"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It Will Get Better

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Accountability...The Theme Of This Post.":

Have you ever considered your knowledge and experience to be a disadvantage because quite clearly you are seriously challenged to get your fellow members on side, Last term there was no hope at all with all the personal attacks, animosity and jealousy that your knowledge garnered, This term the air around your circles is smelling of sweet congeniality and willingness to do what’s right for the tax payers yet still you are faced with resistance to cut the fat, the frills, the 0 value added initiatives and get back to basic government over a mere 50 + thousand minions
It is not a new experience.  Fighting for common sense to prevail has,surprisingly, never been easy.

The best years were when I was Mayor. 

Obviously  knowledge and experience would have to be seen as an asset. It's  another one of those things that never change. 

The anomaly we have had in two recent elections was  a huge turnover in council membership.

The norm is for most incumbents to be re-elected.  One or two newbies  have the benefit of  obscurity while learnig the process.They have  an opportunity to  acquire  skills without drawing attention to the lack thereof.

They still  have to exercise judgment and vote.  Experienced Councillors would still have differences in the past. But background to issues would rarely be challenged.

Municipal staff  generally represent continuity. Institutional history resides with long experience. We do not currently  have  that advantage. Upheaval and disruption have been the operative terms.

Current  Councillors spend an inordinate amount of time in discussion with staff. I can't fault them. They dont have experience and they are trying to acquire it fast

Time is of the essence.  So for now, influence of the administration is out of whack.

Council's  role is authority and control. How is that exercised if constantly seeking advice from the people under council's authority.A council collectively light on knowledge and experience is a definite disadvantage.

Normally even that might not  be too severe a problem.

In the last term we lost experienced staff.  We lost continuity.  We lost our institutional history.

At the same time we picked up  a reputation for a being a bad place of employment.

Ontario has four hundred and forty-four  municipalities.It's a family of sorts. Bad news travels fast.

We are in the process of rebuilding a reputation. Rebuilding is harder than building.

I  do at times despair of ever returning to our traditional political character. Aurora has always been feisty But perish the thought of not even trying.

We do have a council that means to do a good job.

I am nothing if not persistent.

And I have you.

You must tell your Mayor and Councillors, regularly, what you expect. Call them. E-mail them. Greet them in the street and in the supermarket.

Wherever you see them, engage them.  Remind them why they were elected.