Letter to the editor 1, August 10, 2017

Structural issue?

Dear Editor,

To date, only one candidate for Councillor has presented her/himself for the November election, we were told at Hudson's August council meeting. Could the popular resistance to come forward be explained in part by the structure of the meetings?

With few exceptional brief interludes, we have a parody of democracy in three movements – 30 or so 'proposed by..., seconded by..., unanimously adopted without another word' resolutions, sandwiched between a short question-period overture, and a longer question-period coda. Having been formally told, more than once, that the meetings are always and only for citizens, never by them, their participation is institutionally limited, shut out in plain talk. It need not be, and has not always been, this way.

There can be regular committee reports by each of the councillors, each presentation followed by questions, comments and back-and-forth by fellow councillors and by citizens. This practice forms visible links among councillors, and between councillors and citizens.

I used to live in a town twice the size of Hudson which had this procedure. It works. Perhaps the next mayor will take note.

P.S. I have no doubt that the present council and mayor have cleaned up a financial mess, and a bit more. For that, bravo!

Richard Rothschild


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