The Cobourg Taxpayers Association was formed by concerned residents in 2015 to promote transparency, accountability and good governance. Do you think it has made a positive difference?
Karl Vom Dorff
I am a strong believe in accountability, honesty and transparency. I try to do what is right, not elect for what the rest of the crowd is doing or taking the easier path. In that respect, I sympathize with the CTA because I know what it’s like when you go against the grain of wood. There have been some disparaging comments online against the CTA, but sometimes that’s the cost against a critical eye unfortunately. In general, I believe any criticism, complaints, decisions or policy should be looked at thoroughly. There’s always someone else in the room that’s smarter than you are and positions of authority shouldn’t be taken for granted or misused. Groups like the CTA create dialogue and discussion and lead to healthy debate of local issues.
Overall, yes, the CTA has made a positive difference. Council represents all citizens and it is also incumbent upon Council to provide a respectful platform for dialogue so that different perspectives can be heard.
I’m not in a position to judge the efficacy of the CTA. Outside of reviewing their website and reading articles in the paper, I have limited acquaintance with the group. I do, however, expect as a potential new Cobourg Councillor to be in a far better position to then comment on the group’s activities.
My response will be both a yes/no.
Yes, when an individual, group or organization, such as the CTA (Cobourg Taxpayers Association) engages at the municipal level to add a “voice” to enhance transparency, accountability and good governance it is a positive outcome. It is at the Municipal level of service that I believe the public can have the most impact as it is within one’s own community.
No, I believe the CTA could enhance its presence by meeting more often with senior staff, including the CAO and Directors. In this endeavor, the meetings would be face-to-face, allow for a better exchange of information and perhaps lessen the number of inquiries for Staff/Council members. When the public (CTA), Council and staff work together towards a balanced approach, I believe this serves the community at large. I also believe with Council’s focus on integration of new technology and making access to information more accessible, it will allow us to enhance our governance, transparency and accountability to the community.