Dan Curtis is an exceptional mayor

Now that the dust has settled and a new council embarks on a three-year term, I would like to express my appreciation for Mayor Dan Curtis. True to form, at the last meeting of the outgoing council, Dan highlighted the

Now that the dust has settled and a new council embarks on a three-year term, I would like to express my appreciation for Mayor Dan Curtis.

True to form, at the last meeting of the outgoing council, Dan highlighted the “team” and gave a personal nod to each councillor, thanking us for our particular contributions. I realized later that nobody properly thanked the mayor.

For me, the one trait that made Dan a true leader and an exceptional mayor was his lack of ego. He would always make council or individual councillors the focus of his speech, when talking about accomplishments. He ensured that he always acknowledged councillors if they were in attendance at public gatherings.

Dan respected the advice given to him by any of the councillors and often met with us in his office to share information or ask for feedback.

The role of mayor is not easy. There is protocol to figure out and procedures have to be learned. Protocol and procedures are very important for city council to work properly, with decorum and respect. At the start of the term, Dan stumbled on some of the protocol but he looked to others for help and accepted it graciously. He was able to make mistakes and keep his sense of humour and dignity.

And then there is public opinion. The mayor tends to take the brunt of negative reaction when a decision is not popular and there is plenty of negative feedback. But Mayor Curtis was always quick to share the credit with council when public reaction was positive.

Being mayor means that you have to be informed and make decisions about all aspects of the city governance and operations. It doesn’t mean that you have to be an expert on all things. You have to allow and trust city staff to do their jobs. You have to understand the operations so that you can answer questions or find the answers quickly when citizens are asking. Dan had an amazing grasp of the city’s day-to-day operations and our relationships with other governments and businesses.

The mayor also has to understand strategic planning and be willing to work with a team of six councillors to create a three-year plan for Whitehorse. Mayor Curtis was always one to think about the bottom line and ensured that planning was about affordable, realistic goals. And he wanted to make sure that decisions were made to benefit Whitehorse citizens in the short and long term. Council’s vision has to go beyond the three-year term so consideration was always given to the next five years and even the next 50 years.

Finally, being mayor is about being at many events each week. Mayor Curtis was always available to speak at special events and always represented our city in a heartfelt, down-to-earth style.

Dan has been the epitome of a good mayor. His vote was only one vote of seven, and he did not put himself above the rest of council. He treated council like a team and was not threatened by councillors who had more expertise in some areas – in fact, he celebrated that input, showing true leadership. Above all, he loves this city and showed it all the time.

Thanks a lot Dan Curtis for your three years as mayor and good luck with the next three.

Mike Gladish

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read