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Sooke resident raises many questions wants dialogue, transparency, answers — 6 Comments

  1. Town Hall are nice and all, in an Opey kinda way, but it can not be understated how disempowering it is that the formal and official record of public input via presentations/questions/answers at council meetings, whereby the public holds council to account, is seemingly gone. nothing can or does replace that, no matter how accommodating any of the councillors are appearing and/or sounding. Super super disillusioned with this council, for the motives of some, and the impotence of others.

    • Yes, I agree. The public should have the ability to inform. correct and comment on issues before council. Our elected officials are just members of the community that may not have all the facts. That they make decisions based on knowledge and skills that they just don’t have, has always bothered me. Like pretending they know about the engineering aspects of a treatment plant. Most of them don’t know the bylaws that they are breaking when they vote on issues that affect us all. Time to realize that you work for us Mr. Kasper, please don’t aspire to be another Donald Trump!

  2. Bravo to Ms. Hall for yet again stepping up and calling it like she sees it. The one piece missing from the report above (as I recall it sitting in the audience Monday night) is a mention of Ms. Sullivan’s soon-to-be-delivered “communications policy,” which will likely address issues like town halls, advertising policies, media release protocols, improved website navigation, social media outreach, and who knows what else. Back in February, when “the leadership team” rewrote the guidelines on how the public can interact with council (i.e, Bylaw No. 634, Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw 422-1), I did some simple Google research. The search results immediately pointed to Smithers (pop: 5,404), where a few years back the mayor launched a variation on town halls called “Let’s Talk” and “Table Talks” … in the process earning the town a Union of BC Municipalities’ Community Excellence Award for Best Practices – Civic Engagement. http://bchealthycommunities.ca/news_item/844/view. Call me naive (and some have), but surely something like this would be adaptable to Sooke and generate more enthusiasm than seen at town halls in the past in this town. Keeners might also want to G-search the terms “Open Space” and “World Cafe” for other proven ways to tap public knowledge and enthusiasm. Anyway, onwards, let’s remain positive and give council every benefit of the doubt.

  3. While I generally agree with the concept of town halls, council are sometimes hamstrung by legal requirements. As an example, once a public hearing is held on a land use rezoning, they are not allowed to receive ANY further input from the public or developer. This could be very frustrating for people at a town hall and very costly from a legal point of view to the DOS. but yes, better public communications are needed.