Monday, February 26, 2007

Hey Council...How About These Plebiscite Questions?

The ward/general vote plebiscite came “out of the blue” from our politicians for some reason. We don’t know why when Oshawa seemed to flourish under the ward system and no public dissatisfaction was ever expressed with it.

Nester Pidwerbecki who introduced the motion gave as his rationale, "I think it is simply time to ask the public about this." He might just as well have thought it was about time to ask Oshawa people if they were in favour of renaming our city because that makes as much sense.

Council even gerrymandered the question so that they could get a result favourable to them...the people be damned!

So using Pidwerbecki's "I think it's about time we asked" rationale, I think it's about time we asked the public the following questions that I'm sure are of far more public interest in answering on any plebiscite posed by council.

In the interests of seeking public opinion, I challenge council to ask the following plebiscite questions...

1) Are you in favour of decreasing local politicians city and regional pay packages by 50%? --- Yes or No

2) Are you in favour of limiting council members to two terms on council so that we can guarantee fresh leadership and ideas arising from council members? --- Yes or No

3) Are you in favour of those elected to council working full time at the position in light of their handsome pay and requiring those elected to take leave of all other sources of income during their council tenure? --- Yes or No

4) Are you in favour of all city council members working at least 40 hours per week on city business and being responsible to keep time sheets accessible to the public for the purpose of documenting their hours? --- Yes or No

5) Are you in favour of public disclosure of all regional and local salaries plus all honoraria, expense, travel, and benefits costs including those monies accruing to them yearly toward their retirement and severance packages be a matter of public record published annually in the public media?---Yes or No

6) Are you in favour of public disclosure of all gifts, gratuities, and donations made by the development industry and others and a public record published at the same time of council member's votes in respect of all issues of interest to the donors? --- Yes or No

7) Are you in favour of having all pay increases for members of council being approved by the public by way of referendum?---Yes or No

8) Are you in favour of Oshawa politicians being compelled to keep a written record of all constituency problems they've received and statements of the resolution and that these documents should be a matter of public record?---Yes or No

Hopefully council will ask these questions and then implement the results. After all, they are interested in public input and equally interested in upholding plebiscite results in the name of democracy....aren't they?

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