Dear Editor. Why do some politicians seem to feel they can misuse constituents and follow some self-serving motives with impunity and lack of disclosure, particularly if they can cloak dealings behind doors, as qualified under in-camera meetings? Sadly, the public interests are not always met and the absence of astute investigative journalism, much is swept under the carpet. Two recent events come to mind and I find particularly galling to hear.
The first issue happened quite by chance as no mention on the record online but Ken Bjorgaard, Chief Administrative Officer was fired. It seems to be on the District of Mission website and the infamous Mission Voice but nowhere else. As well, they allude to not discussing personnel matters in public but more informed observers know it may be a direct attack on Ken for his perceived role supporting CRMG. Under past council and then CRMG, Ken was acknowledged for his financial excellence and received awards for financial plans and presentation, keeping taxes increases at zero, so, clearly this has the appearence of as personal vendetta by someone.
It gives further pause to muse – Given a citizen, was appointed Citizen of the Year by CRMG and holder of numerous volunteer positions, like current Chair/President positions including Chair Seniors’ Task Force now named an Advisor to Seniors’ Advocate but my point … he nominated Ted Adlem, offered public published endorsement of Ted Adlem in the Mission Messenger and so we wait with baited breath to see how some will get even.
Thus, I strongly suggest media assign an impartial, unbiased, highly competent professional political reporter to do some investigative journalism in this perceived unfair dismissal case and tell the public the truth. At the least, the public is owed an explanation, such as perceived issue about firing Ken brought up by who, suspects may seem obvious so let’s see, but similarly, who voted to fire him as this may speak volumes about how impartial and progressive this new council may be and if it relies upon facts? The additional speculation, as the issue about possible collaboration with Mission Voice has seemed to come to pass. Will senior staff be appointed CAO on temporary contract as the next step?
Thus, a civilian oversight committee is desperately needed to monitor these suspicious situations, by any municipal council, who may seek to prevent public insight and thus rely upon the in-camera provision that is sometimes flaunted, at best, with no formal justification provided beyond some flimsy Community Charter allowances, but I suspect this may not be within the spirit and intent of same.
The second political issue – the decision by Marc Dalton, MLA to run for higher political office is unacceptable to citizens and constituents who recently elected him. Simply put; no politician at municipal council or a provincial MLA should be seeking higher/lower office until their current elected term is completed. To do so is perceived as political opportunism and by doing so may incur costs of a by-election. It is, as well, self-centred given the incumbent ran for and was elected to a term of office, presumably in good-faith, now suddenly has an opportunistic moment, a chance to earn more money. Candidates for office ought to make up their mind, run for a seat and have the conviction to serve a full term, otherwise, incur the wait until the appropriate seat becomes available and then declare to run for office, not use a lower level seat as a stepping stone nor deceive citizens and voters to earn some money while waiting, as in this example afforded by Marc Dalton, MLA. Finally, in the interim until appropriate legislation is adopted, any person making this self-serving decision at a cost to their constituency ought to be held financially accountable for total by-election cost, at the least, as no need existed to incur costs otherwise.
George F. Evens