There's a lot of silly-billy stuff floating about right now. Like the idea a person elected only speaks as a Councillor some of the time.
Any time a Councillor speaks on a public issue he/she speaks as a Councillor. It cannot be otherwise.
Beig elected is not a cloak one wears on appropriate occasions.
If Councillor Abel chooses to make his views known, he knows they will be subject to agreement and/or disagreement.
He knows there will be little hesitation on the part of some people who do not reveal their identity, to take gratuitous shots
It's par for the course.
Politics is no place for a shrinking violet. Double-speak will always be outed.
Here's something else I thought about while stirring the soup.
Even if everything else I've said about the terms of the agreement and lease between the town and the Culture Centre Board is
inaccurate and my purpose is to create confusion , this much is absolutely true:
The agreement calls for public resources to be handed over to a board that deliberates in secret. A practice they state to the press they intend to continue.
The only requirement in the previous agreement for them to receive a quarterly payment of public funds was to submit a financial statement to the town treasurer.
No requirement was imposed for that official to report any aspect of the statement publicly to Council .
He did not.
Readers may re-call during the last term I asked the town solicitor to provide a list of legal costs incurred by the former Mayor up to that point.
I was assured I would receive them. .
I was asked if I objected to a consultation with the C.A.O.
I said I did not so long as I received the information.
Next, there a resolution moved by former Councillor Evalina MacEachern and seconded by former Councillor Al Wilson was approved that allowed the solicitor to refuse to provide the information I sought.
During debate on the question, the Treasurer was asked if he found the resolution acceptable. He replied it was.
Whether or not the intention of the last Council was to have a member serve on the Culture Centre Board and be secretly paid is neither here nor there.
The fact is, the agreement made it possible.
Public funds were handed over, deliberations and decisions were made in secret. Financial statements needed only to cite a total for salaries
In fact, individual salaries are protected by the right to privacy.
Had everything gone as planned and the last Council ad been re-elected.with all Councillors owingelection to a specific organisation and staff amenable to whatever strategy presented to withhold information from the public, the status quo would undoubtedly been upheld. And we know who would have been in charge. .
The Culture Centre Board continues to hold that meetings shall not be public.
If resources at hand were privately raised and used accordingly
there could be little fault found.
But resources are not private.
Close to a million dollars of public resources are involved.
There is little in the former agreement or its successor that warrants public trust and confidence.
Board membership of two Councillors and the Mayor, all bound to secrecy, will do nothing to meet the requirement for openness ,
transparency and accountability.
Quite the opposite.