Some time this past spring, without a lot of fanfare or hullabaloo, Headingley’s head-honcho spot got boosted from reeve to mayor.
So Reeve Wilf Taillieu is now Mayor Wilf Taillieu — or plain Mayor Wilf, if you happen to be one of his friends. And who in Headingley isn’t one of Mayor Wilf’s friends?
Of course, it’s the office that got the title upgrade, not Mayor Wilf specifically. But it just happened to occur on Mayor Wilf’s watch and, hey, it couldn’t have just happened to happen to a more worthy incumbent.
Before I moved to Headingley, two things about the community stood out in my mind. One was its secession from Winnipeg and the other was its double-referendum rejection of a casino. This is a feisty community, I said to myself, these are my kind of people.
Mayor Wilf was one of the movers and shakers in getting Headingley unshackled from the suffocating morass of opaque bureaucracy and crushing taxation of that Trotsky town to our east known as Winnipeg.
Secession is no easy matter, as our friends in Quebec know so well. After almost 150 years of effort they’ve got nothing much to show so far. Our Mayor Wilf and his pals pulled off the caper first time out and hardly broke a sweat in the process.
With the casino, I don’t know what exactly happened or how it all played out. I wasn’t here and no one who was seems to want to talk about it. Like some dark town secret in an old grade B western movie.
But everyone knows that a casino is a means of levying a tax on idiots, so it’s easy to see why Mayor Wilf would not support it.
What I mean is that no progressive leader would favor such an exploitative fixture in his bailiwick, and Mayor Wilf is by far the most progressive, enlightened and foresighted mayor Headingley has known in its entire history.
Anyway, like the spokesperson for the municipalities’ association says, changing the title from reeve to mayor is "…an optics thing." It helps people moving out here from the city who aren’t too bright and would struggle with a newfangled word like ‘reeve’.
Headingley chief administration officer Chris Fulsher says it doesn’t give the position any more powers. Just a bit more prestige. It gets people’s attention.
Mind you, if all that’s so, why settle for mayor?
Why not go for king? That would be the mother lode of titles. And King Wilf sounds nice.
Bob Holloway is a community correspondent for Headingley.