Re: Waiting game playing out at City Hall (News, Nov. 23)
Why doesn’t Mayor Fortin follow the lead of Saanich council and ask that directors be texted when it’s their turn to present at council meetings?
As Coun. Lisa Helps noted, having directors wait on the sidelines, away from their desks for hours at a time, is a “waste of time and a waste of money.” And only upon Coun. Thornton-Joe’s insistence at a recent meeting did the Mayor allow those waiting directors to speak for a few minutes instead of taking lunch first.
The mayor said that, while waiting, directors have “been working their Blackberries like crazy.” In this situation, however, people are usually catching up on their own emails and calendars.
Any work-related duties that are being done are accomplished far less effectively than when the directors are at their desks, where their files and paper documents are readily available.
The mayor may prefer live-streaming so that directors can “be at their desk, doing work, but still be mindful of what is happening.” But as we all know from statistics on distracted driving, this multitasking isn’t conducive to effective concentration and outcomes.
He contradicted himself by saying that directors would benefit by waiting at the meeting for their turn to speak, even though they’re not paying attention because they’re “working their Blackberries like crazy.”
Coun. Helps brings a fresh perspective and straight talk to the team: for the sake of Victoria taxpayers, Mayor Fortin would do best to listen to her and let directors do their $100 per hour work in their offices until they’re alerted by a text to attend a meeting.