Maxed Out 

Anatomy of Change – Part III

by G.D Maxwell

Take heart; this is the last chapter… for now.

I’ve been having this recurring dream. Actually, since I’ve only been having it for about two weeks, I’m not certain it qualifies as a recurring dream so much as a current, if prolonged, nightmare. It’s not like the recurring dream I’ve been having for almost three decades now, the one about suddenly realizing I forgot to formally drop the Advanced Quantum Physics class I’d signed up for, hadn’t attended, never did any of the reading for, couldn’t even remember which room it was held in but somehow had to pull it together enough to go write the final exam the next morning. That one doesn’t make me wake up screaming any more but it sure screws up a good night’s sleep.

This recurring dream is more immediate, more terrifying, more spiritually crushing. Kind of like dreaming your country went to war for no good reason and it turns out you really have elected Bozo the Clown to lead you. Which seems apropos. In this dream, the clock on the wall, which is actually a calendar, strikes November. I arise on a cold, crisp morning to a fresh snowfall and the certainty Whistler’s going to have the earliest opening ever. And then I remember no one else filed papers to run for mayor and it’s still a race between yesterday’s man and the day before yesterday’s man. All I want to do is go back to bed.

Now, I’m pretty certain that isn’t going to happen. I’m confident Councillor Wells will take her long-desired shot at the top job; I’m intrigued that Councillor Melamed would entertain the idea; and I’m hopeful that someone long on skills and vision and short on council experience will sweep in and capture the electorate’s imagination.

But in evaluating candidates, here’s what I’m looking for, in no particular, strategic order.

I want a mayor who, working hand and glove with the new municipal administrator – whomever she may be – will set a higher moral tone of community service and exorcise the daemons of paranoia, indifference, hubris, and entitlement that my e-mails from disgruntled employees and pissed off residents suggest is so rampant in the management ranks of muni hall.

I want a mayor who will make working for the muni an experience so positive it’ll banish the need for unionized employees. But I want one who will recognize the legal and moral obligation to bargain in good faith with employees who have decided they need a union, instead of listening to outsiders – and insiders – who would rather jerk unionized employees around and either bust their union or make their individual lives so miserable they’ll leave in disgust.

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