Dusting ourselves off to make a point

In light of a recent proposal by Deputy Mayor Stan Frost to change Cobourg council’s meeting time to 4 p.m., rather than leaving it at 7 p.m., Consider This is inspired to take action.

Citizen journalist Scott Lamberton is generously donating his time for the next few Monday nights to live blog council meetings once again. He was a central contributor during the hyperlocal project in 2010 – 2011.

There are several reasons for this.

First, it is the job of journalism to be a watchdog. Despite the fact it was more than a  year ago Consider This went back to being a blog and not a news site, it is incumbent on local media to raise this issue for public debate. As well, it is the role of the press in the 21st century to facilitate discussion and engage the audience in the issues of the day. Also, it is vital to empower citizen by creating a place where they can advocate for themselves. Educate, engage, empower.

Nothing can be more important than defending our democracy. The job of politicians is to listen to citizens, not slam the door in their faces. As stated before on this site, Frost and others should be finding more ways to consult with Cobourg residents, not making it harder by using the existing formats more vigorously and finding new ones.

And so, we will give it a go for the next while, Maybe, just maybe, council will pay attention.

  • Scott Lamberton

    Dear Stan:

    It is with a sad and heavy heart that I regret to inform you that our relationship must come to an end.

    I know I have not been as of attentive lately. But the demands of work and family have been such that I have had to curtail my extracurricular activities.

    True, it was easier for us to connect in the summer. Since the kids were on vacation I did’t have to worry about those annoying post-school things: you know, the dance rehearsals, sports, music lessons, dinner and the like. Our regular 7 p.m. slot during the regular school year worked so well for me. Especially, since I also had to work late on a regular basis.

    But it appears that time is now an inconvenience for you. And for the efficiency of public business.

    So this will be my “last call.” The proverbial one. Perhaps, not as dramatic as the “last call” of the game (which some referee will have to make, hopefully unnoticed, and yet is so appropros on this the 100th Anniversary of one of our truly unique Canadian games–so inconveniently held when winter is always at our doorstep), or the “last call” for papers (a constant concern for my CEO clients who need to be included in the speakers schedule of the latest must-attend event), or the “last call” for RFPs (you know, Requests for Proposals, which I believe are a precursor to construction contracts in more modest municipalities east of us where transparency and open government is not so higly regarded as in our own).

    No, I tend to think of this as the more prosaic “last call”: that where the publican at your favourite watering hole stands and announces its time for everyone to go home.

    This party you and I had, which I conveniently thought of as “citizen participation”, must come to an end. Our schedules simply don’t work anymore.

    Its been fun. I greatly enjoyed our time together. In your honour, I will come at our usual appointed hour the next few weeks and revel, as I always have, in your magnificent and illuminating performance. You have always brought an inspired, if not unconvential, interpretation to the role of public service.

    After that, I will need to bid you adieu. I won’t be able to make the 4 p.m. call in the future.

    With remorse, your loyal fellow citizen,

    scott

    P.s. find me here at consider-this.ca