EDITORIAL: Transparency a public expectation

Discontent over the lack of transparency at the City of Port Alberni city council table boiled over Monday night .

Discontent over the lack of transparency at the city council table boiled over Monday night when Port Alberni resident Roland Smith called out Mayor Mike Ruttan and city councillors for what he coined ‘the disquieting mood which has descended over city hall.’

Smith cited disappointment over the lack of answers people, including himself, have received when seeking rationale and economics over the controversial Judy Rogers management review the city undertook in 2015.

Councils have the right to carry out certain business in private, when it comes to negotiations or discussions surrounding land, labour and law. These are governed under the BC Community Charter, and the BC Ombudsperson has imparted a ‘best practices’ guide for opening meetings to assist councils in remaining accountable.

Voters democratically elected the seven representatives who make decisions on Port Alberni’s behalf, and they deserve the public’s respect and trust to make those decisions for the betterment of this community.

There is a point, however, where ‘just’ following the letter of the law leans toward lack of transparency, and that is when members of the public begin to question the number of decisions made behind closed doors. It is at this point that mistrust in leadership threatens.

Port Alberni’s city council has reached this point.

Some may say it is the vocal minority that is speaking out on this matter, and unfairly targeting a mayor and some councillors new to municipal politics despite being nearly halfway through their term. Some may also say that historically, voters who are content with the decisions a council is making never speak up.

It shouldn’t matter: discontented residents who take the time to speak out deserve to be heard.

It is time for Port Alberni city council to listen.

— ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS

 

Just Posted

Wildfire burning near Taylor Flats in the Alberni Valley

Fire is located close to Highway 4 near Sproat Lake

Port Alberni youth breaks neck in riverbank accident

Fundraiser has been set up for youth and his family

Port Alberni’s high school gets a rainbow crosswalk for Pride Day

Students and staff at Alberni District Secondary School celebrated the official opening… Continue reading

Port Alberni man dies in ATV accident

A Port Alberni man has died following an all-terrain vehicle accident near… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni imposing water restrictions

Stage 1 restrictions go into effect June 17

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read