To the Editor,
Re: Security added during recent city meetings, Aug. 20.
This story highlights the growing antagonism between Nanaimo city council and the public.
In this chapter of the saga, council is apparently prepared to pay costs to the Vancouver Island Conference Centre for security which is at the centre’s sole discretion – to provide a blank cheque for security costs which the city has not pre-approved.
For the conference centre, it provides the possibility of an open income stream.
For the public it provides just another piece of evidence that council has no faith in its citizens and thus feels entitled to protection from them.
Just what is the city’s budget for these services?
This sorry affair resonates in the statements made by staff of the conference centre which equate the environment of Nanaimo’s council meetings with the Vancouver riot, and that unfortunate comment made by the city’s Ian Howat that the security is “for the public and to protect the public’s interests.”
This sorry excuse has been used by every tin pot dictator on the planet as a reason to clamp down on citizens.
While I am sure that both these sources would wish to recall those statements with something less dramatic, they do indicate the level of distrust has been allowed to grow between council and its citizens through the overuse of in-camera meetings and council’s failure to provide direct open discussions with the public on major issues.
It is fervently hoped that some of the better ideas in the recently adopted Communication Plan will be quickly implemented.
Nanaimo cannot afford the kind of poor publicity which is emanating from City Hall.