To the editor,
I write to express my deep concern over recent developments within the town’s council that have undermined the principles of democracy, public engagement, and transparency. The actions of mayor and council, particularly the mayor’s heavy-handed control and the council members’ reluctance to voice their individual views, have left the community feeling unheard and powerless in important matters affecting the town.
One of the most alarming issues is the suppression of public comments and questions during council meetings. Public comments and questions are a fundamental aspect of democratic process, and they must not be curtailed in this dismissive manner.
Furthermore, the denial of delegations from concerned citizens is deeply troubling. The council has a duty to be open to hearing from community members who want to engage in constructive dialogue and provide valuable insights. By refusing these delegations, the council is shutting the door on vital community input. It is reminiscent of the authoritarian regimes we so often condemn, where dissenting voices are silenced, and dialogue is stifled under the weight of unchecked power.
Equally concerning is the fact that meetings and decisions related to the proposed development projects have been conducted in closed sessions. This lack of transparency erodes trust and fosters suspicion among the residents who have a right to be informed and involved in these decisions that will significantly impact the town’s future.
In a thriving democracy, it is crucial that elected officials represent the interests of the people and encourage public engagement. I call upon the town council to uphold the principles of democracy, public engagement, and transparency, and to act in the best interests of the community. The town’s future depends on it.
Lesley Gaunt, Ladysmith
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The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press Media or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.
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