You could — nay, should — be our next mayor

Last week, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal posted a tongue-in-cheek job listing in search of a new mayor. So why haven’t you applied yet?

You could totally work here. Photo via Flickr

Last week, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal created a phony job posting for the next mayor of Montreal, and while it made us simultaneously chuckle and bemoan the current state of municipal politics, how many of us truly went through the criteria, potentially recognizing ourselves in that profile, as the board asked?

It really is your civic duty to at least consider the possibility that your skills might be conducive to a life of public service. You could very well be the mayor we’ve all been looking for. So if you happen to fit the bill, for the love of clean government speak up now: a sweet $156,128 base salary (let’s hold off the perk jokes for a while) and a future park named in your honour could be yours.

Some qualifications are obvious, although difficult to measure. Are you honest? A leader? A man or woman of action? In terms of honesty, we’ve all had our careless moments, so there should be a few exemptions: stealing cable/Internet/WiFi; paying repair workers under the table; saying you voted when in reality you went drinking; exaggerating personal anecdotes to maximize one’s adventurousness/sexual prowess; claiming to have read The Great Gatsby when in actuality you just glanced at the synopsis on IMDB because you thought it was a Jay-Z biopic.

Other requirements demand a bit of creative thinking. If you’ve ever been redirected in traffic, wondered why someone would build a condo in a grimy neighbourhood or had your bike stolen or vandalized, you can honestly say you “understand the issues of the metropolitan area.”

If you make it a habit of redeeming used beer bottles and cans, then it’s fair to say you’re “focused on economic development.” Ditto if you’ve ever purchased something with a jar of change; bought a dessert from a coffee shop at the end of the day because you knew they’d probably throw it out if you didn’t; or gotten a decade’s worth of use out of a discarded piece of furniture you picked up from a curb.

As we all know, being able to order a sandwich and coffee in either language means having “excellent command of spoken and written French and English” in CV terms.

So what sorts of challenges await you, oh future mayor?

The Board of Trade says you’ll have to rebuild trust between citizens and city hall. The best way to repair the damaged relationship would be to fill city hall with people who are, at most, two degrees of separation from every Montrealer. As long as everyone can lay claim to having a distant relative or friend working for the city, we’ll all feel at least somewhat connected to the process.

They’re also expecting a strong leader — someone on “firm footing with other levels of government.” Seeing as a big part of being a mayor is crying poor to provincial and federal governments, this challenge seems less important than the others.

Finally, the new mayor must “set the stage to rebuild the city’s image in Quebec, the rest of Canada and abroad.” I guess this is pertaining more to business interests, because Montreal has never held more cultural cachet, and even tourism was at an all-time high last year. Perhaps it’s Montreal’s bad boy image that’s working so well elsewhere. So while cleaning up city hall is paramount, let’s keep telling outsiders that Montreal hasn’t changed a bit.

So if you think you fit the profile, consider running this November. What’s the worst that could happen? ■

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