Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What should we expect from councilors? Should Central Saanich have given Terry Siklenka a leave of absence?

As I have said before, in our region there are too many councils dealing with similar issues that it is impossible to keep on to of even part of it.   I missed out on several things in Central Saanich.lately because I can not keep up.  I missed that planner Hope Burns has been let go, which one faction in the community sees as a travesty.   I also missed commenting on the Vantreight cel tower application, which I supported because I can not see any reason to say no.    I also missed that one of the councilors in Central Saanich seemed to suddenly be AWOL.

Ryan Windsor alerted me to the fact that Central Saanich councilor Terry Siklenka has been given a leave of absence by the council because he is currently working abroad.   He seemed to first became aware of this when he noticed Terry had been absent at council meetings since September.   On November 5th the council granted him a six month leave of absence.

I think it is important for people to understand that Terry Siklenka is clearly on one side of the political divide in Central Saanich and Ryan Windsor on the other side.   Certainly the commentary on the Saanich Voice Online website indicates Terry is not a popular man with the "other side".  

The question for me becomes should he resign or not and I do not think resignation should be automatic.    The cost for a by-election is not cheap and if he is returning there not be much point in holding one.   The role of a councilor in Central Saanich is not the same as being a Saanich or Victoria councilor, it is not anywhere close to fulltime.    Central Saanich could easily afford to operate with one less councilor for a number of months, frankly I think they have more than they need as four and a mayor would be more than enough for such a small population.

I do not know how long he will be gone and what his plans are, I think it is important for Terry and the council to explain to the public why he is gone and how long he will be absent.   Given the serious divide in Central Saanich, not answering this is only going to cause the opposition to get upset and see a conspiracy.   It also does them no favours that in the motion for the leave of absence the council did not to explain when the six month clock started    There will be those that read as starting when Terry Siklenka missed his first meeting and others will read it as the council meeting on November 5th when the leave was granted.

Recently the mayor of Tofino resigned because he could no longer be mayor and do his new job in Vancouver, though he tried to for awhile.    He did not immediately resign.

If Terry is not back at the end of the six months I think council erred in giving him the leave of absence.   Much of this could be defused with him giving a date for his return.
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