Saturday, February 4, 2017

You have shamed the family and now you must die.


Lunenburg Councillor, Brian Davis, has shamed the council family and now he must die.

After weeks of insisting that Lunenburg council needs to be more transparent, Mayor Bailey finally received  public affirmation of her rightness and now she wants Brian Davis to resign.  An article on the  CKBW web site states,  "Bailey is concerned Davis has damaged the trust the town has in council with his efforts over the past weeks."

There's a pattern with Lunenburg council.  It goes something like this:  A citizen, a councillor or the local press dares to ask a question.    Instead of examining a new perspective, Council does everything in its power to shut this perspective out. All effort goes into proving the rightness of how things have been done for years and in silencing and shaming the offending questioner.

Those citizens that attend council meetings have not lost trust in council because council might appear to be wrong.  They have lost trust in council because of how they consistently stone wall any new perspective.

The issue of the day is in-camera meetings, but it hardly matters. It's not the issue, it's how every single conflict is handled.  Shut it up.  Shut it up.  Shut it up.  We are right.  You are wrong. Do you see how wrong you are?  Look how badly you made us look.  Shame!

I'm a news addict.  I love to listen to interviews with other provincial politicians and local organizations.
I have heard Halifax Mayor, Mike Savage, talking about the need for HRM council to constantly examine red tape.  I have watched Annapolis Royal respond to challenges by creating a red tape committee.  A couple of years ago, I spoke to the Antigonish building inspector who told me how he was part of a local group working to reduce red tape. I heard the head of the Halifax police commission state that they were always examining ways to improve their practices.  None of these statements or actions are about being right or wrong.  They are about understanding that things can always be better.  Red tape happens in every organization.   Transparency can always be improved.  It does not matter if you can say you are right.  It matters if you can say, "We can do better."

Lunenburg never says, "We can do better."  They only say, We are right.   It's exhausting.  This is the change that the citizens who elected Brian Davis wish to see.  We want a council that does not try to get rid of a councillor with a new perspective. We want a council willing to consider that things can always be done better.

Brian Davis'  desire to constantly examine and improve should be commended.
The mayor should be saying, Thank you for your concerns.  Thank you to all the citizens of Lunenburg who are concerned. Let's see if there are ways to be more transparent.  Let's see if there are ways to make our processes better.

There's this notion that council needs to present a united front to the town.  It is the job of a Municipal councillor to represent his constituents to council, not to represent council to his constituents.   A good councillor  questions and improves the processes of council.  I voted for Brian because he was willing to do this job.  Brian represents my values and my perspectives and the values of many other residents.  I'm not sure it's appropriate for the mayor to be calling for the removal of our representation because she feels they  made council look bad.  This is government.  Reasonable people should be able to disagree.



3 comments:

  1. They try to veil themselves as somehow protecting the future when they are not "open and welcoming" to any new idea as they say.

    How long can it continue? It will only last as long as folks are quiet and not outspoken, we think!

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  2. You have hit the nail on the head when you say a Councillor's job is to represent citizens, not to present a United front. The United front approach comes from a misunderstanding of the structure and role of municipal government and from an "us vs. them" attitude. Council keeps telling us, for example, that it is acting legally when meeting in private. That is sometimes questionable, but the real point is why they want so much dealt with in private that, even if it can be, need not be dealt with in private.

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  3. Hear ye hear ye Brian Davis for mayor!

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