A Conversation is Happening ...
... people are talking about
democracy, citizen empowerment, referendums, and much
It's wonderful to have people approach me asking about a Citizen's Initiated Referendum Bylaw - curious, challenging, informed or mis-informed -- it doesn't matter. I love to have these discussions.
Rossland's Muncipal Constitution is based on the belief that citizens (voters and taxpayers):
- will take an interest in issues of substance;
- will seek to inform themselves about facts; and
- will debate the merits and the cost of public policy questions
The Rossland Bylaw gives citizens the ability to initiate a referendum process, on issues they deem important, if they secure signatures from a certain percentage of registered voters. Rossland citizens chose 20% as their benchmark.
There are some that have a concern that the community would constantly be embroiled in a referenda process. Research shows this doesn't happen. It takes time and energy to undertake a petition and citizens will only engage in a petition process for an issue of substance.
Rossland City Council trusted the wisdom of their residents and had the courage to implement this progressive Bylaw.
p>Rossland's Constitution Bylaw has created a healthy working partnership between council and citizens/taxpayers.
It could do the same for Nelson.