City council was scheduled to pass a city bylaw implementing the General Vote at their regular council meeting on April 30, 2007.
Bill Longworth's 30 minute presentation on the ward/general vote issue to council at this meeting appears in the four video clips below.
PART 1 - Bill Longworth's presentation to April 30, 2007 Oshawa City Council Meeting
PART 2 - Bill Longworth answers questions from Councillors John Neal and Robt. Lutczyk, both of whom support retaining ward elections
PART 3 - Bill Longworth answers questions from Councillor Louise Parkes who supports change to the general vote and thus poses hostile questions to Mr. Longworth
PART 4 - Bill Longworth answers questions from Councillor Mary Anne Sholdra who supports change to the general vote and thus poses hostile questions to Mr. Longworth
While Council invited written citizen submissions up to noon hour on this meeting date, these citizen submissions were not copied to the politicians for their deliberations, nor were the minutes of the April 19th public meeting held at Sikorski Hall to hear public input to council on this matter. All of this proves beyond a doubt what I have been saying all along...all invitations for public input was just a sham and a waste of taxpayer time in preparing such input.
Council knew what the end result of all of this was going to be from the November 2006 municipal elections and they were unwilling to seriously listen to any constituent input solicited as a result of their invitations for public submissions.
They continued to try to avoid controversy by denying citizen delegations at their April 30th Council meeting where they were to pass the permitting bylaw for the general vote.
Mr. Longworth was scheduled as a delegation at this meeting because council denied his organization a "Partnership Grant" so that he could provide an information brochure on the ward/general vote issue to all Oshawa residences. Democracy cannot exist without an informed public and council has continually voted to deny citizen's the needed information.
Mr. Longworth stepped into the breach to do the job that council refused to do and was seeking city funding to do so.
Council's refusal to provide citizen information shows profound disrespect for the citizens.
Mr. Longworth used his speaking opportunity to address the ward/general vote issue which is the subject of the videos associated with this post.
Citizens have to know how the general vote alters their interaction with city politicians, why the politicians felt it necessary to hold the plebiscite despite no public displeasure ever being expressed with the ward system, what was wrong with the ward system such that politicians felt a change was needed, and what benefits politicians expect to accrue from the general vote. They further need to explain why the system they want for Oshawa is not being used in any city in Canada the size of Oshawa without the use of political parties.
Experts at The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing suggest that a population of about 20,000 is the upper limit for the use of the general vote and Oshawa is about eight times that size. The wards formerly used in Oshawa were about this optimum size.
The VOTES group will continue to communicate to the public throughout this term of council with the objective of defeating Mayor Gray and Councillors Pidwerbecki, Kolodzie, Sholdra, Parkes, Marimpietri, and Henry at the next election as these individuals have continually supported change to the general vote thus reducing democracy and political accountability in Oshawa. Their votes will result in the loss of politicians elected specifically by your community to represent your interests at city hall.