When residents don’t see changes or progress the way they envisioned when voting, it can be frustrating. Curious minds want to know…
It’s easy for the public to cast blame and accusations. What would you tell them about the process that might surprise them?
Council has rules and legal guidelines to follow. When a decision is put forward in Council, the decision must abide by certain legal parameters before a bylaw can become law. However, in general the decision should follow these ideals: is it best for the community, will it set precedent, and what are the risks?
I would like the public to know that we are there representing them, keeping the entire community in mind. I can assure them that staff are diligent and concerned about accomplishing things and providing services that benefit the whole community. We go through as much information as possible before we make decisions. We usually have longer processes than they might be aware of and follow protocols by provincial or federal authorities. We do not respond to posts on social media. The public should know that the usual procedure to meet with the mayor at city hall is to make an appointment if they want to bring forward a concern and have a conversation in order to give or gather facts that pertain to their issue.
I would like to thank the public for taking the time to listen to the mayor’s report, look at the city website, and do their own research by calling or talking to me and our staff about their concerns
What I hear most often, and what I, with some sheepishness, admit that I also expressed before I became a Councillor, is that the City should be run like a business. The City can strive for fiscal responsibility and operational effectiveness as a business does, but it is not a business and does not run like one. It is confined by legislation and can only do what the legislation allows it to, and within a structured timeframe. A business is usually transactional and has one type of product or service. For example, it makes widgets, sells widgets to a customer, and each sale is a completed transaction. The City has a variety of very complex services that it must, with limited tax dollars, provide in a balanced way, to a varied community: water, sewer, roads, police services, fire services, recreational services, and more. A business usually has one boss who makes the decisions and directs the company. With a City it is a democratic process.
Revelstoke has a Mayor and six Councillors, who hopefully come with varying perspectives representing the whole community; decisions and direction are based on a majority vote; because decisions affect the community as a whole there is a need for a balanced approach often requiring consultation and deliberation. The whole process came be cumbersome and slow.
My observation would be that council is a creature of provincial government. We are under constraints, and we have requirements to follow stringent process in order to access funding or just get approval for our plans. That takes time and involves a lot of planning no matter what type of project to fulfill the requirements of funders as well as the regulatory bodies. My point is that it takes a lot more time for any individual projects to reach completion. I would say is – there is no shortage of good ideas but it’s about bringing those ideas into fruition in a way that satisfies the many stakeholders involved including the funders of project. It becomes how you most effectively navigate your priorities through this complex system.