This is the second of a series of articles printed in the Mud Creek News. Here David Daniels exposes the hypocrisy of the administration in the matter of openness and willingness to hear (let alone respond to) input from residents.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND COMMUNICATION?
At the May 19th, 2009 Council meeting, Council was asked about the status of the “new” public participation policy. CAO Roy Brideau responded that preliminary research was being done.
In response to a similar question at the June 15th Council meeting, Mr. Brideau responded that “once the budget has passed, he and the Town Solicitor will make this a priority.”
The Corporate Strategic Plan approved on November 16, 2009 lists as one of the five core principles of governance and service provisions: Transparency and Participatory Government.
Over nine months have passed since May 2009 and still no policy.
In early October 2009 it was announced that the Town had hired two consultants to help devise a participation and communication policy. A “task force” was formed to draft the policy.
Perhaps ironically, I could find nothing on the Town’s website’s Home page communicating to the townsfolk information about the status of the public participation and communication policy.
“QUESTION PERIOD” AND ACCURACY IN MINUTES
At the January 4th Committee of Council meeting Mayor Stead, apparently on his own initiative, but without objection from Councilors, decided that the only questions which could be asked at Question Period were those that would “be helpful and representative of a builder, a builder, somebody who is interested in advancing the interests of the Town in a constructive kind of way at these meetings.”
The approved minutes of the January 4th meeting simply state under “Question Period”: “There were no questions from the table or gallery.”
Is accuracy less important than making sure comments which may not reflect well upon the Mayor are not included in minutes?
Yes, there were “no questions,” but to be accurate and honest, there were “no questions” because the Mayor restricted what kinds of questions could be asked.
David A. Daniels
You have to listen to the tapes to get the full flavour of these sittings with the mayor’s incredibly undemocratic statements and the Councillors not even squirming in embarassment unwilling to protest that the Gallery has been utterly silenced. We wish that Scott Brison, so concerned with grass roots democracy, would sit and listen to just a few of these sessions.