Thursday, July 26, 2012

Transparency! Enagagement! Inclusiveness! Accountability! Responsiveness! & ...Irony?


Situations, as described below, baffle citizens and Star Fleet Commanders.

The City of Calgary Council has an engage! Policy in their voluminous policy library, otherwise known as "Things we tell Calgarians we're going to do, but most often ignore, forget we said that or actually voted on that issue at all".

An alderman, Druh Farrell, known in YYCCC circles as Queen of the North Shore, and possibly one of our least transparent/inclusive council members, is sponsoring a review of the citizen engagement document: Engage! Policy. The irony runs deep, as we will soon find out.

1. Any policy created by a municipality must be followed (see MGA 5 (b)) by that municipality. It is legislated, yet YYCCC repeatedly and with ostensibly zero remorse, breaks this law. Municipal Affairs cites only the consequence of court/judicial action in response to nonconformity of a legislated, stated, voted on policy.

2. Alderman Farrell is known to sidestep public engagement and implement her own strategies based on her fickle/capricious personality, circle of associates, outrageous pricetags and proximity to her residence. The Paris Hilton of Calgary politics, Farrell knows what's best for the unwashed masses and eating cake is on the menu. Community associations are intimidated, to the point where community members and board members state, "We don't want to piss off Druh" & "If Druh doesn't like it, it won't get approved". Since when did we live in a Stalinist state? Further irony comes in the form of testimonials about the good 'ol Druh, who apparently was at one time responsive to constituents, but now in her 4th term, has caught the politically terminal disease of Disconnected Apathy Syndrome.

3. My suggestion for YYCCC?

Implement and follow your policies. Pursue targets agreed on by massive public engagement... hint: imagineCalgary. Respect citizens by providing citizens with an option when they disagree with politicians, administration and the bureaucracy in the form of a City Ombudsman (like big pant cities, Montreal & Toronto).

And? Engage citizens. Your policy clearly states this must be done.

BTW, engage! was passed unanimously by council in 2003.