EDITORIAL Sept. 11, 2018:
When you sit down and talk about things — actually share not only what you want to say, but constructively listen — that’s called communicating. It’s also the best way to find solutions, arrive at the best decisions, make peace and nurture understanding. When there is a lack of communication, even none, or when communications break down bitterness and frustration result.
We’re human meaning the majority of us are not great communicators. As a result, we live in a less than perfect world we daily tell ourselves we have to pull up our socks in and try harder to be a bigger/better person. Some try. Some try harder. Some of us don’t care and would rather play the blame game to deflect our own responsibility and involvement.
This week I received three phone calls regarding life for residents in the Lions Prairie Manor. All were from family members with an above average understanding of what transpired at the Manor resulting in the provincial government having to investigate and ultimately hit the manor with sanctions.
Last week there were three meetings — the first steps towards re-earning the public’s trust — thus why several family members contacted the media.
Can you blame them? Many are harbouring feelings — some deeply — of mistrust on how government officials and LPM management have dealt with this so far.
One call was very short. The family member — I will not name these whistleblowers, it was a difficult decision for them to talk — simply wanted to tell me these meetings were happening and if I would attend.
The two other callers, both of whom have family in care at the manor, want to make sure this is a story they don’t want to see drop out of the spotlight.
The media was not invited citing privacy concerns of the residents. I am never in agreement with media — we are public representatives — not being allowed unless it concerns legal matters, personnel or negotiations. It is a relatively narrow list of what governments should be allowed to discuss behind closed doors. The rest is organization sanctioned secrecy and not a governance culture of honest dialogue, debate and respectful listening.
The family members and residents who attended one of the three meetings held Sept. 4-5, learned there is a schedule, a list of what needs to done and how the manor will accomplish these tasks.
Somebody has called a municipal election and forgot to tell those who might be interested in running!
To date five of six serving councillors have declared intention to seek re-election as has Mayor Irvine Ferris.
Kathrine Baer and Sharilyn Knox are the only two citizens registered as candidates so far who are new to city politics.
School Board trustee Preston Meier is looking to trade his seat there for one on city council.
Nobody is coming out to challenge for the mayor’s throne. (Erik Lee tossed his name into the fray on Sept. 13).
This smacks of apathy. Where is everyone who for the past four years have been saying ‘I can do better than that’, ‘what do those guys (councillors and mayor) think they’re doing’.
A healthy election needs a full ballot of candidates. When election time comes around it is an opportunity to make a complete change, shake it up a little or stay with the status quo. But, no one should get in because they weren’t challenged.
Your nomination papers have to be filed at city hall by Sept. 18.
When talking to prospective candidates, don’t take any wooden nickels. Ask of them the questions you want to hear the answers to.
If you are worried about crime, say so. If it is the lack of public transportation here; ask the candidate to outline to you what his/her solution might be.
Taxes. Infrastructure. Poverty. Policing. Accessibility. These are all issues someone on city council will have to deal with in the coming four-year term. Why not ask what the candidate will do to earn your vote?