May 30, 2023

Grand Forks TV

video for Grand Forks BC

Councillor Butler Shares Her Frustration

Councillor Butler began the evening’s round of reports with a doozy. After telling of her visit with the restorative justice group she got to the serious side of her report.

It appears that she’s not only not happy, she’s frustrated, might even be angry and feeling a little lonely. And she wants you to share her pain even though she admits she cannot divulge what makes her feel this way.

She says “I must speak and let people know how disappointed I am with the transparency at city hall”. She mentions closed door meetings the public knows nothing about. And “… the lack of access to information that I require to make informed decisions is appalling.”

Wait a second – is this not the same Councillor that earlier in the day appeared to try and stop the reporting of information she herself had asked for apparently because it appeared to not agree with her view? I urge you to watch the video and see how long it takes and what is being said before she decides to object and make up your own mind.

She then asks: Why the secrecy? and What does council have to hide from the people of this town?

Okay … she is on City Council. She claims to read a lot of material to better understand and make informed decisions so I’d assume that she is aware of Section 90, the section that lays out what kind of discussions and types of material must be done in-camera. Is she saying that there are things that she does not know about too? That the very council she is on is hiding things from her as well as the people of the town? Or is her choice of words a device?

She follows that up with an admission that her attempt to interest the rest of council in some sort of restorative justice amongst themselves has met with no response and alludes to not feeling valued or included.

Are we to take from this that she is being isolated from the rest of council? Has she no friends in City Hall?

Wait, there is the Mayor. They rode into council together on the same anti-water meter train.
So is it her that is feeling excluded or is she speaking for both of them?
He’s still her friend isn’t he? Well I wouldn’t know because outside of council chambers we don’t bump into each other. And I doubt they’d want to discuss this aspect of their relationship with me … but I digress. I only know what I see and hear in council. And sometimes I miss things so it’s nice when others help point them out …

Like when Councillor Butler is speaking in opposition to the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan later in the meeting. Eventually she mentions big water bottling companies and immediately afterwards her comrade, the Mayor sitting next to her, hefts a plastic water bottle, unscrews the lid and takes a swig. I wouldn’t put it in the same category as someone talking about the nasty tobacco companies and seeing the person next to them light up but … wait – that is the category it belongs in isn’t it? It could have been the power of suggestion at work … but when it came to voting she was the lone No vote.

She sums up her report with “At this point politics remains politics and no peaceful solution is being sought.”

Let’s see … She is an elected official. It’s City Council, a Political body. It is where politics begins in our system of government. Does she expect it to become something else? Something that is not ‘politics’?

Then there is her despairing the lack of Transparency after she has demonstrated a bias in its application earlier in the same day … what is that called when someone says something but appears to do opposite?

Is it gall or a lack of complete understanding of what she does when she does it, what she says when she says it? Whatever it is, if things don’t get better for her she can look forward to the next 4 years as being long ones indeed.