• Politicians “Experience” and Years in Office Are Not Equal

    Some politicians hold office for many years because they are good at getting results for the people they represent. Others simply benefit from the “incumbent advantage” of name recognition and vote splitting to hold on. So the public should never mistake years in public office with the experience needed to “get the job done”.

    Recently, this was evident in the debate around the proposed “adult entertainment license” for a new strip club in east London’s Ward 2.

    This issue was last before council in July. At that time, it would have been appropriate to introduce a motion to direct staff to report back with options around reducing the number of adult entertainment licenses in the city, but council failed to direct staff to take any action. Instead they simply received the report on the property at 2190 Dundas St.

    When it returned to council this week, the ward’s council member showed up with motion on paper to hand out (although it is the 21st century and all members of council have city issued smart phones), without notice prior to the meeting.

    Senior administration cautioned council against supporting the motion (because the establishment had failed to pass inspections, the license was refused by an appeal period was in effect), while council members themselves took issue with the lack of notice and what they felt was committee work being, as Councillor Usher put it “slipped through” at council. And every member of council who spoke on the item urged it to be withdrawn and dealt with through the proper process.

    After 20+ years on council, you would think the necessary ‘experience’ with process would be there, but it wasn’t.

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