See the up-date at end of post.
This submission by Mr. Daniels was received via e-mail. It may be in recent issue of the Mud Creek News. Haven’t been to the PO lately to pick one up. In any case, we copy it here for our readers. [Our comment on this issue is that we’d be happier if at least final minutes were available in a timely manner. Last time we looked minutes of the Parks and Recs committee hadn’t been posted online since May 2009 and the Economic Community Development PAC since Jan 2010. Have they not met since then?]
CONSISTENCY AND WHAT OTHERS DO
David A. Daniels
At the June 21st Council meeting, Keith Irving raised the issue of whether draft minutes should be made available to the public. There was back and forth discussion amongst the Councillors. Rachel Turner for the second time that I can recall spoke against it. There was the claim by some that releasing the unapproved minutes would lead to misunderstandings and quoting inaccuracies. Do the Councillors who opposed the suggestion think the public does not understand the word “DRAFT”, when it appears shaded in huge block letters across each page?
So how did the discussion end? By the Mayor kicking the can down the road and stating that “we need a staff report.” He did not wish to act on the spur of the moment; let’s see how other municipalities deal with this issue. Roy Brideau, the CAO, was not present at the meeting, but I’m sure he was delighted to hear the news on his return. One more staff project to keep his overworked staff busy.
Here’s another question for staff. Why wasn’t this issue dealt with by the $15,000.00 consultants and the public participation and public information working group, lead by Mr. Brideau and the Mayor, whose plan was adopted by the Council that evening?
Staff will now report: these municipalities issue draft minutes and most municipalities don’t. The real question is, how far will the net be thrown? When the issue of “Question Period” was recently discussed, the Mayor was happy to report very few municipalities had a “Question Period.”
Yet when it came to the “No Smoking in Cars with Children” bylaw, the net was cast wide, indeed. None in Canada. Why stop there? Bangor, Maine, was pointed to as a shining beacon. And as I recall somewhere in Australia or was it New Zealand.
I know that in the Town of Patterson, New York, Council issued minutes in draft form.
I am not suggesting that the Council should not learn from other municipalities. Sometimes it makes no sense to reinvent the wheel. When other municipalities are canvassed will their corporate strategies be reviewed? Do other municipalities have declared corporate principles of transparency and participation? On some issues, all it takes to make a decision is leadership, a little reasoning, looking at the pros and cons and figuring out what is the best way to reach the stated goals.
End of Daniels submission
Later update: on the latest news page of the ToW website there is this notice –
Clock Park Open House
Please see the notice regarding a Public Open House being held regarding the preliminary plans and further development of Clock Park. This is a drop-in opportunity for members of the public to provide their comments and thoughts on this public space.
Clock Park Open House Notice (179.89 kB)
Except the link doesn’t work so we have no idea when it is. Don’t know why they can’t just post the info on the page and be done with it instead of putting everything into a pdf file. We sent a comment to this effect. We’ll be surprised if it shows up but they might at least fix it.
They spend a lot of money on IT and still can’t get it right. A volunteer with some know how would do a better job.
UPDATE: Ww gets results. The link is fixed.
To save you downloading the pdf – here is the info.
CLOCK PARK DESIGN
PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE
Saturday July 24, 2010 10:00am-Noon
Location: Town Clock – Corner of Elm Ave and Main Street
The Town has engaged Landscape Architect, Angela Morin,
to develop a Conceptual Plan for the Town parkland at the
corner of Main Street and Elm Avenue (commonly referred
to as Clock Park and the site of the Town Clock).
Come join Angela at the Open House to provide your ideas
and comments on the work to date. Two preliminary plans
will be on display which demonstrate some of the potential
elements and design for the park. Drop in anytime during
the informal open house to view the plans and provide your
thoughts to Angela and Town staff.
We’ll have some comments tomorrow.