Making Decisions As If Citizens Mattered
I've received many calls from concerned citizens over the past number of weeks -- concerned primarily with Council's might is right attitude -- especially as it has to do with development.
My heart was heavy after talking with an elderly woman for about an hour on Sunday afternoon. She asked the question numerous times -- I don't understand how they can treat people in this way?
I've also just read Jennie Barron's piece in the EcoCentric -- Doodle Then And Now. She says -- "Ultimately, what was most frustrating was there nothing in the public process to allow for genuine dialogue, constructive input or cooperative problem-solving."
Startling isn't it -- nothing in the process to
allow for genuine dialogue, input and problem-solving.
This isn't the provinicial or federal government. This is our municipal council. Friends, neighbours, acquaintances, fellow citizens -- who have put their names forward to steward the community for their term. I have seen this same time and time again. Once elected, there seems to be a fear of public input.
Jennie ends her article with -- I think it's worth asking just how the candidates will court new development without divorcing themselves from the concerns and values of their electors.
Good question -- but it is not uncommon for candidates to tell the electorate what they want to hear at election time and not follow through.
That's why I think it is so important for Nelsonites to consider, as their neighbours in Rossland did twelve years ago, adopting a Constitution Bylaw.
As former Rossland Mayor Bill Profili says ...The strength of Rossland's constitution bylaw is that it forced Council to communicate more effectively. If Council had done a good job informing the citizenry they had no reason to fear a petition. If they hadn't done a good job and citizens were concerned there was an avenue for citizens to get involved.
I would love to be part a City Council that works in full and respectful partnership with citizens and who has the courage and desire to look at a Constitution Bylaw.