Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

What is your definition of open & transparent?

Posted by auroracitizen on September 10, 2008

There was a disturbing article on the front page of The Auroran this week about the Freedom of Information (FOI) request for legal costs (see separate post).

Why must a citizen request information through Freedom of Information (FOI) in the first place? Shouldn’t a simple request be enough.

Isn’t Council accountable to the citizens of Aurora? Every election we have the opportunity to re-hire or terminate based on how we vote. That means the citizens are the boss and the Mayor and Council are accountable to us. Seems pretty clear.

So why does Council make any citizen go through the effort of making an official request to get information that they are entitled to see. The mere fact that a formal process is required suggests that something is being hidden.

What about the open & transparent promises of this Mayor and Council? It is surprising that this type of information wouldn’t be more readily available. Isn’t that what open and transparent means?

Maybe this Council needs to be reminded who they actually work for! If they truly want to be open & transparent, any citizen should be able to get these type of questions answered without being required to make a formal Freedom of Information request.

That tact has historically been used by politicians with something to hide.

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2 Responses to “What is your definition of open & transparent?”

  1. Anonymous said

    Ohhh… look what was in the Era-Banner this weekend.

    http://yorkregion.com/printarticle/81255

    I don’t know how to make that into a live link but if you copy and paste it in to your browser, you can read the article.

  2. Anonymous said

    Perhaps Mayor Morris should refer to her own website -www.phyllismorris.net – where she can get re-acquainted with the promise she made to the residents of Aurora

    “Well this promise is not a fairy tale — I will work with Council and Town Staff to make our municipal government more open, more transparent, more accountable and more inclusive.”

    The hypocracy is astounding, but more importantly, it is very troubling as the costs to the tax-payers mount.

    There must be a mechanism that an FOI can be requested specific to an issue?

    Although Mr. Panizza declined to comment on the costs of the CAO leaving, Mr. Roger’s salary can be easily found on the internet as he is (was) a public servant making over $100K and therefore part of the “Salary Disclosure 2008 (Disclosure for 2007)Municipalities and Services.”

    His contract will have been paid out, so anyone can do the math for that part of the cost. But there will still be the lawyers fees, and the incalcuable costs to the town in staff productivity due to low morale and lack of leadership.

    And the added challenge of attracting qualified and experienced staff to a town that now has a reputation for a difficult Mayor and council.

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