It’s 7am. Do you know where your ward reps are right now?
After a public council meeting last night, I would assume they are still tucked warmly in their beds right now. But an interesting comment was made on my last blog post. A Guelph resident mentioned that after 31 years living in ward 3, they have yet to have their representative(s) canvas the neighbourhood to seek his input. 31 years! So where are they and what are they doing?
I think they are alienating the people they represent.
I understand that going door to door speaking with residents would be extremely time consuming. I understand that doing so would run the risk of being subjected to some lengthy conversations, maybe verbal abuse, and I imagine some pretty terrible tasting coffee. However, speaking with the public is necessary in gaining a true comprehension of our needs and issues.
In the past, I have had personal inquiries directed to my representatives, in which I required detailed explanations for some questionable decisions made on behalf of our ward. (It was regarding pesticide use.) I was informed that the ward 3 representatives had received almost 2 dozen emails/phone calls supporting the councillors’ view.
Almost two dozen?? Last time I checked, 24 people did not make up a majority. I asked the councillor to provide me the number of residents who did not support this particular agenda.
I was told the answer was zero. I asked how many residents were asked. The response? “it is not up to council to go around asking for input and it is up to the residents to speak up.”
I asked how could council possibly speak on behalf of the majority when they have made no effort in finding out what the majority wanted. Then I reminded the ward 3 representative that our lawn maintenance company spent hours asking the public and had provided council thousands of individually signed letters stating the fact that they did NOT support this agenda.
Not 2 dozen. But thousands. Yet it was not our job to do so. Our company was not voted in to represent the citizens of Guelph. Ward 3 has two reps yet how can we trust them when far too often they follow their own pet projects and outright ignore the majority?
What are your experiences? How many emails or phone calls have you made to your rep(s)? Were they answered? Do you feel your rep(s) have your needs in mind when making decisions around the horseshoe?
Maybe it is time for change. The newest counsellor in ward 4 has a blog, public facebook pages, twitter, and has even door knocked throughout his ward (almost) in its entirety. I believe that should set a new standard for Guelph.
What do you think?