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Niagara Falls
Monday, March 20, 2023
Editorial: Kudos to our elected officials

Wow, our town councillors have spent a lot of time in meetings.

A staff report to councillors says they spent more than 249 hours in meetings since December 2018, more than twice as long as some other Niagara municipalities over the same period.

While certainly it could be argued that there are more effective ways to structure meetings so there isn’t so much time spent on the same issues or delays in getting things done, one thing this data shows is that our elected officials put in the time.

They don’t gripe about it, they don’t miss meetings. They just do it — presumably because they love this town and want very much to make the right decisions for residents.

Kudos to that.

It isn’t often that councillors are recognized for the sheer time they put in to doing their jobs.

With other municipalities giving pay raises to councillors, it could be time to ask ourselves if our town councillors deserve a bit more for their time.

We wouldn’t be opposed to writing that story.

It is, however, much more frequent that people voice discontent with decisions, often overlooking things that they might agree with.

It’s important, as always, that we have councillors who know what they’re doing while they’re in public office.

And it’s no secret that what was for the most part a brand new council needed some time to get in the swing of things.

That’s partly why there was such a high cost for inquiries to the integrity commissioner as we reported last week.

So, it feels important to remind residents of NOTL that just because you’re not happy with some issues, it doesn’t mean our councillors all deserve to be voted out in another clean sweep next election.

We’ve seen our fair share of letters and social media posts criticizing the mayor and councillors. And we feel it’s important for residents to have a place like The Lake Report to voice those opinions and keep our elected officials on their toes.

But we also need to recognize and show some appreciation for the people who have dedicated now more than 10 whole days of their lives to this town, for a meagre salary — and that’s not including the countless hours spent talking to and visiting residents, responding to emails and reading reports, attending events and generally being ambassadors for our town.

They’re not doing it to get rich, they’re doing it because they care.

And they may not be perfect. But who is?

One thing is certain — a whole new council would face the same steep learning curve all over again.

Let’s count our blessings.


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