Kudos to Betty Irwin and Ranj Pillai in coming out in support of recording and reporting councillors’ votes on matters that impact all of us in Whitehorse.
I am shocked – no, maybe not, that the current mayor and most councillors would not support such information sharing.
For far too long, Whitehorse’s “elected” officials - not all, but some - have lived in the world of “we know what’s good for the public.” They seem to think, because they were elected, they have carte blanche to do and say what they want. This, at times, with little or no “openness” or “accountability.”
It seems some of our representatives take the matter of election to office to mean those of us in town really are not interested in whatever happens in those offices. I think this is an error on the part of those we place in positions of trust, and we need to demand a more clear picture of what is going on.
As in all things, we also have lives to follow in Whitehorse, jobs, kids to take care of and a myriad of other day-to-day things. So, we may not be able to make contact as frequently as we want to. It does not mean we are not watching and we are not concerned. Precisely because of those facts of life, we elect folks to make decisions for us that certainly affect our lives on a daily basis.
I do not think it is far-fetched for all people to expect a high standard for those who serve on council.
I see no problem with council reporting the results of votes. Rather, it may make some of their decisions clear to the public they serve.
What I surmise, mind you, is that many councillors do not want the folks in town stopping them and commenting on unpopular votes they may have made.
I understand when you serve as a politician you are opening yourself up to criticism on many fronts. But that is the nature of the beast, especially in a small venue like Whitehorse.
Many of us know our representatives personally, and this can be uncomfortable for them. Therefore, the representatives on council need to make thoughtful and thorough decisions in regards to matters that will affect taxation, etc. in Whitehorse. They need to make sure they can answer questions posed by citizens.
Saying all of the above, I do think the public needs to make sure they have properly sought out the information on whatever matter they wish to comment on.
It is unfair to anyone to just stand there and blast out unfounded criticisms based solely on either hearsay or an emotional response.
If you want to make a point to your elected representative, in any seat of any level of government, get informed.
In the long run, if we all do our jobs as citizens and politicians, with more open communication and clear explanations, we may all be better off in this little corner of the globe.
Remember, mayor and councillors, the folks who live and work in Whitehorse are your city.
Without us, it does not exist.