We have concerns about those members of the Parksville council who seem to have stopped acting like the responsible officials we thought we were electing to make informed decisions in the best interest of our community.
Recently they appear to be avoiding their civic duties by absenting themselves from public debate and decision-making.
We know that councillors have legitimate reasons to be absent for a vote from time to time, but we‘re concerned when it becomes a trend. At the last two council meetings, two of our elected representatives declared themselves to be in a possible ‘conflict of interest’ and removed themselves from deliberations on tree-cutting and rezoning.
When members of council opt out of the democratic process, their input is missing from debate and the likelihood of reaching the best-informed decision is compromised. Also, fewer votes are needed to approve or reject a motion, which again compromises the process.
An example is the development application for the property across Shelley Road from Parksville Chrysler, an application that calls for significant changes to zoning and contravenes the OCP. The planning department has recommended that it be designated for comprehensive development. Surely all seven members of council, not just five, should be discussing the implications of this application and standing up to be counted when the vote is called.