I write to address Mayor Teunis Westbroek’s self-serving statement that democracy in Qualicum Beach suffered a grievous wound because he was not appointed to be the RDN representative. On the contrary, December 5 was a banner day for democracy in town affairs.
The foundations of western democracy stand on the principles of one person/one vote and that the majority shall govern. These principles are carried forward to the operation of our municipal council by provincial legislation.
The council votes and the majority’s decision becomes law. That is precisely what happened at the council meeting.
It is true Teunis Westbroek has been elected several times to the position of mayor. It is also true he has never been elected to sit on the RDN board. In the past, he has been appointed to the RDN. Under our laws it must have been by the council.
This time he tried to appoint himself. He did this after being advised that the new council believed the job should be rotated and each member should serve.
The mayor then embarked on a self-serving attempt to circumvent the democratic process by proclaiming that he had the right and power to appoint himself to any position he chose. He further claimed the right to make all appointments unilaterally.
The new council should be congratulated and celebrated for resisting this. More important, and more critical to democratic principles of governance, Council unanimously rejected and stopped the Mayor’s attempt to reduce the democratic power of Council and seize it for himself. That, Mr. Westbroek, is truly democracy in action!
It’s supposed to be “we the people” not “me the people.” It is often said that power corrupts. It is one of the great strengths of democracy that no one individual is allowed to seize powers for personal gain because our system employs checks and balances. Shame on the Mayor for stomping out of the meeting room and the reception! It is also said that true character is more often revealed in defeat than in victory.
Bravo to new councillors — Brouilette, Tanner, Luchtmeijer, and Willie. A fresh breeze of democracy and transparency blows through Qualicum Beach town hall.