LETTER: Does the mayor have the trust of Rosslanders?
I am a consultant with a doctoral degree in leadership and a keen interest in the importance of trust in organizations. More importantly, I am a resident of Rossland and, like many others, implicitly trust my elected officials to do be reliable stewards of our affairs. Acting on behalf of others requires openness and accountability—both important aspects of trust.
As pleased as I was about the mayor’s willingness to meet with concerned citizens last evening, I was equally disappointed by Mayor Granstrom’s lack of ability to demonstrate openness or accountability.
What is most upsetting is the contradiction I heard during the interview with Granstrom on CBC’s daybreak this morning. While still claiming that nothing illegal happened at City Hall, the mayor said that all information is public and anyone can look at it.
The fact is, the conflict of interest, clearly demonstrated by a Rossland City staff member would not have been known if not for a few persistent truth seekers. Andrew Bennett, a journalist, and Laurie Charlton, an ex-council member, were first denied access to information and had to go through the freedom of information officer in order to get the city to release information. The dishonourable actions at city hall would have remained unknown to the press and the public.
The copies of, a letter that councilor Moore wrote on her own–without the support of council–to the auditor questioning the unethical behavior of Jason Ward and the letter of response from the auditor which clearly acknowledges wrong-doing were released.
Thankfully the Rossland Telegraph posted those letters where, in fact, anyone with Internet access can read them.
I thank Kathy, Andrew and Laurie.
Is it not obvious that resistance to open sharing of information related to the use of public funds creates suspicion and ultimately a lack of trust? On CBC radio this morning, I also heard Mayor Granstrom say that he believes he has the trust of the citizens of Rossland. Based on the repetitious requests for accountability that I heard at the public meeting last night, and the groans of dissatisfaction with the mayor’s responses, I can only conclude, sadly, that his worship does not have the ability to listen to his constituents.
He also does not seem to place any value on doing the right thing. He repeatedly referred to the fact the arena project was completed as if to imply that the way it was handled isn’t of concern.
I attended the meeting to hear an explanation of how a scandal happened and what might be done to prevent any sort of re-occurrence, but I left feeling that the leadership of our community is in the hands of someone who does not have the capacity to do the job.