Remember a long, long time ago when a group of people sat in a public forum talking about change and Transparency? Last October to be exact down at the Elks Hall in what some people are now referring to has Crowsnest West (Blairmore for those that don’t want to change everything).
On August 22th I posted the following update on some council business that had transpired on August 16th. “Is this the way business should be conducted?” available at the following address. http://crowsnestpasshome.blogspot.com/2011/08/is-this-way-business-should-be.html
Personally I did not agree with the way this issue was dealt with and neither did a lot of other people I spoke to around town. But never the less at least Council and administration at that time felt the right thing to do was to show the public that they were moving forward on this issue and hiring a consultant to conduct the audit. (TRANSPARENCY)
Now we come to the meeting of September 5, 2011 his worship the Mayor and the council are reviewing the minutes of the August 16th meeting. The Mayor raises the issue of the “Enforcement Services Audit” that was brought to Council by the Director of Finance. Strangely he wants to know why this issue was raised by administration, that there was not a need to. Apparently based on the comments I heard Tuesday night when the contract was signed with “Transitional Systems Inc” to provide the Municipality with its Interim CAO, it was stated that their employees, agents etc could be used for other studies, audits etc as required by Council.
With time to reflect on this issue, the following questions jumped into my head.
First why did nobody raise a concern or objection on August 16th, none of the parties to the agreement not the CAO or any member of Council, in fact the individual who now raised these concerns on September 5th was the same individual that made the motion on August 16 to “engage Transitional Systems Inc. to undertake an Enforcement Services Audit…….” When the vote took place it was passed by a count of 6-1 with only Councilor Saje opposed.
Second concern based on my understanding of the Mayor’s comments are we to believe that the agreement they have with Transitional Systems provides council the authority to do any study, audit etc as they see fit without bringing it back for a vote at a council meeting. This only creates an issue in the sense that the business of council should be conducted in public, at least providing the public the opportunity to attend the meeting and hear the information themselves if they choose to attend. At minimum allow the press to report on the information for the public to consume when they read their local paper. (Transparency)
Third will the public ever be made aware of what’s in this contract with Transitional Systems Inc. What other work can be handed to them without it being discussed in the public forum, what kind of taxpayers dollars are being spent (Yes they will be substantial).
The cynical part of my brain says based on the lack of comments and concerns about the issue on August 16 that if I had not raised it on my blog and made the public aware of it that it would have never been mentioned at the meeting of Sept 5th. But maybe I'm wrong.