"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

Sunday 2 December 2007

Answers to a Reader's Questions

A comment on my Blog asks why I missed the last council meeting. Was I asked not to attend? Could I be made to resign?

I was not feeling up to snuff on Tuesday. There was a Budget Meeting on Monday, a Public Planning Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Budget for Saturday. Tuesday's Agenda had nothing of any significance so I decided to harbour my resources.

From my perspective, my relationship with council colleagues is not difficult. There is some overt hostility that surfaces occasionally from the Mayor and Councillor MacEachern but since the feeling is mutual it balances itself out.

Communication is formal. Rules of order require civility. There is little room for awkwardness. There are no suggestions I should not attend meetings or hints from anybody that I should consider resignation.

I realize my frankness in this venue.my Letters to the Editor and e-mails to colleagues could be construed as counter-productive to a working relationship. But, time passes, issues are decided in a consistent pattern. The gap between my perception of the obvious and that of some colleagues is relatively constant. I do not claim my judgement to be always right, but I do claim experience and knowledge. For that to be discounted on a regular basis is more than needs to be silently endured. Professional advice is also regularly discounted. Staff must silently accept the authority of the elected body. I do not...have to be silent that is.

There is an option in these days of modern technology. I can present my side of things for those who choose to read. They may disagree vehemently, dismiss with vigour, or share my views as with like minds.

The Mayor and council have decided, wrongly in my opinion, to retain legal counsel at public expense to advise that I do not have the authority to follow my option to continue to share information frankly and freely, boldly and bluntly, as I promised in my election campaign. I continue to believe it is a legitimate option.

Blogging is a relatively new phenomena in today's politics. It is too early to tell what the ultimate effect will be but for now it is dramatic. Before the bllog, politicians were completely dependent on journalists to interpret what they were saying. Journalists are dependent on editors for how much print space might be available for any story. That was always an occupational hazard. As it went, I didn't have a lot to complain about. But it is much more agreeable to have my own conduit through the Blog.

Letters to the Auroran Editor also provide a powerful sense of freedom never before experienced. Although, to be sure, it's not every politician who would consider that an advantage.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad your daughter is a contributor now. I bet you appreciate that. I know I wish I had that going for me.

Heather said...

I'm jumping on to comment on the comment above. I've had 'contrbutor' priveledges for some time now so that I can add pictures, etc, when Evelyn requests it. For some reason Blogger decided just this week to add my name to the sidebar. I've removed it.

Daughter Heather and Contributor Heather are two different people. We're both wonderful though!

Anonymous said...

The difference between the business world and the political world according to you and The Auroran makes me thankful to be part of the former, and fearful of the latter.
It seems that some politicians feel that their views, their egos, their war strategies trump the common good.
Sad that there is so little regard for serving others.
I'm hoping that somehow, someone can rise to the challenge of leading through example at a local level, the values that globally can lead us to save our world.