Writer decries lack of council debate


The Editor,

Portage Citizen


Creaking up the musty stairs to the city of Portage la Prairie council chambers to attend council meetings had become a habit, a duty even, but no more.

Reality has set in. No debate. Very occasional discussion — items obviously having been decided in private, and a pervasive, even stifling air of ho-hum hangs over the proceedings.

I took pleasure in being involved in matters to do with my community and thrust of discussion and debate.

Well, I think my interest in municipal politics, like the basic level of public engagement by our elected city council in Portage la Prairie, has dwindled to faint echoes. Not in coffee shops mind you, nor gossip over knitting, but listening to our elected councillors has faded because they give us nothing to listen to.

And it is cold in there. The temperature, the absolute quiet and the lack of movement from councillors and spectators — the expectation that, if anyone moves or whispers, the dreaded mayoral gavel will loudly descend.

I say to Mayor Ferris and councillors: you win.

I am disappointed and I held high hopes. Gone.

Reminders of Monty Python skits fit this council. “Say no more, say no more. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!”

I have not given up hope. No sirree!

I wait now for the next municipal election to come around.

One day, the little ripples of hope will strike this static town and interest will again be shown by voters who ask for a council and mayor who will give us open discussions, even public debate.

Bill Knott

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