"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

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

There Is Heirarchy

I've made the point before. Obviously not strongly enough.

Every decision is Council's responsibility. There  is no point beyond.

It is the reason for being and why a Council numbers nine.

It is not about workload . It is everything about keeping council honest and accountable.

An elected council is not a team. It is not a congenial social circle complete with hangers-on.

It is anything but that.

The City of Calgary was in the news last week. Councillors  have been drinking at in-camera meetings.Other Councillors objected and brought the matter to public attention.

The youthful Mayor, elected without experience I believe,feted nationwide for his fresh approach to city affairs, went on television and confided he had  no control over Councillors' behaviour. On another occasion , he apparently broke down under the stress. Poor boy.

Not for a minute is such conduct indicated by Aurora's Mayor  and  Council .

We  do have cause for concern however.

First is the  Mayor's avowal not to "micro-manage". Or manage at all apparently.

The statement  accompanied  his refusal to account for a twenty-six year employee's modest job
being slid right out from under her.

The exchange took place in an in-camera meeting. It was no less a business exchange .

Question presents: how does one accept responsibility while refusing to exerciseresponsibility

Second concern is adherence to the virtue of  agreeability  and co-operation to "get things done"

Attaining nine independent minds at the Council table through the electoral process might not be reasonable expectation.But the number has potential for something other than an amorphous blob.

Senior levels of governments have separate parties .The government proposes. Her Majesty's Loyal

Opposition opposes

Proposals are analyzed, flaws discovered and government's feet are held to the fire.

Less is pablum. Tasteless and formless.

At a recent Council meeting, two new Councillors flailed about seeking satisfactory answers on the delay and extra costs for the AFLC project.

Answers quoted  in the news story came from staff.

The Head  of Council apparently had nothing to say. Doubtless maintaining his position of non-micro-managing or by definition, non- involvement.

The  point  has been made before.

Once more with feeling I repeat,

Staff are accountable to Council.

Council is responsible for staff and to the public.


Anonymous said...

The Mayor of Calgary is into his second term. If this drinking is a recent thing, I think that he has the "experience" that you beleive he needs.

Staff are accountable to council however if you cannot allow them to do their jobs without watching over their shoulders, why have them?

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that the Council is letting large important matters like that cost up-grade on the Leisure centre go without a whimper while touting left-hand turn restrictions on Yonge which will be decided by the Region.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you up to a point. When it comes to signing on the dotted line, those doing so had better know what is contained in each and every agreement.
Otherwise the signer[s] can look incompetent.