CANDIDATE QUESTIONS 1: How do you rate the performance of council over the last three years?
Needless to say, Rossland city councils are renowned around the world for their…feistiness! Oh well. Who ever said democracy was supposed to be a tea party? Er, let me rephrase that. Anyway, here’s what three candidates, Sharon Wieder, David Klein, Kathy Wallace, and Laurie Charlton, have to say…
DAVID KLEIN: I think they have done well over all; however, there is a lack of efficiency in council but with a good cooperative group of people that is an easy fix.
KATHY WALLACE: Generally speaking, current council members have recognized that the greater good of the community is the primary guiding principle. (Unfortunately, this cannot be said of every member of current council.) Given that 4 of the 7 had no prior experience in municipal governance, it’s understandable that there were a few stumbles early on – the IPP resolution is an example – but when mistakes were identified, corrections were made. Current council utilized the city’s guiding documents, and consistently supported applying action items and attempted to stay on the appropriate “high level” of asking whether a decision moves the community in the ‘right’ direction.
There are many accomplishments! Supporting the continuance of K-12 ed in the community, community garden and market, constructing pedestrian transportation routes, initiating business-friendly encouragements, overdue upgrades to the arena, continued negotiations to open the mine tour, cooperation with SC and task forces, assessing infrastructure deficits and planning for the Columbia/Washington streets rebuild, to name a few. Ultimately, the most important question should always be, “what is in the best interest of the community as a whole?”
LAURIE CHARLTON: The current Council has generally been reactive to issues brought forward by staff, advisory committees, or the public rather than proactive and seemingly uninterested in detailed review of key documents. They have brought forward few, if any, substantive issues of their own. Many staff recommendations have been rubber-stamped with little or no discussion. A recent example is the Zoning Bylaw where the bylaw was given second reading even though Council never reviewed or discussed the major changes to the zoning map which is the key part of the bylaw that impacts citizens directly and defines how they can use their property.
This Council has refused to consider detailed financial statements either when preparing budgets or reviewing expenditures. If they had, perhaps our taxes wouldn’t be as high as they are now. I would rate the performance of this Council as being somewhat less than stellar.
Council Questions aims to be a daily feature of Rossland life from now until Election Day (November 19!). Got a comment? Post away. After all, democracy is a process that should involve all of us.