Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Joys of Being Mayor

I read this week that Naheed Nenshi was re-elected mayor of Calgary. I congratulate Mr. Nenshi and wish him and his council—and all of the elected officials in Alberta—all of the best during the next years.

Mr. Nenshi knows what it’s like to coordinate efforts when a major disaster like flooding hits his community. Here in Mexico, after the tropical storm that affected hundreds of towns and villages last month, many mayors know what it’s like to (try to) coordinate such efforts.

On Wednesday I visited a village called Lucerna, here in La Montaña of Mexico. Here are a few photos of Lucerna’s mayor, Juan Garcia Mateo, and his community. I invite the reader to reflect for a few minutes: where might you sooner be mayor, in Calgary or in Lucerna?

Here is the mayor of Lucerna in front of his present residence:

Here is the mayor visiting some of his constituents:

Here is the mayor looking over his constituency:

Here is the result of the tropical storm for one family in the mayor’s village:

Here is the mayor on his way to work:

Here is one of the few residences with windows in the constituency:

I could add more photos, but I suspect you're getting the idea. Now the reader gets to decide: where might it be more challenging to be mayor?

PS: A special thanks to Lucerna’s mayor, Juan Garcia Mateo—and to the people of Lucerna—for allowing me to accompany him (and them) on Wednesday and learn about the challenges of trying to rebuild community life after Tropical Storm Manuel. And thanks to Mission Mexico for trying to make a difference in La Montaña.

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