Monday, March 4, 2013

Who's in control? Agenda Committee

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Politics and the control of councils, during my two terms on council it became very apparent to me that the Mayor set the agenda, not an easy process unless you have willing participants. How did he do it? Simple he set up three committee’s, Corporate Services, Operational Services and Community Development. When an issue regarding a particular subject for example, a development it would go in front of the corporate services, a problem with infrastructure in front of Operational services and so on.
Very quickly it became apparent what was going on each of these boards were made up of the Mayor and two councilors appointed by the Mayor, so of course he would always appoint one councilor that towed the line to each committee. In reality these committee’s became a screening process so the Mayor could control what issues did and did not come to Council. When George Cuff came in and did his organizational review he made the following recommendation.

8. Eliminate the Standing Committees of Council
a) We recommend that the Council pass a resolution (which we will draft) to
rescind the resolution creating the three standing committees. We recommend
that the Council do so immediately.
b) We recommend that the Council create by resolution a Committee of the
Whole hereafter known as the “Governance and Priorities Committee” of
Council (GPC).
c) We recommend that the Council follow the terms of reference which we will
draft and that the CAO review/edit these as the need arises.

Council agreed to this change and it changed the way Council did business for the better, after this change all issues came to council without being screened.

Now according to Councilor Saje’s letter released today we have gone back in time, items that councilors wish to put on agenda’s are not being placed there. I have seen a number of times where somebody as tried to bring something up, the Mayor’s asked if the issue was given to the “AGENDA COMMITTEE” well was I ever shocked to read Councilor Saje’s letter and see that the “AGENDA COMMITTEE” is made up of??? The Mayor and the CAO this is even more blatant control than when I was on council.


Anonymous said...

"Victor (Tanti) makes crisis communications look easy", is what it says in the photo caption on the company's site. So the Mayor created the crisis and is bypassing the normal channels to bail his sorry butt out -- using our money. No regard for the taxpayer. What a way to run a ship. Time to go Mr. Mayor, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how he pulled this name out of the hat? How did they pull Kevin Robins name out of a hat? Interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Google also said he is a "mortgage agent", huh.

John Prince said...

Good post and spot on analysis.

It seems that in the world of CNP politics "He who controls the agenda controls the outcome."

Andrew has clearly shown that this is how our mayor and CAO have successfully arranged things at our municipal hall and why there has been so little discontent and unanimous decisions. The real sadness is how easily manipulated councillors have allowed themselves to become, and what an affront to our democratic institution has been allowed to take place by subterfuge… or was it simply compliance of the willing?

It seems we have yet another control freak who in collusion with the CAO is running our municipality by way of dumbed-downed, conformist councillors, lacking in both intelligence and moral courage who are obviously ignorant of how they are being used to do that that they know not what they do.

Once again, "He who controls the agenda controls the outcome." Individual councillors have allowed themselves to be manipulated to where they are nothing more than rubber-stampers to their masters, the mayor and CAO. What folly. What stupidity.

How irresponsible of our councillors to absolve themselves of their duty and responsibility by giving total control to the workings of our council chambers to the mayor, who in turn has carte blanche to do as he pleases. No wonder this community is in the mess that it is in when all checks and balances of a democracy have given sway to the dictates of a tyrant.


Anonymous said...

So who sits on the policy committee. Is that all of council?

Anonymous said...

Where in the world did they get an idea for a two man cmmittee? Even in the worst days of the Soviet Union, Stalin knew a committee needs at least three people. (troika) Wouldn't councillors and an experienced CAO question such an odd arrangment? I thought all the push was to bring us into 21 Century. This "two man committee" is straight out of medical times, or even before. And they think they have a communications problem?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you have an egomaniac for a mare and 6 newbie councilors. How dare the newbie mare change the way this was done in the past. Would it have needed to be voted on in order for this change to take place?
And for 6 councilors being blind to this for over 2 years. Or were they afraid. Even Saje, kept his mouth shut a long time before spilling the beans.There were whispers before this that he did not like the way things were being run.Why wait so long.Why not challenge the mare publicly.At a council meeting perhaps.Or is this just a re election ploy.
It all makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

Dumb auto-correct: medieval times!

Anonymous said...

Anom 4:17 Bingo. You have got to the heart of the manipulation. Gallant, Mitchell amd Decoux. Believe me Mitchell is way past his prime and hardly understands what is being said. Nice appointments hey. This committee gets all the information, makes the decisions and the rest of council gives the nod not understanding.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be a good time for the other councillors to step up. Finally maybe have a voice.

Anonymous said...

"Victor Tanti is a senior consultant with Calder Bateman Communications where he provides communications counsel to a diverse client base on public policy issues and social marketing initiatives. A graduate of Carleton University (MA) and the University of Alberta (BA), Victor served the Edmonton Public School Board with distinction for 15 years, most notably as Director of Communications."


Perhaps this is an old buddy of the Mayor's that he would like to have around when the inspection comes, just so that he can do a little private consulting? (on our tax dollars?)

This is just a thought now.....I wouldn't want to start any uninformed rumours!

peter rosner said...

SOMEHOW I THINK I WROTE THIS BEFORE------- "Napoleon, with the dogs following him, now mounted onto the raised portion of the floor where major had previously stood to deliver his speech. HE announced that from now on the Sunday-morning meetings would come to an end. They were unnecesary, he said, and wasted time. In future all questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special committee of pigs, presided over by himself. These would meet in private and afterwards communicate their decisions to the others.---------------AH NAPOLEON AT HIS FINEST--- I GUESS WE KNOW WHO THE "OTHERS" ARE NOW.

Anonymous said...

If I got this right the Agenda Committee is made up of Decoux & Thompson. The Policy Committee is made up of Decoux, Gallant & Mitchell. The Policy Committee has tripled in meetings and the Council meetings have been reduced and shortened.

I think I am getting the picture.

Anonymous said...

MGA 196(2) Notice of a council or council committee meeting to the public is sufficient if the notice is given in a manner specified by council.

Do you know of a resolution or bylaw that specifies this ?

Anonymous said...

If there is an Agenda Committee it must have been struck and appointed by resolution. You follow Council more closely than I do, I think you would have noticed that.

A Google search like this turns up ~10 references: "agenda committee"

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