Question 3 for All Candidates: Governance

 Ron Bolin: Nov. 2, 2014

The matter of “governance” and the City’s Procedure Bylaw should be of great concern to all Council members, all Council candidates and all members of the public as it is this document spells out the way in which the public can officially interact with their elected officials. The current Procedure Bylaw can be found at:

http://www.nanaimo.ca/UploadedFilesPath/Bylaws/B7060cons.pdf

In the past year, Council seems to have become unhappy with the current bylaw, has appointed a Committee headed by Councillor Greves and contracted for two studies in this regard, one from Alison Habkirk (pp 42-61 in the agenda and pp 44-63 in the online version):

https://www.nanaimo.ca/UploadedFilesPath/Site_Structure/Corporate_Services/Corporate_Administration/2014_Council_Agendas/C140609A.pdf

and another by Eli Mina (pp 6-27 in the March 27 Governance Committee agenda and online):

https://www.nanaimo.ca/UploadedFilesPath/Site_Structure/Corporate_Services/Corporate_Administration/2014_Committee_Agendas/SOGSC140327A.pdf

The Mina report in particular which was presented to Councillor Greves’ Governance Committee meeting on March 27 is particularly loaded with recommendations regarding public participation at Council meetings. At the risk of offending your desire to do a complete and fully independent examination of what is at issue, I have taken the liberty of providing a link to the post on this subject which I made on March 28, which picks out the sections which seem to me to be particularly egregious.

https://nanaimocityhall.com/2014/03/28/beware-we-are-about-to-be-governanced/

Following this lengthy introduction which is probably not needed by those who currently sit on Council and/or the Open Governance Committee, the question is this:

What are your views on public participation in the governance process and Council’s role in circumscribing that participation at Council meetings? Does the current procedure bylaw adequately deal with public participation? Is it too lenient? Is it too strict? What is needed to make it better?

Your comments are requested by Thursday, Nov. 6, at noon.

Thank You for your response. I appreciate the time pressure which you are under, but as a current or potential member of City Council I trust that you already have ideas about how to work with the public for improved governance.

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