NANAIMO CITY HALL is an on-line “civic plaza” dedicated to a discussion of Nanaimo politics and the municipal scene. Our local newspapers generally do a good job of covering City Hall and offer some room for comment, but our hope is to provide a more in depth forum on the issues which are raised by the news.
Columnists will be identified with a bio and a frame of reference that helps us understand where they’re coming from. Comments are welcome, may be anonymous, though we lament the fact that so many feel the need to hide behind pseudonyms, and may be moderated for civility and relevance.
Here’s how you can participate.
Read it: Check in, read the posts and comments and add your two bits worth. There will be lots of opinion certainly but there will also be an emphasis on fact based research. Personal attacks are to be avoided. If they slip through, they’ll be removed. If you see text that appears in red or blue, it indicates that the text is “hot” and will lead you to a related document.
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Comment: Contribute to the conversation. Agree, disagree, commend, correct, fill in detail. In Nanaimo’s highly partisan and polarized civic environment let’s elevate the level of the discussion and the debate. Blogs require your email so they can avoid spam attacks, but your email is not retained by the website.
Write: Become a contributor. Submit a bio and some background that lets the reader know where you’re coming from. This is an exercise in citizen journalism. Commitments to cover and report on city council, committee, and commission meetings would be welcome. Public hearings and development proposals are other areas that could be covered here.
Those who would like to contribute a post but do not wish to become regular posters can send their material to the email shown below and it will be considered for posting.
Contact us: email – firstname.lastname@example.org
I commend your effort to better inform the community, however, from personal experience I think democracy is simply dead.
Why? Because most people never take the time to actually participate in the process. To wit, last November I started an online petition calling for independent investigation of the Jerry Berry Golden Handshake.
After three articles in the local paper, there were nearly 800 names on the petition. However, as far as I could tell, no one actually bothered to attend a council meeting, call their councilor or be involved beyond the petition signing.
There is a general apathy in the land, which I doubt can be overcome, as politicians have long since known, they can say what they like during an election, and simply do what they like after.
Locally, during the last municipal election, not one member of council got more that 17% of the eligible vote, in other words, nearly 85% of eligible voters said NONE OF THE ABOVE.
This council may claim to be trying to manage the taxpayers purse, but in reality seem unable, or unwilling to address the biggest expenditure in the city, which of course is city staff wages and benefits put in place by previous councils.
Again, congratulations on your efforts, and I wish you every success.
Thanks for checking in Jim and for your best wishes. Appreciated. It’s frustrating for sure that people don’t pay more attention to the level of government that probably has greater impact on our daily lives than the senior levels of government. In more direct ways at any rate.
Good work on the on-line petition and let’s keep reminding City Hall were keeping an eye on them.
For those who haven’t found their way to your blog, it’s at http://www.nanaimo-info-blog.com/.
I hope we’ll be hearing lots more from you here as well.
Good work, you guys! Glad to see this news forum and exercise in citizen journalism available to Nanaimo. Power to the people (and the Internet). Keep up the good work!
My writings may have been viewed as didactic; maybe even pedantic, but in my defense I would offer the following quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein which I ran across in university which summarizes my feelings about discussion:
“when one draws a boundary it may be for various kinds of reason. If I surround an area with a fence or a line or otherwise, the purpose may be to prevent someone from getting in or out; but it may also be part of a game and the players be supposed, say, to jump over the boundary; or it may shew where the property of one man ends and that of another begins; and so on. So if I draw a boundary line that is not yet to say what I am drawing it for.