Thursday, 10 April 2014

City Hall Declares War on Democracy

Good afternoon Regina!!

In an interesting string of events, the City of Regina has made it quite clear that they will not respect the rights of Taxpayers to Freedom of Expression. What began as a very questionable ban on individuals' entry into City Hall has developed into what can best be described as an all out war on democracy. Keep in mind that I am not the only individual who is currently banned from City Hall for nothing more than questioning the actions of the Mayor, Council and/or Administration.

Recently, the City of Regina changed their Bylaw for delegations to City Council, to limit speeches to five minutes, from the former ten, and - what was publicized as - a less stringent rule on reading your delegations word for word. As a challenge to the latter change, I submitted four delegation speeches to speak on a variety of issues that will be debated on Monday at City Council. Throughout the email exchange, it became very evident that City Hall did not like this challenge, and have set a pretty dangerous precedent in their ultimate decision. Not only have they chosen to cut your speech time in half, but now, you must still stick to the full speech submission, and provide only a "verbal summary" of your speech/delegation, if you so choose. This is contrary to what Mayor Fougere, and City Clerk Jim Nicol, had stated to the public previously, when they clarified that this change would actually allow people more freedom in their delegations.

I submit to you, below, the full email correspondence between the City and myself. Also, in a related matter, the Security footage from March 12, 2014 when I had requested a Police Escort into City Hall to hand deliver Court Documents to the City Clerk. Little did I realize that they would actually send three officers - not to uphold my Charter right - but to uphold a questionable ban that the City of Regina has imposed against myself, for no other reason than the fact that I've questioned City Hall. There is much more to the story on this one, but that will be saved for a future blog post.


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From: Chad4Regina [mailto:chadnovak2012@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 9:59 AM
To: Jim Nicol; Erna Hall
Subject: City Council Delegations April 14, 2014

Good morning,
Please find attached requests to delegate to City Council on Monday, April 14, 2014. These requests are in relation to the Downtown Transportation Study, the Regina Revitalization Initiative, the 2014 Regina Downtown BID budget, and the Local Improvement Program projects for 2014.
I trust that they meet your new guidelines, but if there are any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Best Regards,
Chad A. Novak, CMA
Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group
www.chad4regina.com




 On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46 AM, Erna Hall <EHALL@regina.ca> wrote:
Good morning Mr. Novak:

Thank you for your communication identifying that you wish to be a delegate at the City Council meeting scheduled for Monday, April 14, 2014.  Your reference to the changes for delegations at Council is not the complete picture.  I have included in this email, the relevant part of the section of Bylaw #9004, The Procedure Bylaw, which deals with Council delegations.

CONDUCT OF DELEGATIONS
 
16. (1) Every delegation wishing to appear before Council shall:
 
(a) Submit a letter to the City Clerk requesting to appear as a delegation including the date of the meeting at which they wish to appear, the subject or topic to be discussed, the name and correct mailing address
of the spokesperson, and telephone number where the representative of the delegation can be reached during the day; and
 
(b) Submit a brief clearly setting out the full text of their presentation and the request being made of Council.
 
(2) The letter and brief shall be printed, typewritten or legibly written and shall be originally signed.
 
(2.1) When the spokesperson appears before Council he may either make the presentation submitted pursuant to clause (1)(b) or provide a verbal summary of that presentation, subject to the time limits in subsection (9).
 
(3) Bound documents or studies in support of the delegation's brief shall, if sufficient copies are provided by the delegation, be circulated with the agenda, but will not be reproduced.
 
(4) The brief shall be temperate and respectful and may be rejected by the City Clerk, with the approval of the Mayor, if in his opinion it does not respect the Council or the City administration.
 
(5) On receipt of an application and acceptable brief, the City Clerk shall:
 
(a) If the brief deals with a Mayor's, Administration’s, Committee or Informational Report or a bylaw, place the matter on the agenda for the meeting at which the related item is to be considered.
 
(b) If the brief deals with a subject which is not on the Council agenda, list the brief on the agenda under the Referred Delegation Section, and provide copies of the brief to the members of Council, City Manager, City Solicitor and the news media who are listed on the City Clerk's distribution list.
 
(c) The City Clerk shall provide at the beginning of the Referred Delegation Section a report recommending the committee to which the briefs are to be referred.
 
