Reeve or mayor, which title is better?
To the Editor,
Editor’s note: This letter addresses a recent decision by Algonquin Highlands council to change titles from reeve and deputy-reeve to mayor and deputy-mayor.
I felt that I needed to know more about the title reeve so the obvious task was to read more by that medieval English expert village and city life of over 600 years ago, Geoffrey Chaucer.
In his Canterbury Tales (The Penguin Classics, publ. 1951, translated by Nevill Coghill, p 120, The Reeve’s Prologue) we have “When all had laughed at the preposterous lark/Of Absalon and Nicolas the Spark,/Various folk made various comment after/But the majority dissolved in laughter,” the importance of mirth and laughter in the life of a reeve would appear to be paramount.
Could it be that the esteemed chief counsellor of Algonquin Highlands feels that she has failed to earn the title reeve because council meetings cannot compete with the humour of the Comedy Channel or the Big Bang Theory of today’s television?
For the job of mayor, I can look up the life of my great-great-grandfather who was twice mayor of the City of Lincoln in England. During his earlier time as councillor, he had been a vociferous supporter of the construction of sewers throughout the city and as mayor he got the job done. In this day and age in cottage country, it has become essential that all rural septic and urban sewage systems be fully efficient in order to keep all water qualities at a very high standard.
I rest my case for which title is to be preferred.