There aren’t many municipal blogs, which surprises us, but there it is. So we keep tabs on municipal stories elsewhere. Here’s a bad idea gestating in the Ottawa Valley.
Council has directed staff to prepare a bylaw that would give the chief administrative officer delegated authority to make decisions during the ‘lame duck’ period.
That’s a bad idea.
According to the draft bylaw that was presented Monday night for council’s consideration, the CAO would be responsible for appointing or removing any officer of the municipality, hiring or dismissing of any employee of the municipality, disposing of any real or personal property of the municipality which has a value exceeding $50,000 at the time of disposal and making any expenditures or incurring any other liability which exceeds $50,000.
A really, really bad idea. Said one Councillor:
“I’m not comfortable with council being essentially neutered for a period of time,” he said. “I don’t know if that is what’s democracy is all about. I’m not happy with it.”
What is surprising is how willing Petawawa’s Council is to give its power, our power, away. Said the mayor whose vote was needed to break a tie:
“We could muddle through without delegated authority, but I have no problem recommending this and I think we should have faith in our staff,” he said.
Beware. These idea get passed around at those Municipal Conferences we pay our Councillors to go to.