———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 10:53 PM
Subject: Abbotsford News, August 22, 2018
To: Tyler Olsen – Abbynews <tolsen@abbynews.com>

The title on Tyler Olsen’s feature article today, kind of says it all.  “United they vote.  Council has rarely seen dissension in its ranks.”

That certainly sounds better than cities like Toronto that sometimes need days to plow their way to resolutions.  But our council’s unanimity comes at the cost of public transparency.

For people who follow council meetings, something has long troubled them.  If nine people who were elected to represent all of the city, sit down to publicly deliberate on important matters brought before them, then,…. the public should reasonably be able to anticipate there will be some robust discussion on the motion at hand.  Some for and against discussion based on lots of information, that the nine leaders have read and absorbed.  Some healthy debate, and fact sharing.

But often there is no such thing.  Often it goes more like this:…….  “Motion #– – – –.   All in favour?   Opposed?   Carried!!!!”

You could be forgiven then for thinking the whole thing was signed, sealed and delivered behind closed doors.

The ‘public‘ part of the hearing might at times be nothing more than a facade.  Unanimity at what price?

Tyler’s article does not take us there, but it nonetheless points to the major flaw inherent in having ‘slates’ run for power over a municipality.

‘AbbotsfordFirst’ tried to get five people on council in 2014, but only managed four.  But even four is too much.

Again this year they are determined to get five in control of our city, and make no mistake, that means control.  Five out of nine means a majority control.  So Abbotsford would not have nine independent, intelligent, courageous leaders making decisions on behalf of the populace, but rather one unit of five people moving in lock-step on things that really matter most to their slate, and their backers, (whoever those behind the scenes advisors might be this time around).

It is my hope that voters decide to put a whole lot of fresh faces around the council table for the next four-year round of leadership at City Hall.

Better to have some new blood and some steep learning curves than to continue on with the current crop and the jaded arrogance that seems to take hold after a few years in power.

Gerda Peachey