When it comes to the decisions of municipal councils, we like to give the benefit of the doubt. Others don’t- and assume incompetence at the best of times and downright crookedness at others.
Calling people’s motives into question is a tricky and slippery business. By default, we’ll say most of the time, most of them are doing whatever they do for the right reasons. Let the chips fall where they may.
But what about M.D. of Opportunity council packing up and going to Osoyoos, B.C. for a meeting? In the context of the other two municipalities with which we’re familiar, it is very (very, very) far from normal.
But maybe not for Opportunity. They’ve got that big industrial tax base, and money to do things that most other municipal governments don’t.
One thing Opportunity council doesn’t do very well is communicate what it is doing and especially why. For all we know, the trip to B.C. was paid for out of councillors’ own pockets. But that’s not likely.
Certainly one correspondent of The Leader thinks it’s out of line, calling it “a luxury holiday at taxpayers’ expense.”
It may or may not be either of those things. All we know for sure at this point is that it happened, and that it coincided with a Bigstone Cree Nation council meeting in the same B.C. town. Is anybody questioning the propriety of BCN council spending money on such a trip?
Here’s something else we know: Opportunity provides a lot of incentives to residents. Seniors get all kinds of breaks to make living more affordable. Services are lavish, in some cases. So anybody criticizing council on the one hand might want to take into account what’s happening on the other hand.
But going all the way to Osoyoos for a meeting with your next-door neighbours at public expense? That is a bit tough to figure out.
We’ve asked the reeve to comment, but no response so far.