Who will lead in Qualicum Beach?

The current toxic environment around the council table helps nobody

It’s time for Qualicum Beach town councillor Dave Willie to get on with the business of leading a community.

For too long, he has tried to drag Mayor Teunis Westbroek into the mire of lowbrow bickering, and in our opinion, is doing the community a disservice by focussing on what has passed, instead of working to ensure the town has a better future.

Willie, the council’s protective services committee member, used the opportunity of his regular report to the public to tell the community how the mayor should be doing the job and criticizing Westbroek for not doing it his way. By chastising the mayor on one hand for attending too many photo ops — and then doing so again when he doesn’t — clearly is a case of moving the goalposts.

Complaining the mayor isn’t forwarding e-mails about big, public, well-advertised community events, is petty at best.

This isn’t leadership. This has not furthered improvements to the town. Willie has said he wants change in Qualicum Beach. So far all that’s changed is the tone at the council table.

Westbroek, to his disservice, took Willie’s bait early after the November, 2011 municipal election. Both local politicians have suffered for it.

Now, Westbroek appears not to want to respond publicly to the repeated attacks. Willie seems to be perfectly willing to keep up these tactics. Both men are digging in.

And the community will not progress as long as this keeps up.

It’s one thing to hold differing views and be on politically-opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s quite another to ignore opportunities to further the interests of the town and, instead, focus on the personalities.

Councillor Willie does not appear to want to find a solution to this animosity. And the mayor is handling it by not responding directly to Willie’s comments. It’s clear neither one wants to sit down and talk it out.

Meanwhile, the business of the town becomes obscured in this clash of personalities.

 

editorial by Steven Heywood