COLUMN: Kudos to District of Sooke council and its new CAO

Council put a great effort into the selection and got a real person with a varied background and good management skills.

Lorne Christensen

Guest Comment

The District of Sooke council embarked on a mandate to clean up city hall and to make it less about control and more about service to the citizens.

With the new chief administrative officer, it seems well on its way to accomplishing that.

First, the CAO was not hired from that never ending pool of self-serving municipal management. You know the type, CAOs that go from one municipality to another perpetuating a system that keeps the citizen taxpayers on the bottom.

This council was not lazy. It put a great effort into the selection and got a real person with a varied background and good management skills.

Unlike so many experienced municipal government CAOs of the past, this one appears to have genuine respect for tax money. She knows that it belongs to somebody. You, the citizen.

She is expecting that all staff positions be relevant and if not, that position should be eliminated. All staff should have a job description and boundaries.

She is not operating in isolation, she has taken the time to talk with more than 200 Sooke citizens as well as the staff and others.

As a result, she has a good feel for what people are expecting and what is required. She has the support of council, at least most of it, and I know she has the support of the majority of citizens, being seen by most as a welcome change.

Recently I read a blog that masquerades as a news outlet and is a place where one can talk nonsense and spill their venom without ever having to use their own name. Something I always considered cowardly. There were several blogs, but the main one under a “stock name” that could be a Mildred or a David or a Jeff or it could be anyone.

Some contributors to this type of blog, are those who believe in democracy only for themselves and, usually, with a high level of arrogance, believing that their intellect is higher than everyone else.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

They also, will often have their hand out at council meetings, looking to be fed, even after biting that very hand.

These folks tried to take issue with the political party connection of one of the members on council’s hiring committee. Of course, had the political party in question been a different one that these folks liked, it would not have been an issue.

One member of the hiring committee had a connection to the Conservative Party, one member had been a sitting NDP MLA for many years, the other member had a Liberal Party connection. None of it matters a damn, so chill out and give your collective heads a shake!

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Lorne Christensen is a Sooke resident.