[Update: 13-Dec-2011] In the interest of encouraging greater transparency and public accountability at TransLink, MetroVanWatch sent the following message to TransLink board chair on Monday, December 5, 2011. As of Dec 13, no response, no acknowledgement of receipt, has been received from Chair Ms. Olewiler or from TransLink’s offices. Let’s see how long it takes.
Ms. Nancy Olewiler, Chair
Board of Directors, TransLink
We wish to suggest and request that TransLink adopt as soon as possible a policy of providing live and archived web video of all your Board and committee meetings. Below are several points to consider.
- As you know, TransLink is now an “affected local government” under the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy (bylaw passed in July 2011) and can influence important decisions on land use in the Metro Vancouver region.
- TransLink decisions affect the livability, environmental sustainability, design, fiscal wellbeing, individual pocketbooks, and property taxes in the municipalities in our region.
- Many local authorities already offer live and archived web video, and in fact, TransLink has provided live video for meetings in the past, including the most recent annual general meeting.
- As your meetings are held during regular working hours, anyone unable to take time off from work is unable to see and hear what transpires there, so many people would benefit by being able to watch meetings in real time or at any future date.
- Transparency and accountability are important tools to earn, retain, and enhance the public trust in your organization.
- The costs of introducing such a policy at TransLink would be vastly outweighed by the short-term and long-term benefits for our society. In fact, many non-profit organizations already offer this type of service at their own meetings, at virtually no cost.
Since we are writing in advance of your Board Meeting on December 7, 2011, we hope that this topic may be discussed that day, possibly under your agenda item on “TransLink Policies.”
We look forward to learning TransLink’s response.