I was not a fan of Mayor Bronconnier by any means. One thing I did have to respect with Bronco though was his ability to lead council and keep a semblance of order within city hall. Leadership means getting people to work together and Bronconnier had that knack even if I think he tended to lead them to foolish decisions. The Mayor indeed is simply one vote in a council of many. The Mayor though is responsible for setting the tone of council and ensuring that discussion is reasoned and productive. It is a tough job and a vital one. A person has to be both a team player and a leader.
Mayor Nenshi is quickly proving himself incapable of leading or playing with the team. While profoundly skilled at cutting ribbons and taking part in CBC specials, Nenshi has been an utter failure when it comes to keeping a degree of unity within Calgary City Council. The public spats and venom have been outstanding and I can’t even imagine what the tension is like behind closed doors.
Nenshi’s own swollen head is his biggest enemy. Nenshi’s excessive vanity is not simply a matter of opinion. He hardly tries to hide it when he literally declares himself the most popular politician in all of Canada.
Life has been something of a love-in for Nenshi since becoming Mayor. He was elected in a wave of almost reverential support by hipsters who still fawn over his every move. The CBC and Toronto latte-lapping crowd don’t even try to disguise their fawning over our Mayor. I guess it should not be shocking that it has gotten to Mr. Nenshi’s head more than a little.
While enjoying the political rock-star lifestyle however, Mayor Nenshi has clearly been neglecting his job of actually running the city of Calgary. Is it surprising that council is running amuk when the mayor is up late at every possible social event where a camera may be available or is speaking to adoring crowds at CBC functions in Toronto rather than dealing with the grind of city management?
Now Nenshi has recognized that our council is currently a mess. I guess that is a step in the right direction. Rather than looking to the top however, Nenshi has determined that our city councilors must have some mental health shortcomings and has contracted a psychologist to facilitate a meeting to try and work things out. I mean, a person must be crazy to dare disagree with King Nenshi right?
In the same article linked above there are a couple quotes from Nenshi that tell the whole story as to why council is falling apart under Nenshi.
Mayor Nenshi in response to this issue:
” I would find it extraordinary if any member of council did not want to attend a meeting on how council can work together better. But if members of council are interested in a dysfunctional group that is not working well together, it is absolutely their prerogative.”
Good lord. One does not need to be a psychologist to see the problem here. You can almost hear Nenshi’s trademark condescending, grade one schoolteacher tone in the above statement.
These are elected officials that you continue to talk down to like that Nenshi not little kids. If they appear to be acting like kids, it is due to them having lost respect for the one who is supposed to give them direction. Quit blaming council for your own shortcomings Nenshi and you may get somewhere in leading them.
If Nenshi doesn’t have a serious change in attitude soon, we will see much more council division in the next year and a half. Perhaps the psychologist will recognize this and point it out as the Mayor certainly can’t see this.