Concierge Plan Jeopardizes Lobbyist Registry

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Nussbaum
Nussbaum

“In my six months here, I haven’t noticed that the larger developers are having any problem navigating city hall.”

Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Tobi Nussbaum

Nussbaum was speaking to planning committee this week addressing the controversial concierge proposal that would see planning department employees assigned to individual developers to guide their projects through the city bureaucracy.

Community groups are outraged at the idea saying that developers already have lots of power at city hall and don’t need anymore.

But what your agent found shocking was that staff, in a response to a question by Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper, said meetings between concierges and developers don’t have to be reported on the lobbyist registry. This is one of few openings residents have to discover what’s occurring behind the scenes on Laurier Avenue.

The lobbyist registry is a very progressive and democratic move. But now it appears the city with the concierge plan is prepared to sacrifice democracy in favour of real or imagined efficiency. Amazing.

And will the concierge plan create greater efficiencies? Probably not. Government and democracy are inherently inefficient but necessary. It’s about consultation and consensus, not an end-around of the lobbyist registry and the public.

This concierge program is a horrible proposal and should be scrapped.

Mayor Jim Watson should step in before this plan causes real PR and administrative damage for him and the city. The city’s reputation is rightly taking a beating over this concierge move.

The community isn’t happy with this, Your Worship.


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