EDITORIAL: Getting it done at Parksville city hall

Council and staff seem to move items through the process in an efficient manner

With a minimal amount of theatrical political posturing, Parksville city council is getting things done.

We are quick to point at what we perceive are faults in this space, so it’s only fair to give credit where credit is due.

Case in point: less than two months ago, some local people appeared before council with an out-of-the-box idea for weed control. They wanted the city to change its bylaws so they could get a business licence and offer herds of goats to munch through unwanted vegetation on public and private lands.

This request was sent to staff for the hard work. It returned in the form of bylaw changes for council to consider in quick order, and the amendments were given final approval Monday night.

Much of this smooth and speedy operational attitude is due to the leadership of Chief Administrative Officer Fred Manson and what is clearly a driven and talented city staff.

Mayor Chris Burger and council play a significant role too, moving items through the system with the appropriate amount of debate, keeping it mostly on topic, and respectfully listening to the appeals of the public while keeping a close eye on the public purse.

Not all council decisions are unanimous, and it’s not like they hit a home run every time they face an issue. But it just seems to work.

Coun. Bill Neufeld doesn’t think so, judging by his comments seemingly five minutes after he took his council seat for the first time a couple of years ago. He’s going to run for mayor, he told the world.

Fair enough. There’s nothing like a little friction to induce colourful comments, but it does seem a shame, as a first-timer on council, Neufeld decided to be seen as a candidate for mayor instead of a councillor learning the ropes and focusing on issues. It could be argued he is doing just those things — it’s the perception of his motivation he tainted with his premature campaign announcement.

Some of these current councillors might be defeated in the November election. Some might decide not to run. Things may change and get more theatrical as we get closer to the fall. And it helps that people in the city like the Orange Bridge Gateway Merchants come before council with plans to improve the city without using taxpayer money.

But right now, there is balance, and the city machinery works.

— Editorial by John Harding

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