The full interview with bonus material:
People have said local governments should be run like a business for many years. It should be efficient and cost-effective. And taxpayers should be treated like clients or customers, ensuring excellent service and accountability.
Then ask anyone who has gone before a local council as a delegation to ask for something. You get 10 minutes to speak. Politicians ask a couple of questions. You sit and wait until your item comes up on the agenda. Then, depending on your request, you get what you want, or council votes to accept your presentation for informational purposes. There your request goes to sit on a shelf and gathers dust.
In 2019, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities released a national poll saying 56 percent of Canadian feel their local government can improve the quality of life in their community. That is barely half.
On today’s show, Cobourg Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty will explain a major overhaul to the way council is run. The goal is to make it easier for people to talk to politicians and get more input. It is also going to change the structure of how council operates. For some, it means a more transparent system that will give politicians and the public a greater voice in decisions. For others, it could mean a path to full-time councillors and a power grab by those in charge. Have a listen and you can decide.
Originally aired: May 5, 2023