Today we are urging the public and civic groups to take three actions that can help to change the culture at the Metro Vancouver and make it more transparent, accountable, efficient, and responsive to the public. The board meeting will be held at the Metro Vancouver headquarters, in less than 72 hours, starting at 9 am on Friday, December 16. Much of what happens at the board meetings is often under the public radar, yet the impacts of this organization on our lives, health, well-being, and pocket books are huge.
Three suggested ACTIONS:
- Look for Metro Vancouver board chair/vice-chair candidates in your own municipal council. Find out who your Council has appointed to represent you on the Metro Board as a director. This was probably done in in your council’s first meeting after the November 19 civic election. In Vancouver it was on December 5. Among those candidates, if you feel one is close to the values of citizens and would work to make Metro Vancouver more transparent and accountable, PLEASE encourage them to seek the chair or vice-chair role on the Metro Vancouver board of directors on December 16.
- Encourage your entire city council, starting now, to call for live and archived web video of ALL Metro board and committee meetings. This is because these meetings are always held during working hours on week days. Public scrutiny is close to zero. Web video would be a step in the right direction. Many municipalities already offer it. Citizens’ groups, including MetroVanWatch, have used web video for their meetings in recent years. Why not Metro Vancouver? It’s not rocket science and doesn’t cost that much. And in fact, the cost of a system would surely be recovered by better decisions resulting from higher transparency and accountability.
- Ask the editor of your local community paper to cover the Dec 16 meeting, and to boost the scrutiny, analysis, and regular coverage of Metro Vancouver board meeting topics. Hardly a word was mentioned in any print media in the critical final months of closed-door negotiations about the Metro Van “Regional Growth Strategy” during the last six months of 2010. The public was asleep, and the media failed to wake us up. Now we will live with the RGS bylaw til 2040, and its implications are still barely known to the public. The next two years are critical, for development of the parcel-by-parcel “Regional Context Statement” on land use in each municipality. Let’s not sleep through this one.
Below is the voting power of municipalities on the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors.