Concern expressed re new Council procedure bylaw

Open Letter to Mayor and Council, CNV from a concerned resident and copied to Voices:

Dear Mayor and Council:


I want to express my serious concern about the final draft of the  Council Procedure Bylaw – Item 11 on Monday’s council agenda, in particular, how this bylaw deals with live public input.  This bylaw is geared toward the protection of city staff and you as elected officials- protection against the boredom, bullying, harassment and discrimination supposedly  heaped upon you by a disgruntled public. I cannot find one positive instruction for how you, as elected officers and your staff are expected to treat members of the public — with respect, honesty and with no abusive conduct.


    For example  I remind you of the Public Input of May 25 and Mayor Mussatto’s disgraceful verbal attack on Mr.John Harvey.   Mr. Harvey did not say or do anything wrong but “In the Mayor’s opinion” he was out of order  and, after protesting his innocence, he was threatened with expulsion from the council chamber. He had no means for rebuttal, no way to demand an apology for a humiliating exchange – both of which, in my opinion, he deserves!


   This reworked bylaw will leave no doubt in the public’s mind that they are regarded as “The Enemy”,, that they are unwanted, will not be listened to and that you intend to give them as little public time for free expression as possible.


      Only those with a guilty conscience fear questions and criticism – those with a clear conscience welcome both because they create opportunities to justify actions  taken and decisions made.


    This bylaw is BAD.  Send it back to the drawing board.   The District of North Vancouver has a Code of Ethics that refers to all levels of involvement in a positive manner – you would be well advised to use it as a very good example of how to win friends and influence people!


Joan Peters



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