It’s about the best endorsement a politician can receive, but Kathy Moore says being acclaimed for another four-year term is a mixed blessing.
“I think it’s great because I like to think the community is satisfied with the work I’ve been doing,”says Moore. “But I do believe it would have been better for the community to have a choice.
“I’d rather people could have voted for me, rather than being stuck with me,” she says, laughing.
What Rossland residents are “stuck with” — or have endorsed for another four years, to be more charitable — is a mayor who says she worked hard to be open and accessible, while facing the rebuilding of the city government after several rough years.
“I think a major accomplishment was turning around the reputation of the City of Rossland for other levels of government, for other local governments and the province, who were watching us most closely,” Moore says.
“We had a lot of changes to make for how the city was run and how we accounted for how we spent taxpayers’ money,” she adds. “And I think that by hiring the staff we have now, who are just completely wonderful and very competent, who are accurate in their reporting, well, we have really changed the culture of city hall … and this is really important.”
While she’s facing no challengers, it’s not the same for council. Fourteen people are competing for the six seats on council. Moore says there are two ways of looking at why there’s so much interest in running.
“For one, maybe people saw how much fun people had on council last year and they wanted in,” she says. “One thing that made it so good was that there were no personal alliances, there was always civil dialogue even when we disagreed. Everyone remained friends and we all genuinely liked and respected each other. You don’t always see that in municipal government.
“Then there are always people who want to see change,” she continues. “If you look at the list of 14, probably not everyone is keen on what is going on with the city recently.
“I’m sure there are people who say ‘I want to get on council and change the decisions.’
Moore says she won’t be endorsing any candidates, however.
“I know the majority at least in passing, if not well,” she says. There are some great names there — people who are community-minded, ethical, honest, smart, experienced, with no drama. I see lots of good characteristics that make a strong council, in the majority of people who are running.”
“I certainly have my opinion but I am going to work with whoever is elected. So I feel awkward saying ‘I want Bob over Sue.’ I want the community to decide and I just trust in the wisdom of the voters to make the right choices.”
As for a platform, Moore says she feels people have endorsed her to provide more of the same.
“I want to keep the city going the way it is, going with good, competent staff, good financial reporting, and that’s the nuts and bolts of local government,” she says. “I want to keep that going smoothly and I want to keep civil and respectful discourse at the council table.
“The last council wasn’t about personalities. I’ve seen that in the past and it’s very dysfunctional. This council was very functional.”
Over the next four years “you’re going to get the same thing,” Moore says. “I don’t play favourites, and as for the community, I want to hear from everybody, whatever their opinion.
“As a team we were able to make community feel welcome at City Hall and our council meetings, and I want to continue with that.”