Councillor Stavinga torpedos valuable work of fellow
 suburban and rural councillors ...and volunteers



From the...
 
The Ottawa Sun Council snub irks budget group  
 

Sun, December 19, 2004

By DEREK PUDDICOMBE, Ottawa Sun

A community group formed to provide input into 2005 Ottawa budget deliberations is wondering why two city councillors rejected its document. Coun. Rob Jellett tried to introduce Building a Community Budget -- a report drafted by the group offering advice on the budget -- at a Dec. 14 council meeting. But because the document was not on the meeting's agenda, a unanimous vote was needed to accept it.

The report's authors, a mix of rural and suburban residents, spent dozens of hours researching and compiling information and were surprised to find out councillors Janet Stavinga and Diane Holmes voted against accepting it.

"There is nothing worse to a volunteer than to make them feel they are not wanted, welcomed or valued," said Janne Campbell, president of the West Carleton Rural Association.

 
 
The report's authors, a mix of rural and suburban residents, spent dozens of hours researching and compiling information and were surprised to find out councillors Janet Stavinga and Diane Holmes voted against accepting it.

 
 

Campbell added the document was not intended to condemn how the city operates or spends its tax dollars, but offers valuable information for budget talks.

STAVINGA'S 'PROBLEM'

"It was no skin off of Janet Stavinga's face to accept (the report)," she said. "I don't know what her problem is. I don't know what she's thinking."

 
 
"What it says to me is there is no genuineness to the city's request for public input in this important process when it comes to Janet Stavinga and Diane Holmes."
                                                                         - Bob McKinley, President of the Ottawa Rural Council

 
 

The group, the Community Budget Advisory Team, was formed when councillors Gord Hunter, Jan Harder, Doug Thompson, Maria McRae, Eli El-Chantiry and Jellett put up $1,000 from their office budgets.

Bob McKinley, a founder of the Rural Council, a grassroots organization tackling a broad range of issues, said the city is not being serious in its attempt to get residents' opinions on the budget process.

"What it says to me is there is no genuineness to the city's request for public input in this important process when it comes to Janet Stavinga and Diane Holmes," said McKinley.

Stavinga and Holmes could not be reached for comment.

Jellett will attempt to table the report again at the Dec. 29 council meeting.

derek.puddicombe@sunpub.com

OTTAWA SUN



Related Information:

Link to website of the Community Budget Advisory Team: www.cbat.ca

 

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