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Members of Council have found a way to stiff people who want to address them

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 8th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We wrote last week asking where have all the good delegators gone – those men and women who pay attention to what is taking place at city council and then make the time to put their thoughts and observations on paper and speak to Council.

We wondered aloud if the issue was the limitations put in place by Covid19 or was there something else?

The something else is a change in the way the Clerk’s office handles requests for delegations.

You have to let the Clerk know that you wish to delegate – which isn’t unreasonable; the Clerk has to know how many delegations there are going to be in order to get a sense as to just how long a meeting might last.

What is new is the requirement that a delegate submit a copy of the delegation before they are told they can actually delegate.

The Chair of the meeting explains that this is done so that members of Council can think about what they are going to hear and be able to ask questions of the delegation.

On those occasions when there are no questions from council, the Chair of the meeting will tell the delegate that there point was so clear there was no reason for any questions.

Jim Young standing

Jim Young

That is so slick as to be just a little sickening.

It is the open sharing of ideas and the willingness to not only listen but to hear what is being said that keep a society stable.

Jim Young, a frequent delegator in the past,  put it so well when he told council during a delegation: “the power they have was given to them by the electorate “in trust” and that they were expected to use the power they were given wisely.”

Council seems to have tired of listening to the people that elected them.

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Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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4 comments to Members of Council have found a way to stiff people who want to address them

  • Joe Gaetan

    ECOB probably had a lot to do with unseating a few former council members while shepherding in 1 or 2 of the newbies. Now it seems like NO ECOB = NO CITIZEN VOICE. I guess voters now know everything they need to know when it comes to, helping reelect candidates, or who we will vote for in the next election. Covid is no excuse for taxation without representation.

  • Judy CHRISTIE

    Oh,Oh, This is scary! We need to hear from this delegations, please!!

    • Judy, Our delegations were allowed today probably because of the Burlington Gazette comments left them little option. Committee Chair Shawna Stolte said she had a list of questions to staff raising some of the same issues and welcomed us back to Council on November 23rd to hear further issues where we did not have time to complete our research. The Editor has our verbatim delegation and will we are sure share with readers. We will also share with The Editor our letter going to Minister Clarke, MPP McKenna and the Premier hopefully by tomorrw end of busines day that will document why we need to move to standardized Procedure Bylaws through the Municipal Act regulations. Once the Committees response to our delegations is known in terms of the recommendations going to Council we need people like yourself to support Council putting an end to their self-serving decisions and Procedure Bylaws to begin to get back to where we were before the 2010-2018 Councils were elected and encourage delegations being able to return to the lectern. .

  • Mr. Editor you are absolutely bang on with this article. Our delegations at Tuesdays CPRMC (if allowed this time) address this and much more. Hopefully, they will encourage the community to delegate at Council on the issues in terms of how Committee deals with what we have to say.