I expect that Mayor Simpson will speak further to this vision at the Inaugural Meeting of Quesnel Municipal Council for the 2014-18 Term this evening. I wonder if Mayor Simpson will bring these ideals to the CRD Board table, assuming he is appointed by Quesnel Council as the CRD Director for Quesnel...
It would make for good CRD Strategic Planning Discussions in April of 2015...
Read Simpson's vision below:
• I believe we are living unsustainably: environmentally, socially and economically. We are living this way primarily because elected leaders consistently fail to make the courageous decisions necessary to create a sustainable society.
• We must strive to represent the interests of all citizens and not simply pander to the vocal minority or vested interests. This requires us to proactively seek the views of the majority and will often demand we exercise political courage.
• We owe it to future generations to take their rights and interests into account in every decision we make – even though they can’t vote.
• If elected representatives act the way voters hope and expect them to act they will be rewarded at election time. Voters want elected representatives to focus on good governance instead of perpetually electioneering.
Leading the City as a Corporate Entity
• The focus of the City as a corporate entity must be quality public programs, services and infrastructure, and elected leaders must enable this focus to be realized when they create budgets and bylaws. To achieve this we must not politicize the budget process (e.g. zero tax increases in election years) or budget items (e.g. entitlement programs or projects in response to a vocal minority).
• The City’s budget must reflect, as a first principle, maximum returns to the maximum number of ratepayers.
• We must have the courage to match taxation to the service levels we promise to deliver or be honest with the public that they cannot have what they desire with the tax levels they are willing to pay.
• Council’s job is to ensure that the sum of the public goods delivered by the City Corporation are designed and delivered to benefit the maximum number ratepayers and will, together, create a safe, inclusive, just and sustainable society.
Process & Practice
• The majority of citizens are silent on most issues. In order to represent the majority we must design effective public engagement processes that proactively seek out their perspectives.
• We must actively invite and embrace divergent points of view before we make decisions on behalf of citizens.
• Citizens have an inherent right to readily available and easily accessible information so they can make an informed decision, give an informed opinion, and judge our actions.
• We must be respectful of each other and staff at all times. This includes respecting divergent opinions and points of view – we do not have to agree on everything, but we must remain respectful in our disagreement and always seek to find our common ground.
• No individual councilor has the right to unilaterally decide what should and should not be public information; this decision rests with Council as a whole based on staff and legal advice. However, as a first principle, Council should strive to make all of its decisions in the public domain based on information it makes available to the public.
• Council meetings should freely reflect Council’s struggles to achieve consensus without fear that the public may perceive us to be a “divided Council.” However, differing opinions should be expressed and listened to respectfully. Council members should also ensure they are fully informed and their positions are based on facts and data which reflect the views of the electorate, not merely their personal opinions.
• The energy and focus of Council should be directed toward building a sustainable community.