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Monday, May 7, 2012

Transparency again

At the council meeting on Monday the April 30th first three readings for "COUNCIL PROCEDURE AMENDMENT BYLAW 2012 NO. 7060.02" (General text amendments and amendments to meeting procedures) were on the agenda.  One of the proposed changes is to move delegations pertaining to non-agenda items at regular council meetings to FPCOW meetings. As I have mentioned previously the downside of moving these delegations was, at the time, that FPCOW meetings were not taped and uploaded to the city website and as such these delegations would not be able to get the word out to the broader community.

If you have been reading these posts then you will recall that at the last FPCOW meeting Councillor George Anderson had made a motion that while the meetings were held at the Shaw Auditorium they be videoed and uploaded.  The motion passed. What the motion did not allow for was the taping of FPCOW meetings once they are moved to the new city annex.

At question period on Monday the 30th I asked that council look into the options for and costs of implementing the means to tape meetings at the new annex.  Councillor Brennan, whom if you remember was one of the three council members to vote against having FPCOW meetings taped at the Shaw Auditorium, actually made a motion for staff to look at the options and interestingly enough councillor Anderson was the only one to vote against the motion.

While Councillor Anderson’s dissenting vote makes little sense to me; as by looking at the options and if choosing to implement it is easier and less costly to the taxpayer to do so while the annex is being built than after.  In asking after the meeting his rationale was to wait and see how many people actually choose to view the meetings videoed while at Shaw Auditorium.  As I say easier to implement earlier than later.

As for councillor Brennan’s rationale on choosing to make the motion; while I can’t say exactly my guess is that despite originally not wanting FPCOW meetings taped it makes her look good in the public eye to make the motion she did. It is important to remember that even though staff will look at options council is in no way obligated to implement anything.  I will be curious to see how his plays out.

If, as I think we would all agree, openness and transparency of our municipally elected officials is a priority; then it is up to the citizenry to take advantage of opportunities presented.  Once council starts posting FPCOW videoed meetings I will share the link; it is up to you whether you choose to watch them or not. 

If you believe as I do that both regular and FPCOW meetings should be available for the public to view online then please let Council know.

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