Tuesday, February 03, 2015

My Puzzler Is A Little Sore

Changing Council Meeting Days Just Made So Much Sense!

After attending council meetings and committee of the whole meetings over the past six years I have to say that council never fails to surprise me with some of their decisions. The whole Colliery Dam debacle never made any sense from the beginning and I have always been amazed at how Council seemed to buy into that whole fable.

Then there was buying the Wellcox property and saddling Nanaimo taxpayers with a $7 million trestle we don't need, forget about $16 million for shiny new offices without going to tender. Believe me, after some of the decisions I have seen there is little that surprises me any more.

That said, I must say I nearly fell off my seat when Councilor Kipp's motion to change council meeting days to Thursday from Monday was defeated. It simply makes so much sense on so many levels ............. perhaps that is why it was defeated.

The only reason put forward by those who defeated the motion was the idea that 50 or so SHAW subscribers might not be able to watch council meetings broadcast live if they were held on Thursday rather than Monday. Of course, if those folk are online, they could still watch the live streaming video on the city website.

The Change Would Lead To Better Governance

Better Governance?? Let me count the ways ......... 

Councillors would have more time to do their due diligence and be better prepared and better informed before making decisions worth millions of dollars.

There would be nine or more extra council meetings if they were held on a Thursday, statutory holidays usually fall on the Monday which effectively cancels a meeting date.

Councillors would not be expected to properly examine a City of Nanaimo Council agenda as well as a Nanaimo Regional District Agenda in the matter of three days, over a weekend, when some folk might like some family time. Who could fault a councillor for taking some time with friends and family on a weekend and not spending as much time poring over agenda's instead? As a result taxpayer business may not get as much attention as it should.

Changing the meeting days to Thursday really is a no-brainer and one has to wonder what is really going on in the background which led to this motion's defeat. Because one thing time has taught me about Nanaimo city hall politics is that things aren't always what they seem.


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