Comment: There's too much acrimony at Victoria council meetings
As a recently elected member of Victoria city council, I am compelled to make public my deep disappointment in this council.
I am troubled by many things, but I am especially troubled by the polarization and acrimony that characterizes council meetings. By failing to work constructively together, we are, to put the matter simply, failing the city.
We have fallen into the same dysfunction of the previous council, well documented by the MNP’s City of Victoria Governance Review report of July 18, 2022. The previous council deferred this report to the current council.
Our council was elected five months ago and has not yet addressed the recommendations in the MNP governance report.
Failure to do so has created shortcomings — debate on important issues is routinely cut off; perspectives and input from some at the table have been selectively considered while contrary voices are ignored.
Proposed ethical guidelines are missing and ethical lapses are all too common. Council is floundering.
During recent council discussions of public safety with the police chief, a councillor suggested that police should tell the public less about crime and provide fewer warnings to the public of dangerous situations, because police bulletins might increase the perception of unsafe streets.
While professing to be concerned about public safety, council has ventured forth on “bold initiatives,” charging headlong into an ideological agenda.
The majority of councillors think we should set aside sound principles of management and decision-making to make way for accelerated actions. Some councillors speak of bold actions and accelerated programs without planning, expert input or, and this is the most egregious failing, without listening to the public.
We must go back to basics. As Victoria councillors we bring differing priorities to the table. We bring passion, impatience and agendas.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 22 March 2023 - 04:56 AM.