Having the video cameras in the District of Sooke council chambers is a godsend. It allows residents the opportunity to catch up on what went on in the council chambers, both good and bad. They get to see their elected local government in action. It doesn’t, of course, replace being there in person.
What is noticeable is the fact that councillors often have not digested all the information they need to make a difficult decision before the council meeting. It is imperative that senior staff get council together and brief them thoroughly on things such as Bylaw 500 or anything else that is complex and will have long lasting effects on the residents. Open council meetings are not the place to be scratching your heads and trying to figure out such intricate details. It does not garner confidence in the decisions being reached and it makes it look like council is uninformed. Take the time to really understand the issues and then make the hard decisions which will affect so many residents and taxpayers.
Kudos to Mayor Milne and his committee for pursuing the anomalies in the agreement with the Prestige. Straightening it out can’t have been easy or pleasant.
It is also time to look forward and not backward. Yes, there were mistakes made, but to keep railing on what the previous council or administration did or did not do is not constructive. If you can in some way hold them to account, great, but if not, move on. After all, each councillor’s current actions will also be open to criticism or praise.