What is the Mayor’s job, really?

I think it is important to talk about the role of the Mayor in light of the damning concert scandal report released by the HRM Auditor General today.

My friend John Wesley (citizen at large) was just on CBC talking about how the Province decided that the Mayor was a figurehead.  JW talked about the Mayor’s job being that of ribbon cutting and parade leading.  He went on to say the real culprit in this farce is Trade Centre Limited.  While I agree that TCL needs to be cleaned up and probably shut down, for now let’s focus on the Mayor.

Sure, Peter Kelly has gone to great lengths to distance himself from leadership, responsibility and power.  If he has no power, then he is never at fault.  It is always someone’s fault, a staffer, the province, council.  Peter has defined the role as ceremonial as a survival skill.

I just don’t think that this has to be the case.   The role of the Mayor comes from the Halifax Charter, the provincial legislation that creates HRM.

It says this:

The Mayor may(a) monitor the administration and government of the Municipality; and(b) communicate such information and recommend such measures to the Council as will improve the finances, administration and government of the Municipality.

Read what it says up there!  How different from what we have had!  The Mayor of HRM should be informing and recommeding to our poor, leaderless council, bringing forward measures that will improve the finances, administration, and government of HRM.

It is explicitly the Mayor’s job to lead the region and drive the change needed to keep the many failings so well laid out in the Auditor General’s report from happening

While this may be a job Peter Kelly has consistantly walked away from, it is still the role we should demand of  him, or any future Mayor.

  • In a ‘weak mayor’ CAO- Council form of government the position of Mayor is generally considered to be ceremonial. That’s the form of government we have… with a few tweaks.

    Peter Kelly may be a great ribbon cutter and float rider.

    But when council gave
    him responsibility in Nov. 2007 for a multimillion dollar concert
    business they made a big mistake and Mr. Kelly proved consistently that
    he was not up to the business challenge.


  • The word in the Charter you are looking for is “responsible”. ie, the Mayor is Responsible for… dat dat dat .

    The word is not there because the Mayor is not “responsible”.

    Looking at the Ad for the recent CAO position opening you;ll see that word repeated over and over.

    Also, if you look at the Trade Centre Limited mandate you’ll also see that word surprisingly often cause… you know… that the deal we had with them.

    With regard to your quote above, the Mayor and the Girl Guides have basically the same mandate.


  • Anonymous

    Hey Johnny favorite stick with blowing swing music

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