Wednesday 9 September 2009

Wyatt Irked, and the Shitstorm at the Not O.K. Corral

You may notice that I don't post much about the goings-on at City Hall. The reason for that is because I prefer not to notice that City Hall exists. Every time I catch a glimpse of city politics, it reminds me of a never-ending episode of Big Brother: A bunch of petty and stupid people cooped up with each other, calling each other names, forming cliques and alliances, and stabbing each other in the back. Frankly, it's easier just to not look and pretend everything is fine. Unfortunately today's events with Russ Wyatt jumped off the front page and forced me to look. Damn you Free Press!

I think part of the problem is that the players rarely change. They get voted in time after time because of name recognition. They settle in, and take their position for granted. They forget what they're there to do. They have too much time to form rivalries carry grudges. Perhaps term limits are required to chase some of these old badgers and badgerettes from office so that we can get new ideas, and more importantly, new attitudes in there. With a shorter shelf life, the city councillors and the mayor may take the opportunity to work together as a team and overcome differences to get things done, rather sniping at each other from the comfort of their little ideological Lay-Z-Boy recliners.

That, however, is simply my view. I could be very wrong about what things are like at City Hall. If I am, let me know and I will make an effort to pay more attention.


Anonymous said...

On the one hand, I applaud Wyatt for standing up to the Mayor and refusing to be just another 'yes-man' for Sammy. On the other hand, his grandstanding act gets a little tiresome after a while. OK Russ, we know you want to run for Mayor someday. Now pipe down and get back to work.

Regan Wolfrom said...

I'm not sure term limits will make the job any more appealing for new challengers. I think being a city councillor does not provide enough reward for the amount of criticism and negativity that surrounds it.

nitroglycol said...

I think the thing that really messed up city council was when the Tories reduced the size of council from 29 to 15. Running a campaign is now far more difficult, because a candidate has to reach far more electors. In the old days it was possible for a fairly small, community based campaign to get someone elected. Not anymore.

cherenkov said...

Good points ...

Toronto seems to have it's share of problems too, so maybe it's the nature of civic politics.

Perhaps we should go back to part-time councillors, acting as a board of directors, with the elected mayor as CEO and appointed executives. A part-time position may attract more competition for the job, and may result in a more business-like approach to city affairs. I don't know ... just thinking aloud.

SD said...

Term Limits are the route to giving more power to the bureaucracy! By the time the Politian figures out whos who in the zoo they are in their lame duck term!

More accountability and more transparency is needed.

OMMAG said...

Over the past 30 or so years the only thing that I've seen get a city councilor out of the trough has been a better paying gig.

Politics being what it is .. the pecking order from the bottom is school board trustee... then comes the city council.... then provincial and finally federal.

IMO ... councilors should be required to obtain a couple of thousand signatures every time to qualify. There should also be a recall mechanism.

There's nothing wrong with making government smaller either. Who cares is they have to work harder to get reelected?

Anonymous said...

Term Limits should apply. EPC should be abolished. And definetly council should get more representation.

In my area, the councillor represents 3 distinct neighborhoods, each with different issues. Further, the ward has 32000 voters and 20 thousand of them didn't vote last go around.

Perhaps having more representation may get more interest from the voters.

OMMAG you are right, there is a pecking order and if aren't part of it, no matter what yopu might have to say, you will start with at least 2 votes against every one you have. Those entrenched voters lists are golden.

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