More questions than answers as Rossland's mayor apologizes for failing to consult with council

More questions than answers as Rossland's mayor apologizes for failing to consult with council

Mayor Greg Granstrom ended council's regular meeting on Monday with a brief apology for bypassing council consultation as he and CAO Victor Kumar ploughed ahead with a grant application for a $5 million dollar indoor swimming pool—but Granstrom made no mention of the $25,000 spent on the application without proper authorization.

The mayor and CAO's choice to focus the grant on the swimming pool over other recreational facilities was made without input from council, and $25,000 was spent on architectural and engineering plans without council’s authority.

Nevertheless, while apologizing, Granstrom left no room in Monday's meeting to discuss the problem or how it may be avoided in the future.

"I apologize to council for dropping the ball on that one. I think I should have gave you all way better information," he told council. "I take full responsibility for the fact that it wasn't there [in the agenda]. I also take full responsibility to make sure that everyone is fully briefed from now on. I make that my goal, so that we don't ... so I don't drop the ball again on that."

As Coun. Kathy Moore raised her hand to speak, the mayor added, "I don't really want to discuss it. I don't want to discuss it."

Moore was allowed a short statement: "It's not about you dropping the ball, it's about the process. We need policies—"

Before she could finish, the mayor interrupted: "I understand that, and that's what I mean by dropping the ball."

And that was the end of it.

The Telegraph has asked the mayor about his choice of the verb "to brief," which means to instruct or inform someone in preparation for a task. We suggested that the problem was not so much the lack of a "fully briefed" council, but rather the lack of consultation, debate, and cooperative decision-making within council to set city goals. The mayor offered no comment.

We asked other questions too: why did the process break down? What would you have done differently? How can you assure Rosslanders that the process of timely council consultation and debate to determine priorities will be adhered to in the future?

As of press time, we have received no reply.

Comments

No, I don't

Working on City Council effectively, like working in any other group, requires the ability to cooperate and work with other people. I have always been very impressed with the astonishing amount of information that Mr. Charleton carried around in his head but felt it was rendered almost irrelevant by his utterly rigid stance on so many issues, which seemed to disallow anyone else's point of view. He has served on council several times and I can't think of any other councillor who was so notorious for being difficult to work with by other councillors, mayors and city staff. I can't think of anyone who was so disruptive to the process. So, no I can't say that I miss Laurie Charleton. I strongly agree with Andrew Bennett's statement that political will must come from the people. We each need to take responsibility for informing ourselves about our city and the decisions made by council and write and phone council to let them know how we feel. I think it is VERY important for us to do that not only when we are concerned or disagree, but when we agree with what they are doing, or want to show some appreciation for the work they do. It is a well-supported view of coaching that you get a lot more results when you point out the positive than if you only get in touch when you're unhappy.

Don't you miss Laurie C.

Yes Laurie had some trouble to focus on the main points and pick his battles more judiciously. However maybe we can now realize that maybe his type of "watchdog" type of attitude might have been more needed than we think. This case in point.

Watchdogs

Yes, this is a case in point.

On watchdogs, they're useful, but they must focus on the main points and pick their battles judiciously—that is diplomacy, and the best way to get the job done.

 The attitude of inquisitive, skeptical analysis is spectacularly useful in a democracy. Laurie Charlton is a fountain of information, and I hope he continues to provide his knowledge and research to the community—the real power of any watchdog lies in the community, in any case.

Political will isn't created by politicians, but by people at home writing and phoning council so that they know how we, the people, feel about an issue.

Contact information for council is here.