Three trustees, Taylor, Stewart and Hurdman, met with members of the public at Filos restaurant in Deer Run to discuss the proposed CBE budget. The purpose of the meeting was to get input from the public, find out what questions people want asked in the upcoming board meeting and what issues people feel need to be addressed by proposing changes to the budget. This type of meeting is exactly what we should expect of elected representatives. They held a wide-ranging discussion with about 20 people who brought up many issues. They tried to speak to everyone in the room and genuinely listened to what people had to say. They wisely had a signup sheet to keep in touch with voters.
Unfortunately, there were too many people for the number of trustees. Some of the issues that came up were clearly the responsibility of the provincial government, which prevented the trustees from having a useful response. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have an MLA present to field those concerns?
Ideally, the trustees would have had a clearly defined use for the information and ideas that were gathered, a plan to use them to influence the final budget. That group of trustees didn’t give the impression that they feel able to affect the final budget, which is a reflection of the poisonous dynamic within the board as a whole.
It’s great to see three trustees make an effort to understand the public they represent. We are concerned by the total lack of effort or concern by the other four CBE trustees to seek public input.
Trustee Hurdman has another event planned Thursday May 15, 4pm – 8pm at Higher Ground Cafe http://highergroundcafe.ca/