Annual elections should make a return

Three-year terms have been a disaster, according to letter writer

Editor, The Record:

Re: Extend to four years, Oct. 10 edition.

I don’t know who wrote the editorial suggesting longer terms for municipal politicians. but they clearly don’t know anything about the subject or democracy.

Every year, the Union of BC Municipalities trots out this self-serving claptrap to keep civic politicians’ greedy snouts in the public trough a little longer.

The current three-year terms (which were brought in by former Socred premier Rita Johnston) have been a disaster, right up there with scrapping the inspector of municipalities and “empowering” councils through the Community Charter.

We used to have very economical annual elections and a high level of accountability and stewardship. November elections were a routine job carried out by staff at little cost. Now, staff are apparently incapable and, every third year, consultants are hired to run an unnecessarily expensive election.

Elected officials now treat the public with contempt, secure in the knowledge that they cannot be voted out for three years and don’t have to report to anyone in between.

The harm being done to B.C.’s communities by entrenched politicians and mandarins is enormous.

Bring back annual accountability, I say. Give the voters a voice, a vote and a veto on incompetence. Stop this degradation and dumbing-down of our democratic system.

John Allen

Former mayor and councillor

Harrison Hot Springs