This thread isn’t meant to spark huge debate. I’m simply curious what everyone means by ‘accountability’ regarding the money issue at City Hall. I haven’t seen anyone throw out anything other than ‘accountability’, so I don’t know what anyone means by it.
So, how exactly do we want City Hall to be accountable for the 5.1 million dollar mistake?
I bring my experience from the non-profit sector into my working definition of ‘accountability’.
To me it means…spending as though it is not your money, and as though the people it came from will want to know what they got for their hard earned money.
I think it means…for every dollar spent (municipally) they should at least TRY to get 2 dollars worth of value for our community.
I also think it means making it possible for Joe Citizen to access the city’s financial information - check out the website - you can get audited financial statements for 2005, and a five year financial plan (that now needs to be utterly revamped). Where is the 2006 information…
I think the actual trick is making it clearly visible and easy to find for Joe Citizen… that information is actually available on the website. The audited financial statements for 2006 were just adopted by Council at the meeting on the 9th. If you want to see a copy of that and the revised five year budget including the report made by staff on what they’re doing to rectify the situation (surprise, surprise there’s more to it than just blaming the understaffing for why it happened, as was reported) you can find it under “mayor and council”, “meetings”, “agenda”… or stop by city hall and request them… and if all else fails you, I’ve got a hard copy of both of those documents sitting in my recycling bin I’d be glad to send your way.
In the case of the budget error at City Hall the key for me is the acknowledgement of responsibility. There has not been accountability because no one has been held responsible. I’m not asking to tar and feather the poor sap who did it but don’t give us a bullshit line about being low on staff. How many people does it take to count the Utility revenue twice? Herb Pond had the opportunity to apologize for the error, explain it and re-assure the public that it wouldnt happen again. Instead he gave a bullshit line about being low staffed (something that helped to create) and downplayed the whole thing.
I too am extremely concerned that Citywest hasn’t held a meeting in months, which completely goes against their constitution. While we the taxpayers will be stuck holding the bag if there is a slight indication that people start switching to Rogers, it is all of us that will be repaying a 23+ million dollar debt. So yes, I would like to see a meeting (public) to see what strategy is underway to protect a service that should have been sold along time ago to get us out of the debt. Excess money then could have been used for improvements.