No further explanation is required.
That seems to be the attitude from Guelph’s City Hall in the instances when the news doesn’t match up with the City’s “official speak”. It’s a big issue as it goes to public confidence in the information that is coming out of City Hall, and the public’s assurance that the City is actually accountable to it — beyond the handful of days when some of us cast a ballot, every four years. Accountability and transparency may well matter most when it’s least convenient.
And that is more than a staff issue. It is a corporate-culture issue, which goes to the top — including Council.
Councillors, you know it starts and ends with you and what you expect in terms of public answers to how public money is spent. Election-time rhetoric is typically not without commitments from candidates — including incumbents — that they will push for doing things better, not the least of which involves improving accountability… so what about it?
Otherwise, it’s a case of “just shut-up and pay your taxes.” But how about saying, “No, we’re not moving on, this now reaches beyond operations. This is an issue of public confidence and it goes to what we are asking of everyone. It’s now about OUR role, our obligations to the public, and frankly, to our staff as well.”
To date we are no further ahead in knowing what was staff’s “error in judgement”, in a recent controversy involving the collection of source-sorted waste. I posted the following comment with that story by the Guelph Mercury’s Scott Tracey.
Public deserves a better explanation for what happened and what actually happens
The “explanation” doesn’t indicate accountability for what happened, it really doesn’t explain anything. How often does this happen and what exactly was “the error in judgement” – the use of that truck, only, but it was still likely all going to go to landfill anyways? Why otherwise would staff assume that using that truck would be OK? Are they really going to sort it after arriving like that?
It seems further clarification of what happened regarding the as-of-yet undefined error in judgement is not in the forecast. But don’t we deserve better?
So… again: What happened, and why?