The Business News Source for the Community of Sarnia - Lambton

Welcome to Sarnia’s claim to shame

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 15:40 -- Bernice Rade

New Year, new hope for accountability.  This was the heading on a recent point of view in an area newspaper, making reference to the federal, provincial and municipal governments.  A second ‘point of view’ in the same publication was headed “Provincial, municipal politics need cleaning.”

I couldn’t agree more.

With elections this year, people have the opportunity to do just that and let’s hope they take this chance to improve situations that are desperately in need of ‘cleaning’.  The article also states that ‘the rules for running municipally massively favour incumbents.”

In both Sarnia and Lambton one must take a hard look at what the present councillors have accomplished in this past term.  Have they done what is best for those they represent or simply rubber stamped whatever the administration puts in front of them?

Much can be said about the happenings in Sarnia.  What the existing council and administration have done is beyond belief.  I don’t think any group, anywhere in the province, has attempted to unseat a duly elected mayor and actually try to oust him from his office in city hall.  Is this Sarnia council’s claim to fame or should I say claim to shame?

Administrators want more power and authority and, unfortunately, weak councils willingly provide them with that.  A policy is already in place in Lambton Shores giving the clerk the power to determine whom he or she considers ‘unreasonable customers’ and should not be allowed to speak.  It looks like Sarnia is heading in the same direction as Sarnia’s new procedural bylaw would give the clerk the authority to determine who will or will not be allowed to address council.  This bylaw was reviewed by the committee of Councillors consisting of Anne Marie Gillis, Cindy Scholten, Bev McDougall and Bryan White and will likely pass.

‘Without a major voter revolt, doing nothing will mean accepting the status quo.”

Hopefully, people dedicated to the good of the municipality and care what voters want will come forward to replace those who have failed in what was expected of them. Money spent on an ‘integrity’ commissioner, the ongoing fiasco at Centennial Park, spending 5.3 million dollars to demolish and remediate the old hospital site and then sell it to developers for next to nothing … are these decisions in the best interest of the city?

People need good public services that are delivered as efficiently as possible.  They also want their elected representatives to hear what they have to say.  They want councillors to do their homework, not just  rubber stamp whatever is put before them by administration.

However, this won’t happen unless there is a major political housecleaning in 2018.

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