City fumbles with the technology used to record votes, make visual presentations and has to work with lousy cameras in the council chamber. We look like buffoons..

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 7th, 2017



It wasn’t the best way to end the year but it was what it was.

After more than a year of talking about letting to public see how council members vote at city council meetings some technology was finally acquired and the public was about to see how it worked.

It didn’t – even though staff and city council had been prepped on which buttons to push to record their vote.
At one point the Mayor asked why some of the council members had not logged in to record their votes.

The system puts the issue to be voted up on the screen for the public to see – appreciate that these council meetings are broadcast live via Cogeco TV.


The issue being voted on appears on the large screen and on the iPads the council members use to cast their vote.

After a couple of embarrassing silences the Mayor declared that the vote, which was just to approve the minutes of the previous council meeting, was passed unanimously – they decided to give up on the technology for the evening and move on.


The Mayors iPad screen lets him know when all the council members have voted. He then enters a command and the results of the vote appear on the screen. Quite why there were nine possible votes was never explained – they just gave up on the technology.

Not one of their more glorious moments.

This stuff is not rocket science – it just makes them look a little on the dumb side.

City Manager James Ridge brings a Canadian Army background to his job; more drill needed Captain.

The technology dysfunction isn’t limited to the electronic voting.

During a Standing Committee meeting earlier in the month when there were 11 delegations on one matter – the clickers that allow a delegation to move through a presentation just would not work.


Ken White did his best to make the clicker he was given by the clerk – it just wouldn’t work for him – nor for anyone else who wanted to present some interactive video.

Time and again a delegator would throw their hands up in frustration when the device they were given to use would not perform.

If this were a private company making a presentation to a potential client they would all be fired – and would probably not earn the business they were after either.

These are not difficult problems to resolve – fix them and stop embarrassing everyone.

The production values of the web casts leave a lot to be desired. In a word they are lousy. The images are not crystal clear – put better cameras in place.

We look like buffoons from some hick town where internet access is still via dial up modem

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2 comments to City fumbles with the technology used to record votes, make visual presentations and has to work with lousy cameras in the council chamber. We look like buffoons..

  • Penny

    Try enrolling for a program at registration times for the Seniors. It is a nightmare. The system locks, or goes down completely. Frustrated members come into the Centre on the day to try to sort out why they were thrown out in the middle of registering. For those seniors that are not computer literate they have stopped using the telephone system to allow them to register. Previously City Hall was open to allow for registration, this has been taken away. Those members who cannot use a computer can go to the Seniors’ Centre, Tansleywoods and Brant Hills- and stand in line to be served while the available spaces are being taken by those able to use a computer ( if they can get into the system).

    This problem has been going on for years, with “fixes” supposedly done, and the promise that this would not happen again – to date the promise of a smooth registration process has not been achieved…..WHY!

  • Stephen Warner

    We look like buffoons from some hick town”… Yep no dispute there.