• September 23, 2012

    Dissatisfaction, Disengagement & Disillusionment?

    With each passing year, I hear more and more people expressing their dissatisfaction, disengagement and disillusionment with government. The effects of this are clear; voter turnout has been on a downward trend for twenty plus years.

    The reasons given for this decline are often attributed to a public that is uninterested, apathetic or just plain ignorant of the political system.  Is this really true, or could there be other reasons that better explain this recent trend? At the municipal level and, as a newly-elected Councillor, I noticed something very odd at every informational meeting the City hosted – regardless of topics – only a handful of people attended.  Often, the staff outnumbered the public.  I soon concluded that something was very wrong with this picture! As I began to ask the ‘why’ questions during interactions with… Continue Reading

  • September 18, 2012

    Voters Made The Right Decision! Now What?

    Last fall, the City of Abbotsford promoted the development of a new water source from Stave Lake and the “yes” response to a referendum. An aggressive, $320,000 advertising campaign was launched to support this initiative.

    Many voters were not pleased with the tone and style of this campaign and, more importantly, had serious concerns about various aspects of the proposed waterworks program.  The referendum was overwhelmingly defeated by 75% of the voters.   Since being elected, I continued to ask questions to better understand the City’s water system issues and problems.  I reviewed numerous City and consultant documents, studies and reports.   The reports and studies were complex, lengthy and at times getting answers to my questions was much slower than I would have liked.  Some information that I would have thought was readily available,… Continue Reading

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