We are now well past the two-thirds point of this council term. A strange thing started to happen during the petition process and now I am hearing it more around town, and I expect it will happen more and more as we get closer to the next election.
I do not know if people just want to believe this or maybe there really is something to it.
Getting to my point during the petition process, I heard from people we have spoke to a “councilor” or knows somebody that has spoken to a “councilor” who does not agree with council’s direction on some of the issues. I see and hear comments on blogs and around town about us having some good people on council who have lived here all their life’s who got caught up in some bad decisions but just don’t know how to get out.
Well maybe there is something to that, or maybe people just want to believe or they are making excuses.
What can a councilor do if he does not agree with the position the council has taken on an issue? Lots.
First, when the issue comes up on the agenda he needs to speak to it, to make arguments against the issue, to disagree with administration or the rest of council to vote against the item.
If it is an issue that has been gone through all ready or an issue that is being brought up in the public forum repeatedly. There is no reason that a councilor cannot add that item to the next agenda, raise it again, and express either his or the public’s concerns.
If a councilor feels that, the Mayor is jamming an issue through or not giving council enough time to deal with an issue. Councilors have the authority to challenge the Chair, it is very simple (I did it a number of times during my two terms on council) you make a motion to challenge the chair the councilor that made the motion then gets to argue his point, the Mayor gets to respond. Which is then followed by a vote amongst council where a simple majority can over ride the Mayor’s position on that item. No, I am not talking about launching a coup here or getting rude, ignorant, or disrespectful of the process, I am talking about a simple procedure that allows a member of council to stand up and say I do not agree with the ways things are being done here.
With the present council it is more that likely that any of the steps above would probably fail, but that’s ok at the minimum it would send a message to the public that there is some dissent on council that there are some councilors that don’t agree with the issues and directions that this council has taken. It is strange that at all levels of government except municipal you have opposition.
Do I think any of this will happen? No, not really with the possible exception of a few months before the next election somebody may wish to prove to the public (voters) that they are their own man.