Aerris Managing Solutions:
As a member of Lethbridge City Council, what does “accountability” look like and what initiatives would you undertake to achieve accountability?

A

 

Burke

Answer

To me, accountability looks like making yourself available to the citizenry of Lethbridge. This means responding to emails, going out to the community to speak with community groups and individuals, and generally being approachable. Accountability also means being able to set out your goals and your priorities, based on what you’ve heard the community ask for, and being able to look back every few months and demonstrate how you have followed through on those asks/concerns. Finally, accountability also means being able to admit when a mistake is made and learn and grow to be a stronger voice on council from it.


C

 

Burrows-Johnson

Answer

Council needs planning, reporting and auditing to occur at the staff level. Questions and directions from me to the City Manager will ensure that the wishes of the citizens and good government are carried out.


M

 

Campbell

Answer

I think it's incumbent on everyone to be honest. That includes everything you do in life, not just what you're doing on matters of city council. As someone who has not been on council before, I will have to find out what's in place right now and find out if accountability is working.


J

 

Carlson

Answer

Absolute accountability rests with the voters every four years. It is my hope that voters will look at a candidates record: How and why they voted on issues, their attendance at Council and committee meetings, their interactions with the public, their willingness to learn and research, their knowledge about issues affecting our community, etc. During the term, accountability is much the same; a Councillor must always be prepared to justify everything they do, be available to the public for dialogue, and to represent our community to the best of their ability. All Councillors should be easily available and able to answer any questions the public has of them.


J

 

Coffman

Answer

I define ‘accountability’ as “one’s obligation to: a) the legislated role and responsibility of Council, of Mayor and Councillor, and of the City Manager (CAO); b) the principles of democratic representation, and; c) holding elected office with dignity and respect for the community, Council, and oneself.” To fulfill the obligation (achieve accountability), I would propose initiatives to ensure: a) Members understand their legislated role and responsibility; b) policy clearly identifies who is “accountable” for outcomes, and; c) processes serve the community. To further strengthen Councillor accountability to residents, I would propose a ward system.


B

 

Crowson

Answer

Both the public and councillors play a role in accountability. The election is one aspect of accountability. The public also needs to participate on committees, attend open houses, question what Council does and have high expectations of Council. Council must ensure there are numerous ways for the public to actively participate in relevant and meaningful ways. Councillors must regularly communicate with the public and ensure they are available for people who have questions, ideas and issues. I would have regular office hours, actively invite people and organizations to attend Council meetings and reach out to people with diverse ideas and backgrounds to ensure a wide breadth of input.


C

 

Germshied

Answer

I believe that accountability is the ability for us to show the reasons behind our decisions, including but not limited to spending, initiatives and program support. If, for example, I were to support bus fee adjustments, I should be able to show my evidence clearly as to my decision, or if I claimed fuel expenses for meeting someone out of town, them I should show what the meeting pertained to and how it benefits or city.


Z

 

Gibb

Answer

The ability of citizens to hold their councillors accountable for the decisions they make is a fundamental right. City councillors make decisions, big and small for the community and should be held to the decisions they make. To me, accountability is implementing a ward system for Lethbridge, to ensure that councillors truly represent their district and the citizens within it. A ward system would open the doors to our local government, and give residents a chance to vote for someone who knows their neighbourhood - who knows what it’s like when there is a power outage or a water main breaks, someone who is familiar with the concerns of the people on your side of town.


B

 

Ginther

Answer

Accountability is being responsible or accountable to those who elected you to the office. One way of doing this is by soliciting comments and ideas from "the people" before an important vote at the Council level that would/could impact heir lives.


M

 

Heavy Head

Answer

Accountability rests within a person. Accountability is how they in their core choose to conduct themselves in every facet of their existence. In a professional setting, some take it to mean operation within parameters of the law. The law however; is not moral. Morality and law are two separate ways of being, but overlap in many ways. A law imposing morality upon a person is an amoral law in itself. Council members are accountable to the People of Lethbridge. They are bound by law, and bound by policy. Within those parameters they exercise morality & personal accountability. If their inner accountability is not recognized first, therein is the purpose of law & policy to correct that failing.


R

 

Hoffarth

Answer

As I stated earlier accountability means that Councilors are 'agents of our citizens' and their primary function is to address the needs of our citizens. They must uphold all laws as well as by-laws, and to observe a high moral standard when conducting their duties while fulfilling their responsibilities. Councilors must act without reference to their own personal or financial interests, and must recuse themselves when there is any potential of a possible conflict of interest or lack of impartiality. The actions and decisions of Councilors and the Mayor need to be reported and made public on a regular basis to justify and defend them to the citizens as well as colleagues.


B

 

Hyggen

Answer

I would ensure we have strong governance policies.


L

 

Iwaskiw

Answer

To me accountability is all about taking responsibility for one's actions. We need to be very clear about what we are doing and why. When citizens are upset about an action taken by council we need to be able to own up and explain our intentions, not change the subject or shift the blame. This takes integrity which, unfortunately, cannot be codified or enforced either. One can only hope that the majority of councilors have it.


R

 

Janzen

Answer

Candidate declined to answer the question.


K

 

Layton

Answer

Candidate declined to answer the question.


S

 

MacLeod

Answer

I believe accountability means working within the council approved budget and mandate. Listening and responding to citizen concerns. Researching solutions that are sustainable and an effective use of tax dollars. Where possible work towards reducing costs to the taxpayers while maintaining quality service and programs.