(6) No delegation shall be heard unless they have
 
(i) complied with Subsections 9(3), 10(2) and 16(1) of this Bylaw, and
(ii) Council has passed a resolution during the confirmation of the agenda that all delegations listed on or added to the agenda be heard in the order approved by the confirmation of the agenda and when called forward by the Mayor, or in his absence, the Deputy Mayor or Acting Deputy Mayor.

We will be more than happy to add you as a delegation at Council once you have complied with the above-noted requirements. Although the bylaw states your submission has to be ‘originally signed’, we accept emailed submissions, deeming them to be ‘originally signed’ in accordance with current law practises.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to receiving your written submissions.

Erna

Erna M. Hall
A/Deputy City Clerk – Council Support
City of Regina



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From: Chad4Regina [mailto:chadnovak2012@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:05 AM
To: Erna Hall
Cc: Jim Nicol
Subject: Re: City Council Delegations April 14, 2014

Good morning Ms. Hall,
As per the new guidelines, it is my understanding that delegations can speak verbally to the submission, but do not have to adhere to what was submitted. And, in fact, as per Mayor Fougere's suggestions when reviewing these procedures, he suggested that the written submission could be for background informational purposes only, and a delegation could speak to the matter, but bring up new information that the delegation did not submit in their written submission.
Please advise if you feel this is inaccurate, and if so, why it was deemed appropriate for the Mayor to suggest such a thing. Remember, Mr. Fougere, along with others on the Executive Leadership Team, have been documented of stating something to the public and changing their minds at a later date. If this is the situation here, I would highly recommend that it be thought out well in advance and with consideration that all of these decisions are documented on video for public inspection at a later date.
Thank you,
Chad

On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM, Erna Hall <EHALL@regina.ca> wrote:
Good morning:

While you are correct in stating that you can ‘speak verbally’ to the submission, it is still a requirement that a written submission be provided to the City Clerk.  You have the choice, at the meeting, to provide a verbal summary of the written submission provided, or read the submission within the allotted time.

I am confident that this provides the necessary clarification.


Erna M. Hall
A/Deputy City Clerk – Council Support
City of Regina


From: Chad4Regina [mailto:chadnovak2012@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:19 AM

To: Erna Hall
Cc: Jim Nicol
Subject: Re: City Council Delegations April 14, 2014

Good morning Erna,
You bet it does. Thus, I would ask that my original delegations be accepted as submitted. I will speak verbally (a verbal summary) to the issues at hand in each delegation. I have met your requirements to provide a written submission, and I trust that it will meet your expectations.

If you choose to deny me this opportunity, then I shall seek further information from the legislative bodies that authorize those within your administration.

Best Regards,
Chad A. Novak, CMA
Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group
www.chad4regina.com

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On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM, Erna Hall <EHALL@regina.ca> wrote:
Good morning:

As stated previously, your written submission must clearly set out the matter at issue and the request made of Council.  It cannot merely contain a statement that you wish to address Council.  Your request to be a delegate will be considered complete, once a written submission outlining the matter and your concerns/request of Council is received. 


Erna M. Hall
A/Deputy City Clerk – Council Support
City of Regina



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From: Chad4Regina [mailto:chadnovak2012@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:38 AM

To: Erna Hall
Cc: Jim Nicol
Subject: Re: City Council Delegations April 14, 2014

Once again, in each of my submissions, I have done just that. I have clearly stated the subject matter that I wish to discuss, and identified myself, as required by the Bylaw. If you wish to have individuals submit word-for-word what they are going to say, it kind of defeats the purpose of modifying the already horribly strict Bylaw, does it not?
Please advise ASAP, as I do not have the time right now to dedicate hours to write out my submissions that you ought to already be aware of what I am going to be talking about, based on my previous delgations at each Committee, and the matter outlined within the delegations.
Thank you,
Chad

Erna Hall

1:21 PM (3 hours ago)

to me, Jim
Good afternoon:

As previously stated, your submission does not meet the City of Regina’s bylaw requirements.  Until such time as you provide our office with a written submission that meets the requirements, you will not be added as a delegation to the Council meeting. 

Further comments from our office will not be provided until such time as a submission meeting the bylaw requirements is received.


Erna M. Hall
A/Deputy City Clerk – Council Support
City of Regina



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