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Council Mayor vs CEO Mayor

Posted on 6 November 2014

Councillour Garth Frizzell wrote an open letter to the two mayoral candidates in Prince George asking them what type of leader they would be:

“In Prince George, the Mayor is both the leader of Council, and the CEO of the corporation. Will you be a ‘Council Mayor’ or a ‘CEO Mayor’? A ‘Council Mayor’ is one among nine, whose influence comes not from pre-determined authority, but because they can articulate the issues best, can be influential and compelling. They’re persuasive because they’re competent, have integrity and a clear vision. A Council Mayor recognizes that all members of Council are held responsible, and will stand beside and support colleagues. By contrast, A ‘CEO Mayor’ believes that ultimately s/he is responsible for the success or failure of policies at the City. This attitude is critical in business, where the business’ success or failure can mean the livelihood of a family and the families of employees. The CEO in business is the highest-ranking manager or administrator, and it all falls on his or her shoulders.”

Lyn Hall responded first. An excerpt:

“I think it is evident from what I speak about that I would be a ‘Councillor Mayor’ by your definition. It is imperative that a Mayor treats each Council member as an integral part of the team of nine – because they are. The reality is: elected officials are responsible and accountable to our community both individually and collectively.”

Don Zurowski:

“I suppose I would be a ‘CEO Mayor’. A good CEO builds a strong team and relies on the strengths and input from those team members to move the corporation, in our case the City, in the direction of the common vision. A good CEO helps keep the team focused and steers them back to the important tasks when they become distracted. A good CEO is not dictator, but a team builder and leader that is not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and does not hide behind the team when problems arise. A good CEO leads the company with the best interests of the shareholders, in this case the residents of Prince George, in mind. I am the strong leader that this City needs.”

In a race in which candidates have been described as near-identical, this difference in vision may be something to consider.

Filed under: Prince George

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