Thursday, April 30, 2015

About our City Council Timeline for this week ...

By now, regular readers might be wondering where the regular feature of our City Council Timeline might be.

In a normal situation, for the most part we try to have our review of the most recent council session up to the blog within a couple of days of the regular Monday evening get togethers.

As part of that review, those that follow our work know that we like to make use of the City's Video Archive on You Tube.  Taking advantage of that video documentation, to provide some direction to those areas of interest that we think our readers might find interesting in their quest for more information on Council developments.

However, this week, to this point, the City has not yet placed the Video of the April 27th council session into permanent archive on their You Tube Portal.  And while we have heard that it may have appeared briefly on that video channel earlier this week, we personally never saw it there and as of today it remains absent from its usual archival placement.

This of course provides for a bit of a problem for our usual efforts, we found the Video archive quite useful for our purposes of information delivery. And while at times, the one or two hours of council discussion could border on tedious, the video archive provided a permanent record of Council's work, without the spin or filter that perhaps the local media might provide.

Beyond the usual Council timeline feature, we also found that the Council video archive provided our blog with a number of other stories to follow up on from Council, many of which didn't make it to the other local media sources for days, or weeks following, if at all.

Obviously without the video record of events, it's rather hard to try and deliver that feature, so for this week our output on Council matters will obviously be rather limited, unless the city eventually provides the account of their work on Monday at some point in the future.

What is of some note regarding the absence of the Council video archive this week, is the lack of explanation from anyone at City Hall regarding the change in normal procedure.  With no background  on the delay to a  process which usually takes place less than a day after the meeting.

You won't find any information on the situation from the city's website, though if you look over that portal of late, you will realize that the city is not making much use of their Internet presence these days.  A shift in focus which makes the only official online access to the city a barely used instrument of late and certainly not one that could be used as best as it could.

For the most part, anyone looking for information about the work that city council is engaged in, is seemingly being directed to the Mayor's Facebook page. Which while a helpful bit of information flow, does seem to focus only on those items that the Mayor believes we should know about.

Frequently, his selections and featured links to that portal highlight some rather positive articles regarding his work from the weekly newspaper, which at times seems to be more inclined to be the communications delivery outlet for the city more than anything else.

However, while Mayor Brain's Facebook option provides for frequent updates on the Mayor's many trips out of town in the last few months, and snippets of information on some of his larger initiatives (his LNG Go Plan for instance, something which still has not been publicly delivered to the residents of Prince Rupert or provided to the city's website for review); we apparently won't find out much it seems as to why the video from Monday's council session has yet to make its way to the City's Video  archive site.

Likewise, considering how active some members of Council have been of late on twitter and other social media options, the lack of any kind of information, or answers to questions regarding the absence of the Monday session is a bit puzzling.

The You Tube Video page was created in June of last year, during the last term of Mayor Jack Musallem. Its development was a vast improvement from the previous archival system of Council sessions and one which made access to Council sessions that much more easier for local residents.

That move by the City should be celebrated for its approach at forward thinking and dedication towards a bit of transparency and accountability, words that seem to get used a bit too much from our elected officials.

On that theme however, hopefully a bit of transparency will follow in this case and we'll get an answer as to why Monday's meeting isn't making the list of must see viewing this week.

Even better, we'd prefer that they just put the video up, as it was recorded on Monday, so we can all review what Council discussed on that evening.

There are indications that Monday's session was a fairly controversial one, particularly when it came to discussion related to a housing proposal for India Avenue. However, so far for the most part there is only rumour and incomplete public information as to what took place in Council this week.

The best way to learn what our Council is doing, is through an unfiltered lens, the Council video recordings provided for that option.  It allowed residents to make up their own minds on what kind of job the elected officials and city staff are doing on our behalf.

Of course you can't make your mind up, if you have no knowledge of what was discussed.

Update: Please note that the video archive of City Council for April 27th has now been made available through You Tube, you can review it here.


  1. This coming from an anonymous blogger. News flash buddy, no name = no transparency, no accountability, no credibility. You're just a walking hypocrite. You aren't a real news agency, the City doesn't owe you any comments or replies. Get over it. This has become a gossip blog now. You're twisting information and making so many assumptions. I've lost interest in this blog. What a joke. Please post this so other people can see how others feel about this, unless of course, you're going to censor it.

    1. No censorship here, sorry you don't find much of value in the blog.
      Not quite sure how you figure its a "gossip" blog however.

      For the most part, I make use of the City Council Broadcast to outline the full council session, what was said and where readers can find it.

      You are correct though, the City or its elected officials owe me nothing, However, they probably should advise as to why the broadcast isn't available.

      Sorry you have lost interest, guess we won't be hearing much more from you then. Thanks for your contribution though.

  2. This is way too harsh!. I really admire your thorough-ness but this reads like a person with a bone to pick with the mayor. The mayor doesn't run the IT department, there is staff responsible for that. And councillers all have full-time jobs and you are bashing them all for not being on twitter every second of the day? give them a break! I strongly encourage you to keep up the good work but this article was far from your finest.

  3. Thanks for your reply. Hardly think it's "bashing" to ask that someone, somewhere outline why the Council video for Monday is not available. Considering the fondness of some on council for social media, don't think it's out of line to use the form of communication that they used during the election, if I remember they were asking for questions at that time.