So let me get this straight, five current (Summerland) council members were part of the previous council that voted for a pay raise with benefits.
Now the current Summerland council just voted to reduce the number of council meetings, cut out citizen involvement, and give more decision-making to unproductive departments like the building services department, which will only delay things further.
The decision by Summerland council is an affront to democracy and getting things done. It should run (the city) like a business, meaning streamlining or staff changes.
Maybe fewer reports and more action by staff and council. Maybe focus on the three Rs—real estate, roads and recreation—not things the council should not focus on. If that doesn't work, perhaps (there should be) staff changes.
There are some excellent staff members but there are some terrible ones who don't focus on the taxpayer, (they) focus on the council and staff. It's wrong. It's backwards. It’s undemocratic.
So, Summerland council, please do your job and streamline the process and make improvements for the betterment of the taxpayers, not just the staff. You owe it to the people who pay your increased salary and benefits.
If the staff has too much, then consider why and improve it. Don't exacerbate the problem by eliminating meetings.
What's next, monthly or bi-monthly meetings?
Do what is right and make the changes needed to improve what goes on in Summerland. Just because you have a monopoly on approvals and dictates doesn't mean you should drag things out for as long as possible.
How about making it easier to do business in Summerland instead of making it worse every time someone, or some business, tries to do something?
1. Look at processes. There’s an) old work proverb “work fills the time allowed” and this new change will only hurt businesses and taxpayers.
2. Figure out how to streamline. Cut out things that don't belong on council agendas.
3. Return council meetings to the previous schedule or do like other municipalities in the province do with committee of the whole meetings on the first and third Mondays of the month and council meetings second and fourth Mondays of the month
The taxpayers don't work for the staff or council. Stop treating us so badly and do your job.
Ron Kubek, Summerland