Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Monday's Council Meeting - Once Again, No Surprises

Monday’s meeting of council wasn’t much of a surprise. Only six members were present; Councillors Gervais, Williams and Zurakowski were absent.

My motion to have us undergo a review of our current procedures to ensure that we’re following the Cities Act, our bylaws and our policies, failed to be seconded, so wasn’t even discussed. This, despite the fact that one councillor present had earlier said that he would be interested in such an effort, if it would help us do our jobs better. He later told a reporter that he didn’t second it because he didn’t want to use the consultant that I was recommending. Since I didn’t (and haven’t) recommended any specific consultant, and have even mentioned that these reviews can be done internally, I’m a bit confused about his rationale. But not surprised. I am disappointed that other council members didn’t even want to discuss the opportunity to ensure that we’re following our laws and procedures properly – open discussion would have been a sign that we’re starting to function more positively.

The motion to put the excess money collected for the soccer centre into improvements rather than into a reserve fund for maintenance costs passed easily – I was the only member of council present to vote against it. Again, I wasn’t surprised. I am disappointed that a large part of the legacy of this council will be inevitably higher tax bills to pay for the maintenance of this facility, the potential costs of which haven’t even been discussed.

It is disappointing, and discouraging. I don’t really have any choice but to continue to offer suggestions and ideas, and hope that at some point, open and rational discussion will occur. But the image of being someone constantly banging his head against a brick wall does come to me with increasing frequency.

On the bright side, I attended the rally on the riverbank last Friday, organized by citizens who were outraged by the attack on a recent immigrant the weekend before. Put together at short notice, I was impressed by the turnout, and by the conviction of those present that they were going to do something to make the situation better. These are the kind of efforts that will, eventually, pay off for the community as a whole. I commend Miranda Martin for taking the initiative to organize the rally, and the people who attended for their positive attitudes and ideas.

Tuesday evening Andrea and I went up to Kinsmen Park to have supper at Taste of Prince Albert. This has become a summertime tradition for us, and judging by the size of the crowd, for many residents. The variety of food is amazing, and from the sampling that we were able to do, delicious. I also enjoy the opportunity to meet people and discuss various issues, ranging from happenings at City Hall to the progress of home renovation projects. Lynn Brown and the members of the Chamber of Commerce have once again done a great job of putting together an event that is centrally accessible, reasonable in cost, and enjoyable for people of all ages. We may have to make a second visit.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

1 comment:

Peter said...

I'm concerned about this utilities surcharge that is going up 870 percent by 2013, and utility charge that is going up by 900 percent in the same time frams;
if we have to pay for the soccar centre and all the other white elephants, plus replace crumbling infrastructure, all while taxes keep going up, how are we going to continue?
I have a feeling that future administrations are going to curse this one!