It’s time to speak up. Residents need to know that it’s time to bell the cat. I’ve watched this council’s activities and what was puzzling at the start of its term, has become a pattern of considerable concern. What’s happening? Who is driving the bus? Where is the mayor in all this? It has become clear to me that the agenda is being driven mainly by the administration, possibly in concert with others who have their own objectives.
There may be some consultation with the mayor and certain council members, but clearly the administration has the upper hand and knows it. With the exception of a couple, council members, it seems, have failed to understand what the real community priorities are, don’t have the conviction to speak out forcefully, or do not understand how they are being played.
As a group they should be demanding that the mayor assert council’s pre-eminent authority to control priorities and agendas. Certain senior staff appear to have taken the opportunity, enhanced by the pandemic-related freedom from residents’ scrutiny, to act without accountability. Where is the interest in the platform that elected most of council: transparency, restoration of infrastructure, control of taxes and changes to the land-use bylaw.
Caring residents continue to bemoan the destruction of the built form and natural heritage while they wait for the promised change to the bylaw to remove the incentive for developers to demolish and build bigger. We have waited three years for the implementation of these commitments, while the cherished character of Oak Bay continues to change to satisfy the profits and benefits of outside interests.