Dave Adsett’s editorial discussing Councillor Diane Ballantyne’s recent motions took a surprisingly negative view on what I thought was an honest and proactive effort to improve how our local government works. Especially considering the editorial headline and closing comments about efficiency. While I appreciated your understanding of the single-use plastic issue, I’d like to encourage us all to explore how Diane’s efforts to re-think process could be a step to finding more efficiencies in local government.
Full disclosure: I am a long-time friend and fan of Diane and have worked with her on many community initiatives. That is why I have actively supported each of her election campaigns. I know Diane to be a smart, strong and decisive leader: exactly the sort of person I want representing me and my community.
I am very happy to see Diane explore new ways council could run meetings. Diane has started a conversation about how the county operates and is looking for ways to help an institution that is perhaps too comfortable with its established process. The world needs more elected officials that have the vision and experience to ask how government can be doing things better and not pushing back immediately on change. Rather than “poking around,” or suggesting that “the current system is quite efficient,” I appreciate Diane and her ‘ambitious undertaking’ knowing that she is genuinely interested in finding ways to help her and her fellow councillors do their jobs better.
I must admit that I simultaneously laughed and cried when I read “no one suggests the current system needs revision.” That protectionist and uncreative thinking has created bloated, slow and unresponsive governments across our country that have neither the courage or ability to tackle the real issues we need to solve. They are also the same bodies that have created the financial mess that so many of your readers are rightly worried about. If we really want a conversation about efficiency, Diane has started it for us.
We do indeed get the governments we deserve. I am proud that Diane is challenging the status quo because I do deserve an elected official that is willing to offer ways that things can be done differently. From where I sit, we need a lot more of it, so bring on those consent agendas and 9 am meetings.