web analytics

Some thoughts written ten years ago

Governance is the process of making and enforcing decisions within an organization or society. Wiki reference here. A complicated process consisting of many moving parts. How one gets from an idea or need into legislated form takes time, diligence and care to respect all involved in the process.

The Town of Cobourg has initiated a study into the process of Governance. Suggestions to overhaul the system that has prevailed since 1985 are rife, especially during election campaigns.

The present system is called the “coordinator” system and in it each Councillor is assigned a ‘portfolio’ – an area of speciality and expertise. Each portfolio is matched to a Municipal department. The idea was that each Cllr could be the conduit for information and expertise to the full Council. Good idea in one respect but the downfall of the system was that each Cllr decided, their usual political way that they and they alone would control the flow of information. This encouraged the lazy Cllrs to ignore the portfolios they had no jurisdiction over. The Coordinators, also had their faults – encouraging the maintenance of ‘silos’ of information.

In this system the Citizens were shortchanged. If a problem arose about a Municipal problem when a Cllr was approached to resolve it the usual response would be, “That’s not in my portfolio go see so’n’so.”

Noting this to be a problem I wrote this one-pager – ten years ago, and I still stand by its content. Compare this to the Staff report and one will see a major difference between this and that report. That being the elimination of Advisory Committees and the Committee of the whole. This is a major problem, these moves will eliminate nearly all of the public contact between the Citizens and their Governors.

I will have more to say in the weeks coming!

One pager on the ways we govern Cobourg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.