As part of our debate format we had to have 5 1 minute speeches prepared to answer one of the 5 themes and questions.
So since I have 5 prepared and only said one of them I would like to post them here. Today the first one.
THE THEME: Internal Collaboration – Critical thinking, decision making
The current Council has been characterized by divisive and polarized decision making, costly legal battles, censure hearings and negative behaviours. Some say that council members must be independent thinkers, while our system of local government requires collaborative decision-making.
THE QUESTION: As a councillor, how would you reconcile these apparently conflicting requirements to be at once a critical, independent thinker and to work collaboratively to ensure a productive council that serves the city well?
I don’t see that as a conflict at all. If we only had collaboration without critical thinkers, we would still be living in caves as it was the best idea at that time. Councillors should be independent and be open to all types of new ideas. A critical thinker will realize a good idea when they hear one and be willing to change their views when presented with logical arguments. Councillors need to work together because none of us will be able to advance an idea without the support of at least 4 on council.
Someone told me while on tribal journeys that in First Nation culture on the west coast there are invisible hooks at the entrance to the Big House. When you enter you hang your baggage on those hooks and enter the Big House with an unburdened mind ready to make decisions for the betterment of the band.
We need this same concept in our council where we come to the meeting ready to make decisions for our community. We should be ready to debate ideas, we have done our homework and we are ready to listen to others in the meeting with an open mind.