It’s very easy – and not by any means wrong – to criticize your mayor and council. But around midnight on a Monday night when the 27th speaker on a rezoning application launches into a diatribe that could try the patience of an evolutionary biologist, those politicians earn our sympathy.
We may not always agree with the leaders who try to guide our communities, but we thank them for trying.
Running for election, particularly amid the intellectual pestilence of social media and the bile of online comment sections, takes bravery. Insults are hurled, baseless accusations are too-often made and far too-often repeated.
In a relatively small community, holding public office means never truly being out of the office, even and especially during one of those five-alarm skirmishes that outrages half the community.
We’d wager every one of our mayors and councillors has sacrificed their private life to some degree for the sake of the community.
Today’s North Shore News includes a story about the taxpayer-funded retirement packages for outgoing City of North Vancouver council members.
There are some who will see those payouts as undeserved golden handshakes for politicians who knew what they were getting into.
There is a reasonable debate to be had about how much politicians should be paid and what benefits they get. But no reasonable person would suggest only the rich and retired need apply.
Soon a new group of politicians will take up the challenge of public life. It won’t all be rainbows and unicorns. But in return they’ll earn something priceless: a chance to make a difference.
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