23 April 2011

Getting results means being interested

Before being elected, it always puzzled me what commissioners and councilors did around the table. Some looked interested, some looked bored and some looked like they were busy doing other things. Now that I am elected I have a better understanding of what is going on, and I've been proved pretty much correct.

During last week's Park Board meeting Vision Commissioner Blyth was tweeting, making disparaging remarks about me and another Commissioner and our interest in process. This from a commissioner who took so little interest in the debate that she actually spoke in favour of an amendment only to be corrected by the Chair (Vision weren't supporting it) and then spoke against it. It is too bad that some people around the table have so little interest in the issues at hand and prefer to fiddle with their new found technology.

Being interested might have prevented the cuts to the Park Board over the past three years. Being interested might have made Council listen a little more closely to the needs of the Park Board. Being interested might have resulted in not cutting recreation programs in the summer for the kids of our city. Being interested might have meant better maintenance for our trees and public spaces.

Cheap political points don't get results; being interested and working together to make better parks does.

20 April 2011

Working cooperatively for better parks

Some pundits in the blogosphere have taken me to task in the past for working with the NPA on certain issues--Jericho wharf for instance--yet never for working with COPE or Vision. As the lone Green Party representative I have a unique outlook on the Board, but must also work cooperatively with other parties to move ahead on what I consider important issues. This was evident last Monday when COPE's Loretta Woodcock and I, once again, worked cooperatively to try to stop the expansion of the the aquarium.

I believe I have been consistent in my opposition to the continuing expansion of commercial ventures in our parks. The expansion of the Aquarium was another example of this. The Vision and NPA commissioners voted together to approve the expansion, while the COPE and Green commissioners voted against it.

I will continue to work with any other individual or group who shares my values and the Green perspective on individual initiatives. To rule out cooperation because of differences in other areas would be petty and foolish and would be against the public good.