Letter to the Editor: Dealing with personalities and chaos

City Councillor John Brisco discusses his thoughts about current state of council.


I need to speak up; it’s time.

I’m a newly elected councillor and gradually learning my job.

The work can be very challenging and requires a lot of thought if you care about making good decisions, good for Quesnel that is.

Most of the time, I find the work satisfying and I know why I asked the people of Quesnel to elect me.

The part of this work that I find difficult to deal with are the personalities and agenda that is trying to derail the governance process and sew chaos.

I didn’t know Mayor Sjostrom very well before the election, but my respect and regard for her and her integrity, not to mention her work ethic, has gone up exponentially in the eight months I have worked with her.

I vote with my conscience and I like to figure things out for myself; the mayor has never tried to influence me or lobby me on one issue.


She has been helpful when I had questions on process or correct procedures, as have

the other veteran councillors.


The idea that the mayor controls council is silly – she only votes when council’s vote is a three to three tie and I can’t remember when that has happened.

We are all individuals and we make our decisions based on what is the right thing for Quesnel.

The mayor’s job is determined to be a half time position and the pay is $42,300 annually.

She works 55+ hours a week.

Her husband thinks she is married to the city, not him.

For this enormous sum of money and all the apparent prestige, the mayor has endured two years of character assassination and steady rain, so don’t tell me she isn’t dedicated to our community.

In September, mayor Mary Sjostrom starts a term as the president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).

This means she was selected and voted in by 164 mayors and their councillors, directors from regional districts and First Nations who are members of UBCM from all over British Columbia to represent them in Victoria.


Why do they appreciate the mayor when some people in Quesnel are believing the negative publicity and allowing

it to damage her credibility?


I enjoy working with the other members of council who are actually doing the work, they have shown me nothing but integrity and devotion to the tasks we have to do.

I don’t like the bullies and I’m all for whistle blowers but please have something to talk about that is real or valid or stop wasting our time and let us do the work we were elected to do.

In closing, I must say how incredibly fortunate we are to have the staff that we do.

The professionalism, wisdom and skill they bring help us decide on most issues affecting Quesnel and I believe when we vote against a staff recommendation, we do so at our own peril.

John Brisco



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