J

 

Mauro

Answer

Get rid of secrecy and hiding behind FOIP. Conduct more meetings in public rather than in camera. Make decisons in public rather than discussing and debating via technology. Open up the "doors" at city hall. When a member of council travels on the public purse, a written report MUST be filed. When council hands out your money to organizations, agencies, sports, culture, recreational events and special interest groups, a report on measuring success or outcomes must be filed. On major projects , a financial report must be filed by administration once project completed. These are all steps in holding council accountable.


D

 

Mikuliak

Answer

Accountability: often related to transparency and clarity. People often seek accountability when they are dissatisfied with a process and/or when they are not clear on what is going on. In my view, a public institution (that relies on taxation to generate much of the needed funding) bears a responsibility to attempt to provide as much clarity as possible with regard to decision making processes, budgeting, virtually everything that has to do with the use of tax dollars. Being extremely clear about process most often leads to a greater sense of accountability. Initiatives? One would have to look at what is currently in place to provide citizens that sense of clarity and adapt it accordingly.


R

 

Miyashiro

Answer

Accountability is simply being responsible to the residents of Lethbridge. Councillors are accountable to citizens every day of the year: email addresses are public, our phone numbers are public, Council meetings are public. Council is elected to make decisions on behalf of the citizenry, not necessarily at the behest of citizens. Further, it is impractical to seek opinion from the public for most issues before Council. It can be practical to seek the opinion of citizens on large, overarching concepts such as the current Council with the Citizen Assembly on Council remuneration and hours of work. Council should continue to be involved in public consultation processes of the City


R

 

Morrell

Answer

I believe in accountability to the citizens of Lethbridge, I also believe we need to consult, talk and seek the opinions of the citizens of Lethbridge as we work for them, all of them and are intrusted to make the right decisions for the people and city.


N

 

Paladino

Answer

Councillors need to be held to their word. They need to accept responsibility for poor decisions, just as they do for good ones. No passing the buck. They need to understand that you can learn from a mistake. They will do better by taking action to correct the problem and then move on.


R

 

Parker

Answer

Accountability equates to answering to your actions. Continuing to respond and educate the electorate on the individual councillors reasoning for the decisions that they have made.


H

 

PEREVERSEFF

Answer

Accountability is a concerted effort on the council member to work as a team member on City Council. To do so in a manner that is respectful of the council in general and towards those coming before council and in the community proper. Accountable to act upon issues at hand in a concerted effort of reviewing, discussing and rationalizing same. To do so with an open mind and an open heart. Accountable in research and obtain necessary data and factual information with respect to issues coming before council. Initiatives I will take to being accountable: To be in open communication with my fellow council members, administration, community members and all parties concerned.


J

 

Pogorzelski

Answer

We are elected to serve the public and not ourselves. Accountability means showing up for council meetings, answering citizens emails and phone calls and basing information on facts. I would ask that each councilor should sit on the same number of committees as any other councilor, attend upwards of 90 percent of council meetings, and for our councilors to create reports of community gatherings and events they have attended to show their outreach into the community.


L

 

Saloff

Answer

Accountability means listening to the issues of the people and doing my best to address their concerns.


J

 

Shackleford

Answer

Accountability is transparency for me and all meetings should be open to the public if it involves tax dollars. Councillors need to do their homework and be prepared at council meetings with the knowledge that they understand the issues and you believe it is in the best interest of our citizens on how you will vote.


C

 

Spearman

Answer

Accountability means being responsible to the electors. It includes being prepared to make decisions at public meetings and to defend the collective decision of city council, regardless of ones personal views, once city council, as a whole, has made a decision. The individual must be a leader who is innovative and creative, knowledgeable of government grant opportunities and one who is open to considering new ideas and methods. The successful candidate will be goal oriented with a strong background in strategic planning. They should have a proven ability to attract support for their ideas and solutions.


J

 

Takahashi

Answer

Sitting on council is a job and Lethbridge's citizens are our bosses. We are on council to work for and serve the interests of our community and we report to them. 1) Tying CIP, essential services growth and improvements, and support for community services to the election cycle thereby providing voters with concrete information to base their votes on. 2) Being responsible for our own education on issues and maintaining open lines of communication with the communities affected by decisions made in council. 3) Being upfront and honest when mistakes are made- apologizing, educating ourselves, and doing better.


B

 

Thurber

Answer

As an engineer I am accountable to the public under our proffesional practice legislation. I coduct myself daily with the highest standard of ethical behavoiour in all things I do. I would expect the same standards as a Council member. Accountability includes: - transparaceny - due diligence in research and understanding issues before voting - a commitment to engage the public and discuss issues prior to voting


S

 

Watson

Answer

To me, accountability means following the guidelines, legislation and code of conduct set out by the Municipal Government Act. We are responsible not only to our fellow council members, but to the public to ensure we act in the interest of everyone, not just a select few. I want to create situations and environments where people can feel safe and welcomed in voicing their concerns and ideas.


D

 

Wiggers

Answer

Opinions and positions will always vary, but in a democratic society majority rules. As a member of council I would pledge to the Citizens of Lethbridge that I will always be open to any opinion or idea even should they differ from my personal position. That I would put forth to Council that consensus of opinion, principle or ideal which through consultation with the people of Lethbridge, has been reached. That I would hold myself to the highest standard and not seek re-election if after my term I feel I have failed in my mission to be the best Councillor I can be.


R

 

Woss

Answer

One is being respectful of public funds; mindful that everything we buy means an increase in taxes for our citizens. We owe it to our community to not waste their money; rather question all spending to ensure that what we buy is essential to the well being of our community; that taxes are stable so families and those on a fixed income are not financially stressed. It also means being respectful of our environment – doing all we can to be good stewards. Its important that we engage in discussion & solutions to climate change.