Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Nanaimo City Council Does?


 Whatever City Staff Tells Them To Do!

City Council recently gave third reading to a Financial Plan approving the spending of $843,932,768 between 2012 and 2016. This amount will see residential taxes increase by 4% this year and a total of 16% over the life of this plan. During the same period industrial taxes will be rolled back by 37%. This also means that city taxes will have doubled since 2001.

I have personally attended every city council and finance policy committee meeting since this plan was first presented by city staff, and have yet to witness ANY discussion, direction or deliberation come from this council relating to this document. Basically, what has been prepared by city staff, without council direction is simply getting the old 'rubber stamp' of approval from council.

This little game of smoke and mirrors gives both city council and city staff the ability to duck any responsibility for poor policy as each can point to the other as being the ones responsible. Staff can't proceed without council approval, council only takes recommendations from city staff, so when you ask who is responsible, they can both rightly point at each other.

You would be forgiven if you think the Councillors you elect actually set policy and direct city staff. That is all just a part of the little drama city hall watchers see, as council and staff go about playing their scripted roles on our little corner of the stage.

allvoices

2 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Maybe you could update the MP's contact info in your Blog?
    I think this particular comment is a bit misleading about City Staff and the process, although it may say a lot about the knowledge level of the Councilors. Many of them have not understood their 'role' adequately. To a degree this is understandable, but "change" is difficult, both for Staff & Politicians. More interesting information would be a comparison with similar sized cities .....have other Centres doubled their taxes in this time period? There is only "ONE" pocket, taxpayers eventually pay for everything.

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