"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Not in the Sistine Chapel,...that's fore sure

KA-NON has left a new comment on your post "It's No Small Thing":

There were three legitimate possibilities. 1) Hold a bi-election, 2) Council appoints, in a manner that protects the dignity of any interested parties and council & 3) The seat is left open for the duration of the term. I would have preferred option 3, followed by option 2, and would never support option 1 at this late stage of the term.

The process that is being followed is a shameful farce, and is probably being pursued to avoid the sort of backlash that followed Cllr. Gallo's appointment in the last term.

Would it be possible to amend our governing bylaw to introduce a formulaic solution to this sort of situation, which would prescribe the approach in any given situation? It might not be a simple, single formula, but rather it may recognize what point in the term the seat becomes open and invoke an appropriate method.

For example,
- if in 1st year of the term, offer the seat to the failed candidates at the last election, in descending order of votes,
- if in year 2-3, hold a bi-election,
- if in first 6 months of year 4, council appoints,
- if in last 6 months of term, leave the seat empty.

Something like that would avoid all of the nonsense and awkward shenanigans that the current, ad-hoc process presents

Posted by KA-NON to Our Town and Its Business at 29 July 2014 07:59

Provincial regulation governs the process. By elections are not allowed within ninety days of the municipal election.

Council is required to fill the vacant seat even for such a short period.  It must be done  by appointment.

The tradition has been to appoint the runner-up in the previous election. It  was deemed to be as close as possible to  a voter decision without the expense and hiatus of a Byelection

The controversy in the last appointment was  not so much the appointment as the public image of the Council making the appointment.

It had become  clear a slate of candidates had been elected on the former Mayor's coat-tails. The had managed  a majority of five elected. They couldn't be absolutely sure of Councillor Wilson.

Former Councillor Grace Marsh's resignation provided an opportunity to increase their number by one,If there was any doubt , it did not take long for  the fact to become obvious.

As far as I am aware , Council was not consulted  about al process  for this appointment.

II was recommended by staff. It had been  used in Richmond Hill in :December 2013.

The more we talked about it the more I became convinced it was a contrivance .The fact it was recommended by staff did not rule out the possibility.

Then  the question was ,why would they risk controversy that

 late in the day.?

It didn't take long  to figure out. . Scheduled  date of the  special  meeting was changed from August 12th to July 29th.

The appointment to fill the vacancy had to be made by August 23rd.

On August 12th , award of the contract for the joint operations centre is to be presented for approval.

Council was evenly divided  on the issue with the  Mayor. holding  the swing vote.

On the eve of an election .,To undertake a project of almost twenty-seven million dollars, all of it debt, with clear support of  better than  majority of Council ,is iffy at best.

A bare majority within days of the campaign , is potential suicide.

An extra vote would make it that much more comfortable.

Call me cynical. I think the fix is in.

A recorded vote was called to approve this  process . It was 7---1.

No sir,   Honour Bright.....I did not vote for the. Schmoozess    Process.

If I don't want to...they can't make me.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry but this time KA-NON'S comment is far too late. That horse has left the barn.
At least the weather is decent.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that there will be more than adequate parking. The town is almost empty.

Anonymous said...

OK - that's done & dusted. I do not believe there will be any injured feelings & I got an idea or two about candidate in the fall election.

Anonymous said...

The first meeting was excellent. Each speakers was able to talk about his/her aspirations to a polite audience. Except for Councillor Gaertner's little zinger at Grace, it was respectful.

Anonymous said...

One is always suspicious about something that has not been personally experienced, and there were many doubters questioning this very stylized and lengthy procedure.

But I take my hat off to the Clerk and whatever members of staff worked on creating the procedure and then carrying it out.

It ran smoothly, the applicants are to be congratulated on their having submitted their names and then speaking about why they were seeking this temporary opportunity, mainly within the allotted three minutes.

Questions from councillors were generally concise and to the point, and in many instances were not even asked.

The voting occurred within a short period of time and upon the second round's result being announced, a new councillor had been selected.

We are often aroused by something new, something unexpected. That is normal.

When one observes the implementation of a new procedure and the fact that it was conducted smoothly and with dignity and good grace, we should be prepared to thank all the participants.

Well done!

Anonymous said...

The Auroran has a brief article.

Anonymous said...

The appointment is another ex-mayos puppet.Not her but him.

Anonymous said...

10:05-It was interesting to see how he voted on the motions.

Anonymous said...

Just shifting sands. There will be more of that.