Council needs a code of ethics


There is a recurring theme in Richmond's letters to the editor.

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It is criticism of the decisions made, and money spent, by our city government.

Consider: the awkward rerouting of River Road - a key traffic artery for west Richmond - around the Olympic Oval site.

The oval itself, too expensive for the average taxpayer, still ablaze with lights in the early hours of the morning.

A dozen giant concrete pilings at Garry Point that interfere with the view and apparently cost $1 million.

An $800,000 traffic scramble at No. 1 Road and Moncton Street, an intersection that merely needed proper traffic lights.

Our city government, in an attempt to deflect criticism of the ever-growing bill for these misadventures, in last spring's property tax mail out, tried to fob much of the blame for our tax increases onto the province and others.

However, the fact remains that the four examples above are decisions made by our local government, which apparently cannot discern the essential from the frivolous.

Some guidelines are needed.

I would like to see our city council candidates support the institution of a code of ethics for Richmond's elected officials and employees.

Such a code would remind everyone that the taxpayer is the city employer, and that decisions made must be in the best interests of the taxpayer, always.

I am tired of seeing bad decisions and wondering who benefited from those decisions.

From the day we moved here, we've heard stories about questionable practices at city hall. It's time to clean up our act, and our reputation.

It would not be difficult to draft a code of ethics. There is an excellent example used by the federal government.

Before you scoff, let me say that thousands of federal civil servants have very clear guidelines to work by.

Notice I did not say federal politicians.

Are there candidates for the upcoming election who would institute a code of ethics? Let's hear from them before voting day.

Marion Smith


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