Forget four year terms, go back to annual voting

What voters really want is better accountability, says former mayor

I don’t know who wrote the editorial (Observer, Sept. 27) suggesting longer terms for municipal politicians but they clearly don’t know anything about the subject or democracy. Every year, the UBCM trots out this self-serving claptrap to keep their greedy snouts in the public trough a little longer. The current three year terms (which were brought in by Premiere Rita Johnston) have been a disaster, right up there with scrapping the Inspector of Municipalities and “empowering” councils through the Community Charter.

We used to have very economical annual elections and a high level of accountability and stewardship. November elections were a routine job carried out by staff at little cost. Now staff are apparently incapable and, every third year “consultants” are hired to run an unnecessarily expensive election.

Elected official now treat the public with contempt, secure in the knowledge that they cannot be voted out for three whole years and don’t have to report to anyone in between. The harm being done to B.C.’s communities by entrenched politicians and mandarins is enormous.  Bring back annual accountability, I say. Give the voters a voice, a vote and a veto on incompetence. Stop this degradation and dumbing-down of our democratic system.

John Allen

Editor’s Note:

Last week’s editorial was written by Black Press reporter Jason Roessle.  This response was penned by another Black Press editor, Frank Bucholtz from the Langley Times. Both writers, coincidentally, have covered Harrison and Agassiz municipal politics in their careers.