Open government may still be just a mirage

City staff appear to be running the show in Victoria

Re: No more sitting on information, and Our View (News, Sept. 26)

Victoria Coun. Lisa Helps should stick with her initial reaction of being mad at staff for withholding $34 million of information from council for nearly two years.

True, council does not have a policy, but where is the common sense of managers paid upwards of $1,000 a day to keep council up to speed? What were the discussions? “So, there is a $34-million elephant in the room. Should we tell council? No, I guess not, since there is no bylaw telling us to.”

Sounds like the Mulroney scam on why he never mentioned the envelopes stuffed with money because nobody asked. It is a case of coverup or no common sense. We know Fortin and his Dean Team are beholden to the unions and managers, but had higher hopes for the newcomers.

Victoria News and Focus magazine are to be commended for ferreting out these secrets being kept from councillors and thus the taxpayers. We may be naïve to expect that managers and the $600-a-day p.r. types should consider who pays the bills and disclose the information accordingly, but surely the elected councillors should demand some integrity and accountability from the civil service.

There was hope for open city government, but as long as the overpaid staff can run roughshod over democracy, with the acquiescence of council, that shall not come to pass.

Patrick Murphy

Victoria

Just Posted

Study moves Oak Bay closer to contraceptive control for problem deer

The report says between 78 and 128 black tail deer live in the affluent beach-side community

Two missing Victoria children found safe

VicPD responded to two separate missing children calls Tuesday

Crews repair damage after Tuesday night water main break in Langford

Flooding resulted in property damage, forced evacuation from Langford homes

Saanich amalgamation committee holds first meeting

Saanich councillors call for a transparent process to ensure success of study

Snow not melting fast enough for some Greater Victoria residents

Resident unhappy with lack of snow removal on Mount Doug trails

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Police dog tracks suspect through wintry Vancouver Island backcountry

Assault suspect arrested after two-hour track by Nanaimo RCMP police dog Jager

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

Most Read