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Council does it again!

Web posted on May 05, 2006

Dear Editor:

Welcome to Guelph! Described as one of the most dysfunctional City Councils in Canada, this council has done it again. On May 1, 2006 Council voted to have a question put on the November ballot to determine support for the Ward System of governance.

This was done under the guise of unspecified "concerns" which the Mayor and councillors would not share with Guelphites. After three public meetings in the past year and a half, only three delegates desiring to go back to the at-large system made presentations. The great majority of delegates were in favour of retaining the ward system. Because these vague "concerns" were never brought out at the Council level any debate on their validity was never held.

Even the Mayor admitted because of the poor showing of anti-ward delegates that there was little interest in changing the system. Yet on all occasions the Mayor voted for a referendum.

The charge for change seems to be lead by a councillor who doesn't even live in Guelph. This same councillor let it slip at a committee meeting held months before, that he "hears it all the time" that citizens want to vote for more than two candidates; sometimes they don't like the slate of candidates they have in their ward; and they don't like some councillors in other wards. Strange, he never presented these to full council for debate.

Are these valid reasons for a referendum? Only in the mind of a dysfunctional council I guess.

Bruce Shapka
Guelph, Ontario