Lights at the end of the tunnel

Do you have a ‘Light at the end of the tunnel,’ a hopeful beacon that municipal affairs in the 13 municipalities or Capital Region District is improving and shaping up? Send to grumpytaxpayers@telus.net

What’s in name? Plenty.

A year ago Grumpy Taxpayer$ recommended that the province create a dedicated ‘Ministry of Municipal Affairs’ to reflect its importance in our lives.

Kudos to the NDP administration for creating the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which “brings together key government services and supports needed to make B.C. communities great places to live, work, visit and invest.”

Previously local government was buried – good luck even finding it – under something called the Ministry of Community, Sports and Cultural Development. (July 2017)

Decorum please

Oak Bay Watch, a citizen’s group which bird-dogs their council with concerns about transparency among other things, are a little happier today.

Kudos to Oak Bay council which has unanimously passed a code of conduct to guide the behavior of elected officials. Staff and council explained that there was no local issue that prompted the development of the code, but that the multiple dust-ups at Naniamo council this past year were motivation.

The code sets out guidelines around respect, accountability, leadership, confidentiality, respectful decisions, and communicating decisions. (July 2017)

It’s all in the those highlights

For most of us, reading through hundreds of pages of council agenda and documents just isn’t going to happen.

Kudos to the City of Victoria for its new bi-weekly service ‘Council Highlights’ which provides a snapshot of the council meetings, programs, decisions and initiatives. If the public wants more information, the accompanying link takes you there.

Click here for an e-letter example, http://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/city/mayor-council-committees/council-highlights/july-13-2017.html or to receive Council Highlights email engage@victoria.ca  (July 2017)