Council should face decisions with open mind

Former Harrison councillor says making mind up before the process is the 'waste of time'

Re: Parking plan runs out of gas

I have grave concerns about Councillor Jackson’s comments on the process.

I attended the meeting where this staff report and recommendation were presented and, having been the councillor whose vote apparently ended the last round of pay parking proceedings, I have some insight into this.

I waited until the final representation at that meeting before I made up my mind on how to vote because that is the purpose of the meetings.

If council, as Councillor Jackson’s comment might seem to recommend, simply made up their minds about important decisions before all the information had been presented to them and the public in fora such as council meetings or public meetings we would be able to run our local government based solely on the occasional poll.

Instead, we have a process that gives opportunity for compelling arguments to be made for and against any motion put before our elected officials.  I, for one, expect my elected officials to be responsive and responsible to all presented information as I do not expect any of them to know everything about any of the topics they are called to make decisions about.

I have zero interest in an elected official entering a process on my behalf with her mind already made up.  I hope and expect that Councillor Jackson’s comment was borne of frustration (a component part of democracy) and disappointment that what he thought was the right thing to do was not going to be done.

That said: entering a process such as the one that came to this decision about pay parking with your mind already made up, either for or against, would be irresponsible, disrespectful of the role of government and public accountability and, ultimately, a “waste of time.”

Wil A. Watchorn

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