Individual thinkers, not 'bobble-heads,' needed
Greatwest Article Template Double Click to Edit Details Write the text of the Article Below this Box To the Editor:
When I received my copy of the Aug. 21st edition of the St. Paul Journal and read the headline ‘Council’s feathers ruffled by requests from MP,’ I was reminded that sometimes there is very little difference between a tragedy and a comedy!
I have always been of the opinion that we enjoy the best governance when those who are elected to govern recognize the value of individual free thought. If the belief in this principle does not exist, then an individual or group of individuals become rather hesitant of presenting forth those opinions which they can support based on their value system. When the individual becomes fearful that his opinion will not be readily accepted by others, the human tendency is to meekly go with the flow of what is popular, regardless of the consequences.
If we are to believe in the accuracy of this news story, we must believe that we have elected a town council that wishes to act like a group of “bobble-heads”.
When the small scandal of the misuse of funds by the Town of St. Paul, among others, to pay for the attendance of councillors and town employees to participate in events to raise funds for a particular party or MLA first broke, our mayor and some councillors were very quick to point out the great importance of networking, which these events provided. I must assume that this networking was to discuss matters referring to their positions as elected or employed municipal officials. I would put forth that in most instances the networking was done on a one-on-one basis. Based on experiences from my own history of work and volunteering, I acknowledge that there is value in most networking situations, even coffee at A&W with an individual citizen or a bunch of the “ole boys” or “gals”. We all know that a lot of this occurs with many members of our current council.
What really is troubling is the great fear which exists to meet on a one-on-one basis with the local MP or any other elected official to discuss on an informal basis things which relate to our Town. I would endorse without reservations one-on-one meetings with MP Brian Storseth. What sometimes frightens me is the one-on-one meetings that occur with land developers and some business types whose sole objective is to further line their pockets with what they see as easy cash. The Journal quotes one councillor as saying: “I feel very uncomfortable with one-on-one meetings...” Please remember that the next time a business promoter, ratepayer or developer wants to talk to you on an individual basis.
I say to the councillors, if you are sincere in carrying out your duties as an elected official and you believe in the value of communicating with all persons or groups who have the welfare of our community at heart, meet with the MP, or MLA or anyone else and if you feel uncomfortable about what that person wishes to discuss, tell them so. Do not sacrifice your rights to have the freedom to think and speak for yourself subjected to the rule of the “mob”. Or is it that our councillors do not have the fortitude to face anyone and state an opinion or position of their own? Remember councillors, you are elected on an individual basis, not as a political party where killing the freedom of thought and speech has become the norm.
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.