Mentality of municipal staff a problem

Chemainus – What’s wrong with our local governments? Well, a couple of statements over recent years come to mind.

 

The first came in a chance meeting on a ferry with a recently retired senior official who said he was enjoying his days after the golden handshake from local government and added, "I told my son that there is a good future for him there."

 

Mind you, he talked only about the personal benefits that came with his decades of work. There was no mention of what was once called civil service.

 

Then there was a mayor’s somewhat jocular reference to the chief administrative officer being "the eighth councillor". Sheeesh! Hasn’t he heard about roles and responsibilities? These two statements pretty much sum up what’s rotten at city hall; not just ours, but most of them.

 

We have a bureaucracy seemingly more dedicated to growth and preservation of their inner empires rather than serving the people that pay them.

 

When was the last time anyone heard of taxes going down? It’s just not their mentality.

 

And then there are elected leaders who seem to be led, by the nose, by those same bureaucrats.

 

Governance and policy-making is never easy, but when councils rubber stamp decisions manufactured in staff offices and nonpublic meetings, it is distasteful. Meanwhile the electorate complains of lack of communication and proper consultation. No wonder!

 

Mark Kiemele

 

Chemainus