Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Longer Municipal Terms

You could see the matrix of it beginning to form at a Union of BC Municipalities meeting long ago. It started as hardly a murmur but over the years it grew in volume until, in a typical insidious bureaucratic manner, it formed full fruition. I’m talking about the increase in the length of Municipal elected terms from three years to four. It starts almost immediately.

It could easily be argued that it was voted in by politicians presently in power, who want to stay in power longer, with average citizen getting no direct vote.

The loudest reason the government gave for the extended term was to give Mayors and councils more time to complete their projects and agendas; they deemed three year terms to be too short.

They waved a totally false flag and lulled people easily to sleep with this politically correct sounding logic.

Truth be told, if a Mayor and council are good, sound and popular they find easy re-election, comfortably giving them six years to complete their projects or mandates.

The danger of a four year term is that if you are stuck with an incompetent or corrupt mayor and council --- which does happen --- then they are with you for four long years. Under the present system you could democratically turf them out after three.

There is a definite sadness in having your democratic right to vote delayed for one year and having that decree imposed upon you.

Three years is not so terribly long; after four, politicians are more entrenched. A former Greenwood mayoral candidate noted, “They don’t just become entrenched; you’ll never get them out.”

But what do you think? Was three years the right amount of time? Or are four year terms better?

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