Sunday, April 23, 2017
This Time I Really Really Really Mean It
Not sure exactly how I talked myself back into writing about the goings on in our fair city after enjoying four months away from the drama that is Nanaimo City politics.
The political scene and battle for the golden purse at city hall has always been interesting. That said, lately Nanaimo politics has become very mean-spirited and just downright nasty. It is hard to imagine that with a year and a half to go in this term the rift at city hall would still be an open, festering wound. A councillor actually being arrested and released with conditions for taking a run at a city manager. A mayor, asked by 7 of 8 councillors to resign, then being subject of an investigation involving the RCMP whose term will be remembered as being the most divisive, combative council in memory, if not history.
The sidelines and especially social media are rife with biased, bigoted and mean spirited folk who are expert at telling city hall what they are doing wrong while offering no positive input. Some critics are made up of councilor wannabes jockeying for position to try and regain control of the city hall purse.
I am sure that much of the criticism from all the new council watchers is fueled by those who don't like some of the tightening of the purse strings at city hall. Those used to feeding at the trough and suckling at the city teat are having fits trying to upset the current council and won't rest until they make conditions as untenable as possible.
The NDP - CUPE - Labour Council - City Councilor connection is one that among other things has resulted in the average Nanaimo taxpayer seeing over 80% of their property tax dollars doing nothing other than paying wages and benefits the average taxpayer can only dream about. Someone working for the city who does not qualify to be a labourer starts at $24.14/hr. plus 3 weeks vacation from the get-go and benefits to die for. In what universe is that sustainable? On the other side of the work force, there was a city hall manager who (according to official statements) wanted to leave the job early, and for some reason it was in his employment contract (written by whom?) that he was 'entitled' to over half a million dollars as a going away gift courtesy of the Nanaimo taxpayer.
The next year and a half of Nanaimo politics is just going to get meaner and nastier and uglier as the blood sport continues to control the $200 million corporation, that is the City of Nanaimo. For that reason I have decided that it is impossible to pay attention to Nanaimo politics without "getting some on ya'" and no amount of scrubbing gets it off.
The problem we have with all levels of governance, whether it is in the regional, municipal, provincial, federal or global scene is rooted in the fact that we are a woefully inadequate people who choose from our numbers those to govern us, and seem surprised when we find that they too are incompetent. No longer seeking or acknowledging the need for the Divine in our lives, we are left to our own resources, with predictable outcome.