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Here’s to the new council and new classroom management

November 27th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Sorry for the short absence there, folks. Just a lot to do between covering the last council meeting and finishing off the teaching year at Langara and and and.

I have to say, it was nice to hear people talk about what their time on council had meant to them (and B.C. Lee got the best laugh with his “and always leave your door unlocked — you don’t know what exciting things might happen”). But it was too bad we left with the bad taste, after these touching speeches, of everything that was dysfunctional about this council as they battled over inquiries and investigations and who leaked what.

So, on that note, here’s my Christmas wish list of things I hope I do not see with the new council.

1. Councillors making weird faces when they don’t agree with what an opposing councillor is saying. Kim Capri was the worst offender in this category and she was in full force on Tuesday, eye-rolling, smirking and sneering as Vision councillors made their (admittedly weaselly sounding) arguments about how useless a public inquiry into the document leaker would be.

2. Councillors who try to get into arguments with staff, especially Judy Rogers, in a kind of backhanded way. Worst offender in this category: David Cadman. If you don’t like Judy, give her her half million and send her on her way but the quasi-judicial interrogations (“Oh, so you did talk to the police chief about this after all?”) are clumsy and boring.

3. Interruptions of speaking councillors, claiming alleged “points of order.” If you don’t like what your opponents have to say, get up and tell them that, but for heaven’s sake, no more people who act as though they know the rules and no one else does. Worst offenders: Almost a tie between Suzanne Anton and Raymond Louie, although I think Suzanne wins. I’m willing to have a vote among my rabid blog-readers, if they can stop arguing about where Gregor is.

4. Using the city clerk to make your council management decisions for you. Read your Robert’s Rules of Order and run the meeting, people. Don’t make the city clerks give rulings to shut down your opposition so that you don’t have to look as though you’re being the meanie. Worst offender: Sam Sullivan.

5. Having all of your party members stand up one after the other to make the same point or variations thereof. Worst offenders: Everyone except David Cadman, since he was his only party member.

Okay, that’s probably enough. I think I’m starting to sound like a cranky old lady.

Oh, and maybe one more rule. No more joke-telling, whispering, laughing, note-passing and other forms of misbehaviour among the reporters, especially me, Allen Garr and Stephen Quinn, the worst offenders. That should be easy because Stephen has gone off to CBC Host Heaven.

Any other suggestions from the gallery? And puh-leez, if we could not get into the predictable slugfest among you know who out there.

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