Friday, October 20, 2006

Montague 11 : Talking Points To Move On

Let's throw out some other election issues that bear discussion:

Fiscal responsibility: The township is in good shape; it sounds as though tax arrears are high but other than that we're doing reasonably well. How might that change? Should we be spending more and accumulating less surplus?

Open government: There is still a great deal of secrecy in council and I think more openness should be sought whoever gets elected. I've read the minutes of every meeting of the current council and it really doesn't tell me anything useful. Most decisions that actually affect things on the ground are made in-camera. Other councils don't do this. Secrecy feeds suspicion. In a tiny township, who you know can make a big difference, but it shouldn't make a difference when you're asking for things like zoning, funding, etc. from your elected representatives. Let's be open enough to prove that who you know doesn't influence your treatment in Montague. Things like the use of municipal vehicles for election campaigning last time around, apparently with council's approval, make me uncomfortable in this regard. Is anything similar still going on? Let's hope not.

Time for Change: Look what happened to the last federal government after 13 years in power. Tired, out of ideas, corrupt and adrift. Sometimes in politics a change is needed just for change's sake. Is that time now, or are we not there yet?

Development: The current council has no plan for development of industry. That's a big issue to be addressed. Agriculture's in trouble and that's not about to change soon. Where will the township's future growth come from? What should we do for the urban-ites moving out to the country, if anything? How can we capitalize on the closeness of Ottawa?

Local Democracy: I'm extremely uncomfortable with the majority of council being non-residents. I'd like to see fewer non-residents on council; I know legally it's fine, but I'd like to see at least a resident majority. Do we really want to be ruled from outside?

Just some ideas to move the discussion on.... Why not suggest your own?