It's a definite risk.
If I talk too much,there's a possibility I will have no audience.
And yet. And yet..... And yet.
I've tried different tactics. Not speaking first. Waiting for someone else to raise the questions..
It's not really an option. .
Only two members of Council are not neophytes..Slim chance the answers I need will be sought.. .
Yet there's no guarantee I will be heard.. I am not in command.
I must be persistent, I must be patient. I must be civil.
Logic dictates the political and the administrative work towards a common end.
Tension is natural and desirable.
The dance, in all its intricacy, must proceed.
Saturday, from nine to four was spent at the town hall.
Agenda included presentations, from department heads on the program for 2013.
Budget details were not up for discussion. A broad overview was the purpose.
Quietly receptive with hands folded pontifically would probably be the perfect demeanour.
Await like a fallow field .
First the fertiliser is spread , furrows plowed and seed sown. The elements combine, green shoots appear and ultimately grain and whatever else was in the fertisliser is ready to be harvested.
Yes, I know. .
It's an unfortunate analogy.
When one is captured in a day long situation of listening, waiting to speak,,,,,,,,all kinds of mischievous thoughts race and chase one another through one's mind.
Actually, I can only speak for my mind..
One cannot enter the mind of another...however hard one might try.
A rote has been established as a result of adoption of the twenty-year strategic plan. It means all parties must function like robots.
George Orwell's 1984. thirty years on.
Every recommendation starts with a statement of aims of the Strategic Plan.
The municipality will "provide an exceptional quality of life" .
Well y'know, it's likely a generational thing. Every time I read that phrase,"exceptional quality of life" in the context of a municipal bureaucracy, I think:
WTF! WTF! .....WW!!TTT!!!FFFF !!!! It's like banging my head against the wall.
Who do we think we are?
What powers do we imagine we possess?
How do we expect to know what represents an "exceptional quality of life" common to a population of fifty- five thousand people of all ages,genders, creeds, cultural backgrounds, financial ability, tastes interests and pecadilloes
How remotely achievable is that aim?
How does any intelligent person stand in a public meeting with a straight face and espouse the principle. if only Council imposes ythis level of taxation, a bureaucratic administration of a municipal corporation can deliver "an exceptional quality of life for all".
A consultant study at a cost of $80,000 was authorised in the last budget to produce the magic formula.
The study was completed with community participation claimed.
The final product procleimed "exceptional quality of life" as the objective.
.The Shang-ri-La concept was adopted and this year's budget is formulated to fulfill the objective.
Council is now faced with the consequences of what has been wrought.
I didn't vote to spend $80,000 on a consultant study to formulate a twenty year strategic plan.
I didn't vote to approve a plan with such lofty aspirations.
I did not echo the CAO's satisfaction that Council had bestowed on the administration ,responsibility for implementing the plan.
I was the grinch that stole.
I shall throughout the budget process attempt to throw light on
items which do not justify themselves in the cold clear light of practicality. and attempt to influence the vote. .
I will likely talkalot.
Will anyone listen?
Does that mean I should not speak ?
Should the public be encouraged to believe all is well despite an ever growing , crushing burden of taxation with little to show, at the level of government whereat there is the greatest opportunity for control ?
Does the word "Gravy train" come to mind?
Quiet contemplation in the face of adversity is not a familiar inclination.