Happy Birthday, Dear Councillor

August 11, 2011

A little Wikipedia bird tells me that today is Councillor Norm Kelly’s 70th birthday. Three Score and Ten. Happy Birthday, councillor, and many happy returns.

On this auspicious occasion, may I offer you more than just simple birthday wishes? How about some helpful birthday advice.

I am not one for enforced retirement based on some arbitrary age. Many senior citizens flourish in their golden years, their accumulated wisdom brought to bear on the problems, joys and complexity that is our modern life. Dotage is not for them. It is a youthful sprint to the proverbial finish line.

But for some octogenarians minus ten, I imagine, it would be good to step back from the fray, from the hurly burly, to a more gentle period of reflection, assessment. To bounce grandchildren on your knee, spoil them rotten, fill them full of sugar before sending them back to their parents, secretly loving the hassle it will cause to those who hassled you way back when. To hop in that Winnebago and drive to places you’d never been able to visit before. To write that book you’ve always been meaning to write.

Doesn’t that all sound so very, very appealing, Councillor Kelly? So much more relaxing then spending your time, desperately trying to stay on top of what’s going on at City Hall.

I know there’s still another 3 years or so before your term is up, and there’s so much more work to be done, so much more you have to offer the city, bike lanes to install and then to uninstall. Systemic indebtedness that needs to be wrestled to the ground with wildly ineffective slashing of discretionary budgets. But today is the first day of the rest of your life, councillor. Maybe it’s time to turn that page, begin a new chapter. Rest on whatever laurels you may’ve accumulated over all those years of public service.

And no one says you have to step out from the limelight. Look at your old colleague Case Ootes. ‘Retirement’ is working well for him.You don’t have to make a decision now. Just tell me you’ll think about it before you blow out the candles on your birthday cake. Make it your wish. Sometimes birthday wishes do come true.

HB greetingly submitted by Cityslikr