Newbies must start governing from Day 1
Ora Morison is a Carleton University student in the School of Journalism and Communication. She recently wrote a profile on councillor elect Mathieu Fleury (Rideau-Vanier, Ward 12). You can read it here: Mathieu Fleury Profile
The advice seasoned councillor, Rick Chiarelli had to give caught my eye:
“When you’re in your first year, any solution you can think of is probably one that someone else has thought of before and for some reason it wasn’t adopted,” Chiarelli says.
Chiarelli says his advice to all of the “newbies” on council is to channel their energy and enthusiasm into learning the job for the first two years.
“There’s nothing good you can do in your first two years that will be remembered when you’re standing for re-election, but anything bad you do or say will haunt you,” he says.
Geez, I hope no new councillor does that. Leave the decisions to the thirteen incumbents for the first two years? I hope every new councillor challenges everything that council proposes from day one. If there is one lesson to be learned from the October 25th election is that the public wants different. Maybe some of those old solutions that weren’t adopted needed to be adopted.
It was these thirteen incumbents that approved an unnecessary $6.7M bus callout system that finally cost taxpayers $12.1M. It was these thirteen incumbents that had council debate for two hours the merits of swimming regulations in a pond in Rockcliffe but debated for less than ten minutes to pass a $2.3B budget with a 4.9% property tax increase because it would take to long to go through it line by line (feel free to add other past council blunders in the comment section below).
I truly wish that the “newbies” channel all their energy into changing the way council thinks and showing the “oldies” how to do things better. The new councillors were not elected to be re-elected, they were elected to govern. That starts day one, not two years after day one.