Town hall needed

Terrace mayor impromptu's Q and A sparks need for more contact

MAYOR Dave Pernarowski’s impromptu question and answer session with a tiny knot of citizens outside of city hall noon Sept. 16 was a perfect example of how little this kind of thing occurs.

The occasion was supposed to be a meeting between city council and the Calgary-based energy company lobby group the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

But when the group learned of the possibility of a protest by locals not enthused with the idea of energy development and of council’s refusal to meet in private, the association cancelled – leaving the mayor to field questions.

What followed was a general exchange of environmental issues with the mayor agreeing that he would not want the area affected by potentially damaging large scale industrial development.

That evolved into issues such as housing, or lack thereof, clearing of forested land within the city for residential development and the idea of the city preserving green space.

Call it a good old-fashioned town hall in which citizens can question elected officials.

It’s something that the next mayor and council might wish to arrange in a more formal fashion in the years ahead in the best tradition of direct contact with elected officials.

(Leading up to the November municipal elections, mark Nov. 5 on your calendar for an all-candidates meeting at the REM Lee Theatre.)

Editorial, The Terrace Standard, Sept. 24, 2014