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Letter: Good local government requires leadership with honesty and integrity

A letter writer says local politicians in Port Moody are putting their own agendas ahead of the constituents they were elected to represent and the city needs strong leadership to bring them into line.
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Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov is framed by a TV news camera.

Re: “Letter: Port Moody’s issues deserve respectful discussion” (Tri-City News, April 5) and “Letter: It’s time to change Port Moody’s toxic public discussion (Tri-City News, April 6)

I would like to applaud both Ms. Lurbiecki and Mr. Robinson for identifying a dire situation where our democracy in Port Moody is threatened.

I agree with what both authors have written in principle although would like to draw attention to one particular point in Mr. Robinson’s letter.

It strikes a chord with me in that in any governing body whether its Federal , Provincial , Municipal, Corporate or Family for that matter - one has to lead in accordance with a set of guiding principles, values if you will, or code of conduct.

There is such a code of conduct for local government elected officials.

The code states honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of responsible conduct. The principles of good governance are defined by:

  • being transparent
  • being effective
  • being efficient
  • being collaborative
  • acting ethically
  • being accountable
  • respectful of the rule of law

It seems that the Mayor of Port Moody and certain council members have lost sight that they are elected officials and as such represent the constituents and are not in place to drive their own agendas. Therefore, it is a dereliction of duty not to adhere to the code of conduct required as an elected official .

Most municipalities are not facing these challenges because they have strong leadership with respectful, candid communication.

Leadership requires courage. It requires honesty and integrity.

The discourse we are currently experiencing at all levels in the city of Port Moody, begins at the top and it currently lacks all the ingredients of true leadership.

It might very well be time for some mandatory education for local government officials, or even stricter yet with a spectrum of penalties if there is a dereliction of duty as an elected official .

Let’s begin first to follow a set of mutually agreed guiding principles that will develop trust which will allow open and honest dialogue. That is really how democracy will prevail.

Ryan Sayer
Port Moody

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