THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Mississauga News - July 14, 2009 - Letter by Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga
Change for the betterDear Editor:
I’d like to clarify for citizens the recent decision of Council as it relates to Public Question Period.
At the request of Council, City staff brought forward a report regarding Public Question Period. At the Council meeting of July 8, a motion was brought forward to implement changes to the process for Public Question Period.
I want to assure citizens that Public Question Period has been a long-standing and much-valued practice of City Council as we have always welcomed and encouraged the public to share their views with us, and this has not changed. We, as a Council, value the opinions of the citizens we are privileged to serve and consider these views vital to the efficient operation of governance at the local level.
Council did not undertake this decision lightly. We endeavoured to undertake a review through benchmarking of the City of Mississauga’s practice as it relates to Public Question Period with that of other municipalities and it was determined that the majority of municipalities surveyed do not provide Public Question Period at Council.
Also, in reviewing the present format of our Public Question Period, an observation was made that the majority of questions and issues raised could be more thoroughly addressed and resolved at the committee level where in-depth analysis and discussion typically occur.
Therefore, Council proposed diverting Public Question Period to the committee level so the public would have an opportunity to ask questions and for members of Council and City staff to be able to respond in an informed, educated manner. Also, members of the public will still have the opportunity to address Council by requesting a deputation in advance of any Council meeting through the Clerk’s office. Council meeting agendas are available to the public three working days before a Council meeting and are also posted on the City’s website.
The City prides itself on providing excellent services and efficient programs and we continually look for ways to improve our processes and conduct business in order to better serve the public and the community at large. By ensuring Council meetings are conducted in an efficient, effective and respectful manner, it allows for a more focused discussion, maintains an orderly flow of the agenda and ensures that at the end of the day, the business of Council is accomplished.
Formal amendments to the Procedure By-law to permit these changes will be presented to Council for enactment at the Council meeting of Aug. 5, and should any member of the public wish to appear before Council as a deputant regarding this issue, they may do so by making a request through the Clerk’s office in advance of the meeting or communicating their views through written submissions.
I want to assure the public that we continue to respect and value the democratic process and the public’s right to provide input on issues that affect them.
Comments by others, 5, to this web-page;
MISSISSAUGAWATCH Jul 15, 2009 3:58 PM
an email regarding the "Zero Tolerance" practices of her Mississauga Corporate Security guards and their bans/arrests of minors/Youth. : Quote, "Under what circumstances would we not lay a charge against an individual who has been banned under Trespass to Property as a result of an incident covered by this policy? Seems to me that "may be" ought to be "will be" unless such a circumstance could reasonably be predicted. To not enforce a ban renders all bans irrelevant and ineffective. If someone has a good reason why they ignored the ban, let them tell it to the judge when the charge goes to court. 'Zero tolerance' is the hallmark of the policy and we should uphold that." Indeed “hallmark of the policy” but also in violation of the youth-support in the City’s own Guidelines to Working with the Trespass Act which were abandoned with no one but me noticing. HYPOCRITES!
* Agree 1
MISSISSAUGAWATCH Jul 15, 2009 2:13 PM
Quote: "The City prides itself on providing excellent services and efficient programs and we continually look for ways to improve our processes and conduct business in order to better serve the public and the community at large."
Freedom of Information has confirmed this statement to be FALSE. At the May 2008, Audit Committee meeting, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion finally admitted what I'd been trying to warn Mississauga Council about since December 2006. And that is, that Mississauga Staff violate all manner of City guidelines, policies and procedures. Next, Mayor/Councillors have knowingly failed to provide adequate supervision of their employees and have a joke for an Audit Committee. McCallion herself seems to agree. After despairing about the "complete disregard for policy" demonstrated by staff, Hazel McCallion then mused, "I don't know why there's such a disregard for policy." I do. Because City Staff run Mississauga, NOT the Mayor. Freedom of Information confirms that it’s a good thing that the Mayor’s Letter to the Editor didn’t end with “I can assure” because she CAN’T assure anything about City Staff. (Interesting twist of MISSISSAUGASPEAK –switching to “I want to assure”.
* Agree 1
Uatu Aug 26, 2009 6:10 PM
So many things wrong here, hard to know where to begin (I)
Let's start with the premise that this is an "either-or" choice. Opening up committee meeting to questions is a positive step. I have yet to see Parrish or anyone else explain why that requires removing it from Council meetings. Instead, we get ridiculous claims about "performing for the cameras." I have watched numerous Council meetings on Rogers and I have yet to get the impression that anyone but the Councillors "perform for the cameras". Councillor Parrish knows, or should know at least, that is is dishonest debating to attribute motives to your opponent so that you can attack them. Where is her proof that anyone is performing? Forthcoming right after the pigs finish their fly-by, methinks.
* Agree 1
The Mississauga Muse Aug 26, 2009 3:09 PM
Parrish is wrong --or being deceptive. Town of Aurora proves it.
Parrish writes, "Of all jurisdictions in Ontario, only Mississauga and Brampton have PQP on the Council agenda.” WRONG! Check out the Town of Aurora Council meeting agendas.."TOWN OF AURORA COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA...III OPEN FORUM" And quoting from Town of Aurora’s procedural by-law. "Open Forum 3.1 Open Forum shall be considered a part of the formal order of business of Council. Any ratepayer of the Town of Aurora is entitled to make a deputation to Council on a matter that is or is not on the Agenda of Council provided the maximum time allotted is five minutes for each delegate and the total time of all delegates for this portion of the Agenda be restricted to twenty minutes. By-law 4912-07.C". Also, the other City of Mississauga atrocity is to bray “Leading Today for Tomorrow” and they’re forever checking what other municipalities are doing and then FOLLOW! (And often follow “convenient” information!)
* Agree 3
AndrewHS Aug 26, 2009 2:25 PM
Impose rules at Council
Rather than removing our tradition of PQP at Council - unique to Mississauga, apparently - would it not be feasible to impose time limits and relevancy rules instead? In fact, these rules are being proposed for the new committee PQP sessions: why not at Council? This would save time and money, and keep Council business on track, while still preserving an important part of our local democracy.
* Agree 2
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