..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

... just to remind myself why I'm doing this ...

Depending on our personalities, the world can be a crowded place or a very lonely one. For those who seek comfort in numbers, there is no shortage of hangers on, but for those who avoid that circus, keeping thier own counsel can leave them feeling quite alone and disengaged from the mad place we call home. Life is a trade off and most of us choose how we live it.

For me, I'd rather work things out as best I can, using my own thoughts and feelings to sort things out. Following the crowd has never been a temptation to me, but that has its price, one that I'm totally comfortable with every day I get to stand up and be the person I aspire to be. When I sometimes lose track of who that is, I come here to remember, to reconnect and to resume my quest.

These posts are a reflection of some of what matters to me and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to collect these thoughts as they form in my head, as they prepare the way for my life, as it evolves from one day to the next. They re-inspire me when things seem to be floating about, with no particular aim or purpose, and it does happen from time to time.

So, today I had these thoughts that I think are worth writing down for the future me to look back on when I need to ...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

masters of spin but... honestly?

(Honourable) Politics is about letting everybody think they're important and part of the process, while always doing what's right for as many as possible. What's wrong with that? ultimately nothing. But what is wrong, is pretending that politics is not what it is. Yet, politicians keep trying to dance like they've got 6 feet. They obfuscate, they redirect, they avoid, they keep using every trick they can think of to pretend what is never going to be the reality. It is in this context that I write the following commentary, in response to something I read in today's paper.

Regardless of the issue or the decision, the reasons supporting those decisions are just as important as the issue itself. It’s the reasons given that promote or erode the public confidence in our decision makers. It’s the reasons that tell us if our decision makers should even be making those decisions in the first place. It’s the reasons that we should use to judge their suitability for office when elections require us to choose the next council of decision makers. I believe forthrightness and consistency are among the important characteristics we should demand.
That brings me to the parking meter issue that has just been settled. Nevermind that council has wrongfully dragged the DBIA into the debate, or that the DBIA even fell for it; nevermind whether I agree or disagree with the decisions, nevermind that this see-saw decision-making keeps reversing earlier decisions, the underlying and now over-riding “reason” given has been articulated by the Deputy Mayor as quoted in your article in Thursday’s Northumberland Today. He states “The people who are paying for parking in today’s environment are the taxpayers, not the motoring public. “
This may be so, but is this a unique situation or one that needs to be changed? Let’s look at another recent decision by the same decision makers, the dog park. Again, nevermind the issue nor the decision itself, but let’s focus on the reasons. The main reason offered in support of the decisions made are that it is an amenity, a facility for the public at large. Well, how many, or what percentage of our local taxpayers have care of animals that will use this facility? It is stated that there will be plenty of parking. I didn’t see any suggestion that there would be fees associated with the use of the park so it has to follow that the entire cost of creating, operating and maintaining this facility will be borne by the taxpayer, presumably the same taxpayer that’s now paying for the parking referred to by the Deputy Mayor. This inconsistency in arguing support for decisions is very disturbing and needs careful scrutiny. It may be late in the game, but every member of Council needs to be assessed with that same kind of scrutiny, particularly the ones who choose to reapply for their seats.
My point is, how do these two decisions and in particular the reasons given in their support, reconcile? How do you explain the huge disparity between them? How do we accept that such inconsistency in reasoning council decisions is understandable, supportable or even acceptable? I know that I refuse to accept such on-the-fly arguments in support of important decisions of Council. Some Councillors may feel unfairly criticized by this but they need to speak up if they disagree, and their open council discussions and their vote should reflect their opinions on every item. That’s how we decide if they should be part of the process when the time comes to choose the next decision makers.

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