Dear Editor. The recent Letter in the RECORD, by Mayor T. Adlem, in response to Dennis Clark follows a similar path taken by several other writers that seeks to exacerbate a situation out of control and largely out of context or perspective to exaggerated realities that exist.
We must not lose sight of the fact we are dealing with careers of dedicated people and the effectiveness of running a progressive and cost-effective Municipality within the Taxpayers ability to pay. Thus, reasonable objectives and performance standards to achieve goals are welcome.
However, at the District of Mission plans and their execution have gone off the rails by a seemingly dysfunctional Council. Thus, the first crucial steps are to get all on the same page.
First, Councillor Hensman ought to prove his statements about inaccuracy of quoted figures than to simply imply being a weird fantasy is unacceptable. Factual numbers will identify the degree of valid concern about persons leaving for untoward reasons, beyond legitimate cause, like retirement.
Second, the objective to create and manage effective changes is commendable. Sadly, change is a state of mind and bad changes or mishandled process is detrimental to success. Hence, a mishandled or frivolous change, as alluded to by Mayor Adlem, is neither wise nor desirable and will as witnessed create fear and courts disaster, as lack of leadership has now demonstrated.
Third, vain attempts to demean opponents, such as by claiming they did not avail themselves of an “open door” or holding “Public Forums” only to find little public response ought to herald a lack of confidence or trust in Council, sort of a “why bother attitude, no one listens or better, acts”. I wonder if this sense has permeated staff levels at the Municipal Hall?
We must heed the Record Editorial wherein a call to “investigate district staffing issues” is made, as it exudes at least a degree of saneness in this debacle and perpetuating of contrasting opinion but an unlikely plan, given time constraints.
Much of the dialogue is perceived as political rhetoric and unenlightened self-interests skirting around issues. Councillor Tilbury is correct though, worrying “staffing exits affect business” and alludes to some real concerns about productivity and knowledge being lost.
As an informed observer, having served over 35 years in Senior Executive positions, with focus upon Human Resource Management, I can say unequivocally, leadership is sadly wanting. This sometimes leads to micromanaging to desperately seek to grasp and stem the growing discontent, which has, as being experienced, the opposite results.
But the District of Mission has a major complication, a Mayor who by nearly every action seeks unwittingly to exacerbate the dilemma he has created at lacking sensitivity, management and perceptive skills of human nature, by outlandish statements like, “if people have a resistance to change, it’s better for the organization that they leave”. Previous angry outbursts demonstrate a clear lack of maturity and leadership skill. This has resulted in lack of confidence, a dysfunctional Council and essentially a lame-duck Mayor, a precedent in Municipal circles but from all perceived accounts the Mayor and two cohorts have been in continual denial but sadly do not improve conditions or results.
Possibly not the most progressive but nonetheless historically Councils could rely upon knowledgeable “Staff”. Another crucial step is to now recruit two or three competent civic administrators, human relations oriented leaders, to abandon all aspects of micromanagement.
Mission Taxpayers can rejoice at CRMG ridding Mission of incessant annual tax increases and the horrific PSIT fostered by a former misguided Council. Indeed, we enjoyed two years of no tax increase. Sadly, desperately lacking leadership and conviction to work together caused an implosion of CRMG but out of the ashes a new opportunity emerges.
In closing Mayor Adlem alludes to November 15th election but sadly, Council has already decided its fate, four have left out of non-confidence and as promised by the Mayor, replacements will be identified during April, now almost over and no replacements so might the outcome of the election be self-fulfilling prophecy, as the Mayor drags the slate down to defeat? Indeed, can the Public have confidence the Mayor and those elected will not repeat the same process?
George F. Evens