Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Where Is The Transparency?

City Councillors Can Not Attend Colliery Meeting??

Apparently there is a meeting set for this Thursday between city staff and members of the 'Friends of Colliery Park Lakes Dam' which was supposed to allow for more open communication between residents and city hall. It was also supposed to present a platform for the 'Friends' to present information for staff's consideration. At least I believe that was the intent of council when they passed Councillor Pattje's motion.

I tried to attend the meeting but was told it was closed to the media. That is in spite of the fact that 'Friends' would not mind my being in attendance. It seems staff have no interest in that openness and transparency they are always paying lip service to, unless it means their decisions might be held up to public scrutiny. Why?

I have been urging all members of council to attend this meeting if they can, as that is the only way they will hear what 'Friends' wants them to hear rather than the version that has gone through the filter of 'staff', who have a reason to not have their decision questioned.

I have been in contact with a member of the 'Friends' group and they have told me that several councilors they contacted said they wished to attend, but were told they could not. HOW CAN THAT POSSIBLY BE TRUE! Is this a democracy or are we really being ruled by the King and his lords who tells the media and councillors they can not be party to this meeting?

I have sent an email to Mayor and Council seeking a clarification on this, as, if it is true then it is about time someone in this town told the little 'kings' at city hall 'enough is enough'!

It is good to see the local daily seems to be displaying some editorial policy which gives the appearance they are finally starting to fulfill their role as the fourth estate in this city, rather than just being an extension of the PR department at city hall.



  1. You said, "I tried to attend the meeting but was told it was closed to the media."

    Interesting that you were advised that the meeting is closed to the media, and therefore, you are not permitted to attend it, as I didn’t think that you are a member of the mainstream media. And have the members of " Friends" been told not to post anything on the internet about the meeting?

  2. It was not qualified as 'mainstream', but simply media, and since this site is an 'alternate' media, I guess it is still media none the less. 'Friends' can post anything they wish, I am sure. Apparently the dynamic of the meeting could change if a member of the media (mainstream or alternative) is in attendance. I can see the point, a little, I think. It could perhaps hinder open and frank discussion.
    Apparently the staff report will be presented at the Dec. 17th Council meeting at which time the 'friends' group will also be able to present their report to council and the general public.
    Hopefully, staff will not have put shovels in the ground before the results of these meetings have been duly considered by council and the public, and this part of the discussion will also involve the public both council and staff are supposed to be serving.
    Given staff have been aware of issues about these dams for years and years, the fact the whole process had to be done with such great urgency and secrecy, simply leaves a bad taste in anyone's mouth who is paying attention.
    The same tactics were used when ramming through the motion that gave us the shiny new $16 million staff office.


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