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
c) We recommend that the Council follow the terms of reference which we will
draft and that the
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
this is even more blatant control than when I was on council.