Mayor wearing too many hats

Maybe to avoid any further public relations problems regarding provincial political issues, mayor can start his temporary leave early

Not too long ago, our Premier Christy Clark blessed us with a visit to Penticton. She wanted us to think that our hospital needs were of importance to her. She stated that the hospital issue would move from the concept stage to the business proposal stage within a few months. Pictures were taken; press releases made and the dog-and-pony show was over and she then left. We know that the budget came down and nothing, not one single solitary thing, was mentioned re: the PRH. What a political grandstand play. Surprise, surprise, it appears to be nothing more than political heifer dust.

In that same period, our mayor and chair of the RDOS was conspicuous by his silence. He couldn’t quite figure out which hat to wear. It’s strange that the man that was elected to do Penticton’s bidding seemed to be incommunicado. I find this rather strange. There is a community issue that he should address, but somehow he didn’t for whatever reason. If he had been fulfilling his mandate, he would have been beating the hospital drum; protesting or lobbying. Instead, he seemed to be mute with regard to the city’s hospital needs.

It is a well-known fact that he has been nominated to run in this riding as the Liberal candidate.

That is his right, no problem with that. However, it brings into play a third hat. That hat would be of a prospective Liberal MLA. Hmm, three hats — I wonder. How many can one wear and still be fashionable?

While it is true that he will have to “temporarily absent himself form mandated mayoral/RDOS duties” to pursue his political aspiration when the time comes, my question is “Why is he waiting to temporarily vacate council and district.” He might just as well do it now, as he was conspicuous by his lack of appearance and input with regard to our hospital issues. Could it be that his provincial aspirations are more important than his city obligations?

Perhaps I am being unreasonable in being judgmental of Mr. Ashton and his apparent indifference to the hospital scenario. Who knows? His “boss” may have issued a gag order and he may have been honour bound to follow that. We’ll never really know for sure. Maybe to avoid any further public relations problems regarding provincial political issues, Mr. Ashton might start his temporary leave early and allow his designee to orchestrate and oversee those issues germane to the city. Are you listening, Mr. Mayor?

Ron Barillaro