are my own and do not represent lokol (goCapeBreton.com). Read more