I presented a proposal to Saanich council Jan. 25 recommending a post-implementation review of the district’s public participation policy. My concern has always been the lack of public input and involvement in the development process that led to the policy.
The purpose of my proposal was to “expand the conversation” by enlarging the public’s role within the “public” participation process. To that end, one recommendation was that a joint district-public committee be appointed to oversee the proposed review, with residents as full and equal partners. At the end of the submission, council members asked not one question.
Subsequently, Coun. Colin Plant put forth a motion referring the issue to a future meeting of a committee of the whole. At a COTW meeting, any Saanich resident could attend and speak to their opinion on the substance of the proposal.
After Coun. Plant’s motion, a seconder was requested. Not one councillor would second the motion to refer the issue for further public consultation. Not Coun. Brice; nor Coun. Brownoff; nor Coun. Derman, nor Coun. Haynes. Not Coun. Murdock; nor Coun. Sanders; nor Coun. Wergeland.
Not one – other than Coun. Plant – stood up for your right to speak before council on the important issue of public participation in the district. And you know what, they’re not to blame. It’s all our fault.
Our apathy, our neglect, our disinterest only reinforces their beliefs. If we don’t care; they don’t care. But the clock is ticking and time is slowly but inexorably winding down towards November 2018.
Change is only going to occur if we want it, and we’re willing to make it happen. We need to step up our game. It’s as simple as that.