The night making for an extensive review of a number of themes that was pretty well a polar opposite to some of those very short Council sessions of the recent past, where Councillors rarely contributed much to the debate other than standard lines from a fairly predictable script.
The First public session for March providing for a thorough presentation from the City's Chief Financial Officer as to the state of the city's finances, the planning underway for the Budget and the recommendation for a potential 3.63 percent tax increase to cover some of the load of civic expenses and required program delivery.
The Monday meeting also delivering details on a number other important themes such as the extensive discussion held over how the new Bylaw regulations on rental housing will work.
Coming out of that discussion were some other thoughts of interest related to the wider issue of bylaw enforcement in the city.
Also of note from Monday, word of another delay for the completion of the Woodworth Dam, plans to add on to the city's fire department staff, a move for Public Works into the former MacCarthy GM building and many other items that the public may find some interest in and wish to hear first hand, any comments or observations from their elected officials.
Items ranging from a synopsis of the night's work with some carefully chosen highlights and positioning statements, to the introduction of their information relay on the Budget process ahead and how the public can participate in it.
Still there is one key element of the Council night missing and that's the posting of the Monday night meeting to the public forum that is the City's Video Archive on YouTube.
Something that normally takes place within twenty four hours of the conclusion of the twice a month public sessions, but so far this week, a video archive of events that has not yet made it to showtime on the municipal portal.
Even more curious from the absence is the lack of an explanation to date from any communication portal that the city has, as to why it hasn't been posted yet.
Now there could be any number of reasons for the missing broadcast, councillors can be clumsy at times and perhaps knocked a plug loose, City Hall could have a pest problem with a pesky critter having chewed through the wires, or maybe someone just forgot to turn on the recording machine.
But until someone at City Hall decides that there may be a need to provide an official explanation as to the missing account of Monday's session we may never know.
Having the video presentation of Monday's council session, particularly one that seems rather pivotal for a civic agenda in the months ahead, is something that would be quite helpful. Allowing as it would for an opportunity for community residents to see and hear the Councillors as they spoke to the themes raised on the night.
Something that is more important than ever these days, considering how local media in Prince Rupert has for quite a while now, taken a less than fully engaged approach to covering any news out of City Hall, or offering a curious eye as to the developments on the municipal scene.
Should the video remain absent, hopefully one of the Council members will make note and seek an answer at the next Council session on March 28th. And even if it does eventually make a guest appearance in the archive, an explanation as to why it took so long couldn't hurt towards the sharing of information.
It's probably a topic for the raising for those on council other that Mayor Brain, or Councillor Mirau, who have both announced plans to depart municipal politics this fall.
For those on Council that may be planning to seek re-election in October however, asking a few questions about how the city relays its information on civic topics in a timely fashion will make it a just a little easier to trot out the political cliches on transparency and accountability at election time.
As for Monday's Council session, through the wonders of audio recording we managed to gain enough notes from Monday's meeting to put together our Council Timeline which you can review here.
Update: The City posted the video of the Council Session to their Archive page on March 23rd.
The meeting was about a tax increase and a clumsy attempt to appear to be doing something about housing without spending any additional money on enforcement and administration. There is nothing to see here. Move on.ReplyDelete
Council and the administration is doing a good job. I watch the council meetings they seen to spend their time praising one another.ReplyDelete
The last meeting what upset me was putting a new $150,000 roof on a building we are just renting. The owner should provide the roof or was it in the lease agreement we would put on a new roof. Either case is upsetting.
The preoccupation at what are usually quite short meetings with mutual admiration and self-promotion does indeed get tiresome. Council members are unlikely to ask about things like the new roof because they've probably already heard the answer in the closed meeting before the public one. Open government has never been their strong suit.ReplyDelete