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Slam, bam – thank you Ma’m

It was a quick one and there was nothing

memorable about it.  Why did it take place?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON January 31, 2011   – You’re Council met Monday evening.  It was a short meeting that started with the singing of the National anthem to the scratchiest sound track you have ever heard.  The city may be on a cost containment kick but this is ridiculous.  To add to the embarrassment, just about everyone in the council chamber snickered and we broadcast that live over the internet.  It was not one of our finer moments.

Mayor Goldring advised his audience that Council met on nine occasions for a total of 28 hours in committee meetings prior to the actual council meeting – which is where everything gets wrapped up before Council gets a sort of last kick at the can.  Some of those meetings were brutal – what the Mayor didn’t tell you was that Council went into closed session for a few of the meetings. They tell you that the lawyers say this is what they have to do.  Yeah right.

All the stuff that gets done at the Committee level and them up to full council where, Monday night they zipped through it all in 38 minutes flat and that included a five minute delegation on the Freeman Station – yes it is still with us and there is the faintest of hopes that it will actually be saved.  Those who want to keep it are dogged in their pursuit.

What Council was doing was receiving all the reports from the committees, accepting them, which meant accepting the results of the committee work – but you don’t have a clue as to what is in the reports.  And boy – do they ever flip through the pages – zing, zing and then zingo.   All done with what amounts to indecent haste and certain to really turn off anyone stupid enough to have stayed on the Cogeco Cable channel for what can only be described as an unfortunate performance.  We came out looking so “bush league”.

If you didn’t know any better you would think they had something to hide – but they don’t.  There was a lot of hard work done but you get no sense of what it was.  The Mayor had an opportunity to lean into the camera a bit and explain what your council was doing on your behalf.  A missed opportunity.  They still haven’t figured out what the words ‘transparent’ and ‘accountable’ really mean.

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