Opinion Letters

Letters to the editor, Oct. 10, 2017

Concerns raised about lack of council Q&A

I'm very concerned that Mayor Brocanier of Cobourg is so adamant in refusing to hold a Q&A period at public council meetings.

Surely it should be a whole council decision through proper voting as opposed simply to the mayor's decision.

It is totally not in keeping with the town's election promise of more transparency and constant effort to engage in better communication with the public.

Other than his stated alleged fear of unsuitable behaviour while he, being the chairperson who controls the meetings, there is no rational reason to refuse a simple request in my view.

It is quite obvious that a delegation to council poses the same behavioural risk as an individual asking a question so what is the real reason for his decision?

Is he fearful of what he might hear from concerned citizens and not have answers?

I've exchanged several emails with him, with info to the council members, providing accurate information gained by personal research about the other five of seven Northumberland municipal councils who provide time for the public to address their concerns.

That has not made any difference in the decision.

I have received responses from the mayor alone but none from any of the councillors which I find unusual.

Surely they would have opinions on this important issue and would think they would express them.

This link from John Draper's site outlines the town plans pertaining to updating procedural guidance with no mention of a Q&A period.

It appears the decision has been made.


Bill Thompson, Cobourg

Column highlights problem in Cobourg

Lydia Smith's article (Oct. 5) hit the nail on the head. But it's an ornery head that I'm afraid requires a bigger hammer. It reminds me of something Rousseau said some 250 years ago: Sovereignty, for the same reason as it makes it inalienable, cannot be represented. It lies essentially in the general will, and will does not admit of representation: it is either the same, or other; there is no intermediate possibility. The deputies of the people, therefore, are not and cannot be its representatives: they are merely its stewards, and can carry through no definitive acts. Every law the people has not ratified in person is null and void - is, in fact, not a law. The people of England regards itself as free; but it is grossly mistaken: it is free only during the election of members of parliament. As soon as they are elected, slavery overtakes it, and it is nothing.

Michael Hoepfner, Cobourg