Do extended terms of CVRD elected officials infringe on accountability?
Matteus Clement, director for Area C, Cobble Hill, has never held an open town hall public meeting, since being elected in 2014. A meeting where constituents can voice their valid concerns and have him answer their valid questions.
Director Clement’s failure to hold public meetings to consult with constituents is a perfect example of why the term of elected local government officials should not have been increased from three years to four years. This effectively infringes on the voters’ democratic rights by reducing their ability to hold their elected representatives accountable by voting them out of office. Not long ago a director’s term was two years, but now it has crept up to four years, doubling the amount of time voters have to wait.
Director Clement insists on holding quasi public-private meetings with small groups. Meetings that are NOT part of the public record and not publicly advertised on the CVRD website’s calendar or the Citizen newspaper. Director Clement is currently using a Facebook page to announce a possible upcoming town-hall meeting. Some constituents questioned Clement about his exclusive use of Facebook. His reply was advertising in the Citizen newspaper is expensive. But he can advertise for free on the CVRD website and calendar, and this also forms part of the public record.
Is the use of a private Facebook page appropriate as the sole means of advertising a public meeting, considering it only reaches a handful of people? Should the term of locally elected officials have been extended to four years thereby delaying democracy?