LETTER: Dysfunction at the District of North Saanich

The British Columbia government’s code of conduct for local elected officials states that irresponsible behavior includes: the marginalization of members of a particular committee or board; mistreatment of staff; and alleged violations of procedure or rules during meetings.

In December, a lawmaker was sidelined for abuse of discretion. In January, unsubstantiated public criticism was made against a then-staff member who resigned shortly thereafter. This behavior was repeated with another key employee in April. The mayor’s “close the discussion” approach has the support of Couns. Stock, McConkey and Shrivastava closed the door to make sure all voices were heard.

Since the Mayor’s OCP Advisory Committee and Subcommittee (MOCPAC) was formed, there has been biased commentary, misinformation and a lack of direction. Refusing to broadcast the task force live will ensure those concerns are hidden from most residents. Refusing to let MODUS complete its reporting means the data must be reanalyzed and reported by others, taxing staff resources and taxpayer dollars.

If the goal of this committee is to prepare a better OCP, why not let MODUS do its job and then demonstrate to residents why the alternative is better?

OCP achieved through authoritarian bullying by mayors, behind closed doors, lack of opportunity for all councilors to communicate openly, lack of public transparency to ensure accountability, may please special interest groups who want to push an agenda, but is unlikely to be a fair citizen who respects democracy want something.

Susan Lo

north saanich

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