In my humble opinion democracy means a definitive set of rules and bylaws defining the do’s and don’ts, cans and can’ts, for the citizens of the municipality. These regulations should largely be administered impartially and impersonally by our municipal staff.
When questions or concerns arise it is the job of councillors and the mayor to adjudicate the issues. It should not be different for a well-connected person of great influence versus an ordinary citizen that has never entered the hall.
Those items that represent a departure from established protocol or which impact heavily on a group or community should require that council engage the issue and the public before any decisions are contemplated.
It is not acceptable democratic conduct for backroom decisions involving developers, MLAs, MPs, and persons of influence to bypass public input and force the resultant decision on the public after the fact.
This is the essence of our municipal dichotomy. The old guard gang of six remains mortally offended that the hidden and comfortable back room of the last administration isn’t so hidden or comfortable since Rick Green arrived on the scene and has doggedly represented the interests of his constituents. Several of them stated for the public record after the last election that they would not work with the new mayor even before they had met and got acquainted with him. The rest of the story is the history of the last two years.
Last week, according to the editorial cartoonist of a local newspaper, we have a new candidate for mayor who is very experienced at working with turkeys. If he is elected and is serious about the concerns of citizens, he’ll need all the “turkey experience” he can get to cope with the gang of six. If on the other hand as he has stated that he intends to work with the existing council it would suggest that he won’t make waves and will obediently take direction from the backroom as they do. I sincerely feel we would then have a gang of six rubber stamp slate.
The good news is that we have six months to expose these issues and elect new councilors to restore democracy to municipal hall.
Robert Moats, Langley