Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Strategic Plan Supports Spending Tax Dollars

Your Taxes At Work
Staff & Council Decide To Spend Another $50,000
To See How To Govern

Once again, city staff and city council are using that $120,000 document (which had input from a few hundred people) to justify spending tax dollars on yet another study. The purpose of this new study is to see if they are governing according to the operating philosophy in the Strategic Plan.

The outside consultant is supposed to be able to tell the brain trust at city hall how they are performing in the following areas:
  • Use of committees
  • Role and authority of committees
  • Timing and format of meetings
  • Policies related to in-camera meetings
  • Practices for preparing Council for decision-making, including Council Briefings
  • Delegated authority to staff (including delegation bylaw)
  • Council Meetings (including procedure bylaw)
It would seem that our highly paid and highly competent staff are not capable of figuring this stuff out for themselves. It also seems to be a mystery for the majority of city council.

Just What Kind Of Management Are Taxes Paying For?

In the preamble to the last financial statement, the city manager supported the idea of spending $120,000 on a strategic plan (useless IMHO) as it is virtually impossible to structure an organization and set priorities without one. We are now told we need to hire someone to see if we are following sound governance principles. You might be forgiven for asking what level of management competence we have been paying for these past decades.

Council Seems Confused About Spending Your Money Also

In the brief discussion at the COW meeting on Nov. 5, Councillor Johnstone noted that the money was in the budget seeming to fail to see that just because the money has been put into an account via over taxation last year, is no reason to spend it. She seems to miss the point, that if it wasn't spent on this useless study, your taxes won't have to go up $50,000 to cover some other expense. Like say a broken water main.

Who Is Accountable Anyway?

It used to be that city staff could never be held accountable as all final decisions are made by council, who incidentally for the most part always follow staff recommendations, in fact five councillors will vote for a staff recommendation 99.9% of the time. Those who actually watch council know this to be true, something the local shoppers masquerading as the fourth estate seem to miss, none of whom attended this COW meeting but will likely report on it anyway.

Now, dear Nanaimo taxpayers, they can both point to YOU as the ones who have told them how to spend tax dollars, as YOU gave them the mandate as long as what they are doing can somehow be linked to a few words you can dig out of the Strategic Plan.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for throwing a light on exactly how stupid these people 'managing' our city are! Since moving here, I couldn't help but wonder why this jewel is so sort of grimy and depressed. Now I get it! We have to get rid of these people on the Council before they destroy everything!


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