Like many Rosslanders, I have a young family. I love Rossland and I choose to live here because it is an amazing place. I am excited by our upcoming election. Why?
I tend to follow politics and though typically engaged, I’ve become apathetic and frustrated by our current city council as communications between residents and the City has deteriorated and the list of city-led actions (and inaction) that show little accountability has grown.
These actions include such contentious issues as the arena scandal, hiring city staff without due process and the inability to admit wrong doing in the face of an eye-opening Auditor General’s report.
My experience attending council meetings was that council generally failed to ask questions and questioning by the public and fellow councillors were shut down by the mayor. Asking good questions was seen as negative or not being a team player whereas in reality, it brought to light overlooked and important issues that could have saved our community a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of embarrassment.
The good news is that there is an opportunity for change. Rossland has a great line-up of candidates who have potential to bring new energy, fresh ideas and some humility to our city hall.
I believe the great line-up has stepped forward as they too are frustrated and want to be part of new leadership, positive change and accountability for our tax paying dollars.
The next council needs to widen the agenda of what community means and involve the residents in key decisions. I see a key function of the city and its governing structure as responding to residents’ feedback and communicating regularly where our tax dollars are being spent and why.
My future Rossland includes a mayor and council who listens to the citizens, asks for our input and then works creatively to make our dreams a reality.
So fellow citizens, when deciding where to cast your vote, I encourage everyone to consider who has engaged you in the past? Who has a track record of asking hard questions to ensure our city has systems in place to be accountable to the residents?
The decisions made today determine our future. Get engaged and exercise your democratic rights by voting Nov. 15.