August 18, 2017
Many people have asked me how they can find out which Councillors are supporting what spending. Unfortunately, as it currently stands the only way to know who votes for what is if a member of council requests a recorded vote or if someone in attendance makes a note of it. Otherwise only council’s decision, as a whole, is recorded.
Here is the appeal to Council that I will be presenting Wednesday Night at the Budget Meeting:
I’d like to thank Council and all Township Staff for the public information meeting on the 2016 budget held on January 21st. It was of great interest and benefit to the community and I hope this becomes an annual event. Because of this direct public consultation I believe Council now has a better understanding of what Township residents want, and the public has a better understanding of the budget process. I hope that Council will consider the public’s input at the meeting and work toward lowering the projected tax increases.
I am appearing today as a delegation at this budget meeting to respectfully put forward two requests for Council to consider:
- As many people in the community have already stated, I hope that in the future Council Members will attend these public budget meetings as participants and be available to take questions in this public forum. Mr. Creamer, while knowledgeable and professional, was unable to answer many questions the public asked as decisions are make by Council, not the Treasurer. It is also my belief that many questions were not asked since members of the public wanted to ask them directly to the Councillors.
- An oft asked question I have been hearing is ‘How do I know which Councillors support what spending in this budget?‘. I do not believe that members of the public should have to attend council meetings to see how their elected representatives vote, nor do I believe that the burden of reporting this information should fall upon on a member of the public. I would respectfully request that council adopt a policy, starting with today’s budget discussions, of making all budget and capital spending related votes recorded votes. This would have the effect of not only making the record permanent, but also correct and publicly accessible. It would have the added benefit of not forcing any single Councillor to call for a recorded vote, which seems sometimes like an awkward situation that can single out one member of council.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
If you have any comments for your Councillors before the meeting, be sure to email them so they can be taken under consideration. Links to all Councillors’ emails can be found at this bottom of this article. Remember to be always be considerate when talking to your councillors. They have a tough job and are our friends, neighbours and fellow Puslinch residents.