I’ve always had a secret interest in editing a newspaper. So, just for fun, I have ‘edited’ Al Hogan’s meaningless and unfounded diatribe against city hall. Just for your amusement.
Nobody’s heard so why bother?
We say: Citizens of Moncton [AL HOGAN] have [has] lost faith and trust in their [his] civic government NOTE TO Writer: Al, you never liked Brian M – now you do?
The City of Moncton says it wants public input into what it calls its “Corporate Strategic Plan”, which in plain language is its general “vision” statement for the coming five years, including goals, priorities and challenges. It is also updating its present “Municipal Plan” which is a more detailed nuts and bolts document involving policy, with an emphasis on land use (zoning).
But why would citizens [AL HOGAN] bother? Public input and consultation [AL HOGAN's useless We Says] is fine and good if it is meaningful and people have even a modicum of faith that their views will be heard and fairly considered. It is a waste of time if there is no faith they will be heard. Today, there is no faith, nor is there any reason for such faith and trust.
The mayor, council and administration have failed to consult [AL HOGAN] the public on significant matters such as the annual budget and Mapleton Park, they have excluded [AL HOGAN] the public, conducting business behind closed doors, rubber stamping items in open council without clarity or discussion, have failed to demonstrate understanding of why the [AL HOGAN] public is upset when the facts do emerge, nor shown any inclination to try to correct blunders [AS SINGLY DETERMINED BY AL HOGAN]. They have hidden behind public relations “strategies” that are not working and have sent unelected city officials to explain and defend council decisions.
Why would any citizen [AL HOGAN] take the time to provide input [AL HOGAN hammers them at every opportunity] when their elected officials are so clearly not listening [to AL HOGAN only]? In fact, the councillors themselves have at times been oblivious to the details of what they were approving, by their own admission [ior AL HOGAN's interpretation].
These are people whose job it is to know and represent the public. They’ve failed miserably [says AL HOGAN and nobody else].
Former Mayor Brian Murphy went a very long way to ensuring the public was always kept abreast of the city’s thinking, its plans, and that business was done transparently and in the open. Not only did he consult [AL HOGAN], he actually listened [to AL HOGAN] and adjusted plans accordingly [based on AL HOGAN's We Says], which is why the CN Sportplex is so named rather than being called the Moncton Commons, his own preference. And that is but one example. Contrast that to the situation today. Faith and trust must be earned [so says AL HOGAN]. The city hasn’t come close [so says AL HOGAN].If council expects easy assurances that it will do better in future to work, then it is deluding itself [avoid big words AL].
Until it proves via action it has heard the public [AL HOGAN] and is willing to respond appropriately [to AL HOGAN's We Says], any appeal for public [AL HOGAN's] input is empty and meaningless. Nobody [AL HOGAN]‘s listening! Why should the public [AL HOGAN]?
Editor’s Note: I know a lot of folks at City Hall and they are men and women of integrity. Al Hogan’s attempts to drag them through the mud are deplorable. There is constructive criticism but Al goes well beyond this. He is trying to turn the public on their city and its elected officials like a spoiled child that can get its mommy to listen to it. He figures if he turns up the rhetoric to maximum, somebody at City Hall will bow down and do what he says. Stand firm, City Hall. Don’t allow a bitter, hollow, unthinking, trivial editor to sway your thinking.