All members of Council in Kamloops, month by month, rotate into the Deputy Mayor position. As Deputy Mayor, not only do we provide another person to attend the very large number of event to which the Mayor is invited, we also have to perform the functions of Mayor if the Mayor is not available. I just finished my second rotation as Deputy Mayor in March and I had the opportunity to chair a Council meeting, field quite an angry phone call and to sign a few legal documents on behalf of the community.
I got a chance to witness some pretty amazing events in March. The Soroptomist and the Business and Professional Women Association awards dinner, the Kamloops Cowboy Festival, the Canadian Cancer Society's new office opening on Daffodil Day, and the Triple A women's provincial hockey championship. I was asked to cut the ribbon at the Cancer Society office opening but asked the local president, Marion York, to join me. We are not the important folks at these events.
In Merritt, on my way to Vancouver for a quick spring break getaway, I fielded a call forwarded by the city hall switchboard. A lady was very irate, close to tears, over her car being towed. She was from out of town, and close to broke. I am not sure she acknowledged any wrong doing. She wanted the towing charges waived. I told her that if she was really desperate for the money to pay for the towing, I would try to arrange to get some money to her personally - not in any official capacity. She kept on saying how she would tell people about how unfriendly Kamloops was. Perhaps, in hindsight, I might have taken a different tact. I could go broke if I kept these offers up. But, perhaps not. The lady seemed just to want to talk to someone who was a little sympathetic. I have more flexibility to be sympathetic, sometimes, than a city staffer. And she did not take me up on my offer. I guess if she really needed the money, and I could afford to help, well small price to pay.
Mayor Lake kind of sprung the news on me, in the morning, that he was asking me to step into the Mayor's chair for most of the March 27th meeting. I was a little nervous, but as I actually stepped into the chair, I actually relaxed and felt things went quite smoothly. Helps to have Councillors John O Fee and Pat Wallace to my left hand, helping me.
So, as the meeting ended, I was quite pleased. As I got home, though, I just felt exhausted. I didn't realize it as I was doing it, but chairing such important, complex community meetings is quite the effort. I only have, before, ever felt that kind of tired after election forums.