City of Nanaimo council and staff members at a meeting earlier this month at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

City of Nanaimo council and staff members at a meeting earlier this month at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Council merely rubber-stamping staff recommendations

Citizens not well-served by leaders who abdicate responsibility to set policy, says letter writer

To the editor,

Last week’s e-town hall was disappointing to say the least. Multiple questions asked specifically of council were deferred to managers, who then provided responses that often completely avoided answering the question while council sat watching blankly.

A question on why bylaw fine revenues are so low led to a response about how Nanaimo’s parking revenues (a completely different thing) are higher than in Kamloops and Kelowna. The city isn’t going to fix the problem of bylaw enforcement if they refuse to even acknowledge it’s a problem.

A question on why development permitting is so glacially slow led to a response about how hard it is to recruit for positions that have nothing to do with development permitting.

And at least half a dozen questions on pedestrian safety – in a year when two children were hit and killed by cars in Nanaimo, and the infamous Bruce/Albion crosswalk injured yet another victim – we were told that something will happen in 2022. Maybe.

It increasingly appears we’ve replaced a nationally embarrassing, unprofessional and dysfunctional council with a polite, drama-free council that unquestioningly rubber stamps almost anything they’re handed by senior management.

As a former public servant myself, I know that citizens are not well-served by politicians who abdicate their responsibilities to set policy. Last week it was crystal clear that this council is primarily nothing more than a rubber stamp.

John Dacombe, Nanaimo

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The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.