Council Should Have Recorded Votes – Jim Mauro

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Jim Mauro is running in Northwood for a seat on Thunder Bay City Council
Jim Mauro is running in Northwood for a seat on Thunder Bay City Council

Jim Mauro is running in Northwood for a seat on Thunder Bay City Council
Jim Mauro is running in Northwood for a seat on Thunder Bay City Council

THUNDER BAY – CIVIC POLITICS – As we enter the final weeks of the civic election campaign it is clear that community safety and crime will be a major part of the discussion. I was speaking about the drug/alcohol abuse and mental health challenges facing our city seventeen years ago.

For many years, some did not take my public comments about violence and possible solutions seriously.

Today, we have reached the point where most recognize that steps need to be taken.

How we deal with these issues could possibly shape what the city will be like a decade from now. That is why it is so important to elect people that have the experience but more importantly the willingness to tackle these enormous challenges.

This is not a problem that is going to be solved anytime soon.

As serious as crime is, I wanted to speak about a different topic, one of many that I feel is worthy of discussion during this election: electronic voting for members of City Council at City Hall.

Currently, members of council cast their vote by a show of hands. Except for rare recorded votes, there is usually no record as to how your elected officials cast their vote on almost every single issue impacting this community.

With very little physical change to the make-up of council chambers, our elected officials, through recorded voting, would now have a permanent record of how they have voted. Instead of guessing where your elected official stood on a particular issue, interested voters can now access the actual record. Even our media can utilize this to inform the electorate of decisions that are being made on their behalf.

I am seeking public office for the first time. If elected everyone in my ward should know everything about my voting record. I do not believe anyone should be hesitant to be accountable for his or her decisions. Rather than ‘speaking’ of transparency and accountability as far too many do, electronic voting would quickly and efficiently achieve full transparency and accountability.

It is my hope that four years from now, before the next municipal election, voters will be better informed as to how their representatives carried out their responsibilities. An informed voter is more likely to participate in the election process. Providing greater openness and accountability of our elected officials is something that I hope will be embraced at City Hall.

Jim Mauro
Northwood Ward Candidate