There have been a few people asking on Twitter whether Glenn Taylor, the newly elected leader of the Alberta Party will be stepping down as Mayor of Hinton. So far Glenn himself has not said either way. (At least not that I can find) There are no new entries on Glenn's blog, his tweets have all been thank yous and what not and no quotes in the handful of media articles.
According to Grace Wong, an avid Alberta Party supporter; "He has already stated that he would... he and his council start working on a succession plan ASAP..." She didn’t provide a link to where this was stated. The whole succession plan doesn’t make much sense. It’s not like he is the CEO of a corporation that has to engage headhunters to hire a replacement. He is an ELECTED official. He simply needs to step down and trigger a by-election.
To me this is a no brainer. He was elected as a non-partisan mayor in Hinton. Taxpayers cover his salary. Being the leader of a provincial political party automatically negates his ability to be non-partisan. The time commitment to be a leader of a party is huge and will without a doubt inhibit his availability to the town. Taxpayers of Hinton likely don’t want to pay for his time while he tours the province conducting Alberta Party business.
He really only has two choices; one step down as Mayor immediately, he should be walking into his Mayoralty office tomorrow AM with a resignation letter in hand. Or two, decline the role of leader of the Alberta Party.
The latter is unlikely; thus I fully anticipate we will hear of his resignation within 24 hours.
That is when, (if it hasn’t already) the reality will start to register with the Alberta Party brass. They can’t afford to pay a leader. At their weekend leadership convention they told membership they are currently raising about $4000.00 a month. According to them they only have one paid staff member, that being “Organizer Mike”.
Given this information it’s pretty safe to say Mike is making less than $48,000 per year; far less than he is worth. This is not uncommon in fringe parties. A lot of sweat equity goes in, by many, many volunteers.
However, once you have a full-time leader you can hardly expect them to do it out of the goodness of their heart. Even if they did, that goodness doesn’t pay for the flights or other transportation around the province. Or what about the hotel accommodations? Meals? The list goes on.
Without some quick, heavy donors; it looks like the Alberta Party will have to choose between Organizer Mike and Leader Glenn. Or one of them will have to work for free until they can bulk up the bank account a bit.