Monday, October 20, 2014

Blair Mirau outlines plan for training program for those elected to Council this November

The Candidate and his sign, from
Blair Mirau twitter feed
Should Blair Mirau find a seat at Prince Rupert City Hall on November 15th, one of the first items on his list might be to suggest that all of the elected Council members hit the books, for a bit of training on the requirements and responsibilities of government.

The council candidate outlined his idea through his latest media release on Friday, suggesting that in a quest to ensure greater accountability from Council members, those who are elected in November should be offered "professional governance instruction" as well as "other specialized training."

Key to his proposal is the realization of the requirements for Council when it comes to dealing with financial issues of running a city.

“Only a few months after being elected, councillors must vote on a 30 million dollar budget,” said Mirau. “Elected officials must acquire knowledge of the Community Charter and learn how to assess financial reports in order to appropriately handle the responsibilities of public office."

Mr. Mirau also made note that the training he is suggesting might provide Council members to take a more cautious approach when it comes to taking issues into Closed sessions, as well as to avoid embarking on extended discussions on topics not within the city's requirements.

“Our council members should not engage in wide-ranging discussion and decisions far from their jurisdiction,” said Mirau. “However, if Council deliberately concentrates on using the powers delegated to them through BC’s Community Charter, it will make them answerable to Prince Rupert residents on matters of real concern."

Members of Council do receive a briefing program on the duties ahead for them as they take office, though we're not sure it's quite as comprehensive as the proposal suggested by the candidate.

How the current roster of incumbent members might feel about a back to school approach, not to mention the gentle reproach of some of their work on Council might make for some interesting conversations on the campaign trail.

Particularly should the topic come up for discussion at the November 4th All Candidates public forum at the Lester Centre.

The full review of Mr. Mirau's training program for Council members can be found on his website and Facebook page.

For more items on the 2014 Municipal election campaign see our archive page.

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