I suspect Jim Harrison is trying to stir up the pot - probably sees that his job. But, the harshness in his tone has sort of got to me. Harrison wrote a radio editorial, which also acts as his Kamloops This Week newspaper column, very critical of my spending taxpayer dollars to attend the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC. He has given me an opportunity to go on the air with a 90 second response, which will I hope also will be a Kamloops This Week column. The harshness of Harrision's tone does not really jibe with how I want to operate - so I won't respond with the same tone. Here is what he wrote:
arjun singh is like a big kid who's had free access to a cookie jar.
his recent jaunt to new york at taxpayers expense suggests he has little appreciation for the taxpayer, nor for the value of money.
singh spent about 16-hundred dollars over two days attending a personal democracy conference, that appears to have little, if any direct application to the city of kamloops.
he insists there was value: that he thinks he's learned a thing or two about how technology can be better used to allow citizens to have better dialogue within their neighborhoods, and with their council.
what a crock! taxpayers have ample opportunities to tell their civic politicians how they feel about issues… by picking up the phone, by going to council, attending public hearings and town meetings, and if they're bent on using technology, they can send email.
years ago, another councillor who was fond of travelling would try to justify his trips with the line, "if you don't go, you don't know….and if you don't know, you don't grow." there might be a grain of truth in that…if there was some direct application that would save the taxpayers money. in the case of singhs' trip, he hasn't returned with anything of substance that can't be picked up by surfing the internet from home.
by digging into the taxpayers pocket to fund his "working holiday" singh has demonstrated why council should revisit its policy…allowing councillors to spend up to 5-thousand dollars on travel without the benefit of council authorization….or in this case, accountability.