20 August 2009

Lono calls for municipal auditor general

From the candidate’s website:

Councillor at Large candidate Simon Lono says
St. John's needs a Municipal Auditor General

St John’s  - Councillor at Large candidate Simon Lono says he would work to have a Municipal Auditor General (MAG) appointed for the City of St. Johns.

A municipal auditor general would perform independent reviews of city spending and operations and make recommendations on how to improve the way the city spends taxpayer's money. The office would also help make sure taxpayers know how city council is spending their money.

Lono said, “Our city, the city of St. Johns, is the largest public institution in the province still not subject to scrutiny by an autonomous auditor general. We need a MAG that is outside council control with the power of independent investigation and the mandate to share its findings with the citizens and tax-payers of St. Johns. It would go a long way to improve transparency and accountability at City Hall.”

There is a federal auditor general and a provincial auditor general, but there is no equivalent for the municipal level of government in this province.

Nova Scotia has recently instituted a province-wide system of municipal auditor generals. In Alberta, a bill is before the provincial legislature to create provincially funded offices. Responsible cities across Canada have taken the initiative to create their own office of MAGs , including Toronto.

“The capital city of a vibrant province with a growing economy needs a Municipal Auditor General, “ says Lono. “This is no time for council to be defensive and cling to old ways of operating. In the next 4 years, the St. Johns municipal budget will exceed $200 million a year. If we are a great city, let’s act like one and be open to an independent public sector audit. Let’s make sure that taxpayers get value for money and residents get the best possible service, the service they deserve.“

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30 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a terrific idea. My only worry is that the councillors will start to rely only on aural briefings in order not to leave a paper trail. But seriously, public servants should be accountable and this is a serious and excellent idea. I haven't looked at the website yet, but if there's more of this kind of substantive idea that he has to offer, then he's got my vote. Good for you Simon. Sheryl Simmonds

Simon said...

Thanx very kindly, Sheryl. I'm still in the process of adding policy statements as I go along. For updates, subscribe to any of Twitter, Facebook or email updates.

Take care!

Simon

Anonymous said...

I think Lono has hit the nail on the head firm and square on this one. He has come across in the past as a bit of a radical and outspoken wing nut. The reality is when struggling with the day to day efforts of getting elected you have to be out there and thinking before you speak takes a lot of second thoughts to do it right.
An auditor at city council would help clarify, to the public, not only where our tax dollars are going but as well where they are not. Supporting and improving a better budgetary process and more intelligibility, after the fact. (Call it the truth)
Stick to your big gun on this issue Simon, keep your powder dry and keep this big issue alive

Anonymous said...

Simon is not someone I will support for Council. Much too narrow minded and political in his views. Check out his blog.
Now, who else is running that I can consider .....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1728 called Lono "political in his views." Can you imagine the nerve of calling a card carrying member of a political party who works for the official opposition in the provincial assembly and is running for elected office "political." I am assuming it was meant as a slur. What a bizarre comment. So, who are you going to vote for? A write-in vote for the Jolly Green Giant, or something? At least Anonymous 1241 called him a "radical and outspoken wing nut." Although I don't know how you define radical these days. And both of you should have the guts to sign your name, or to at least use a creative pseudonym.

Mark Smith

Edward G. Hollett said...

1728:

All I know based on your comment is that you either have never reader Lono's blog or you have no idea what the word "narrow-minded" means or both.

Anonymous said...

Too partisan would be a more accurate critique of Mr. Lono. Enough of that on Council now.

That also goes for Bernard Davis, who told CBC Radio yesterday that St. John's attracts "billions of dollars" in tourism spending every year. How about that?

Edward G. Hollett said...

Too partisan, 2124?

If I follow your comments correctly you believe that wanting accountability at City Hall for taxpayers of the city, a tight rein on spending and a focus on providing basic, essential services that the city is supposed to deliver is "too partisan.

Maybe what you are really saying is not the right sort of partisan for your tastes. Lono isn't the right colour partisan; not blue enough?

Incidentally, Bernie Davis wouldn't be "too partisan" for claiming there was billions of dollars flowing from tourism.

He'd just be OTL.

Either that or he'd be channeling another prominent politician who is prone to making completely over-the-top exaggerated claims like that.

Anonymous said...

Ed, A wee bit sensitive aren't we.

Simon is too political, too partisan and not someone I will support. Period.

We need people with less baggage and more credibility.

Edward G. Hollett said...

You make your point loud and clear, 2244.

If his luggage were blue you'd be backing him to the hilt.

Anonymous said...

Ed,

It's not about colors; blue, red or orange. It is about the best person for the job who can help develop this City. Simon doesn't have it. Period.

Edward G. Hollett said...

of course it is 0816.

That's exactly your point.

otherwise;

a. you'd identify yourself and

b. you'd come up with a more detailed comment than the other two versions of anonymous.

Edward G. Hollett said...

i should have been a bit more clear, 0816.

As with any time lono has run, the only people who make the sorts of blanket comments you do and the ones the other anonymous types have about him directly have of a very similar background.

It's really pretty easy to spot the type. They say similar things (same words and phrases, same mis-spellings etc), all refuse to identify themselves (only post anonymously) and so forth.

Some of them even post comments from their government offices which is, of course, the deadest of dead give-aways.

Anonymous said...

Hey mark smith what kinda sticker you gonna use this time.

Anonymous said...

Ed:

Simon is a pretty smart guy and would be a capable replacement for most of the councillers down there. He is articulate, and has recognized that spending needs to get under control down there. I think he and Ellsworth could work well on acheiving this goal specifically. It appears to me that Simon has toned down and limited his critiques of Williams (in his blog)which politically in St John's makes sense as his polling numbers in the Capital are pretty high given the oil money and the city's historical conservative election record. As well not mobilizing against you a very capable Tory election machine is a pretty smart move.

So I think he has a better chance than when I voted for him last time. I hope he gets in as we need more smart people with good ideas. Now hopefully the electorate can assist in pushing Doc and Coombs up the steps onto a permanent cruise ship vacation.

Anonymous said...

news flash Ron Ellsworth and Simon Lono are Buddies! i would love to see a picture of those two arm in arm

Edward G. Hollett said...

For what's worth, 1133, I've found there are two types of partisans.

For the most part, there are people who work for their chosen team but who can recognize something beyond the particular interests of their team.

A good candidate is a good candidate regardless of what party they are for.

Those people are the sorts who voted for Simon last time for council (among a bunch of others).

He had long-time Tories and Dippers as well as Grits as well as people with no affiliation whatsoever working on his campaign.

Then there are the people I like to call "idiots". Sometimes I call them arseholes. Sometimes I just call them what they are: stupid.

They are the people that can only see whatever colour they support and nothing else. Lately they are the ones that clog up comments spaces anywhere they can with the anony-crap talking points.

Every party has them. It just comes with the business of party politics and sadly, every once in a while they dominate.

Blind partisans are not really partisans; they are just blind.

babe in boyland said...

whats wrong with being on good terms with ANYONE, especially the deputy mayor of your town? cant people be friendly and still disagree? and why do you want to see a picture of lono and elsworth "arm in arm", guy with no name?

i would LIKE to see people on council who disagree but can still be friendly. it beats andy wells style name-calling and shouting.

Anonymous said...

11:33 here Ed..

So what you are saying is that Lono needs to get more of these blind partisans on side to get elected because according to your analysis only the smart people voted for him last time and that did not get him across the finish line. The "idiots" voted elsewhere. So to get these votes he needed to tone down any perceived partisanship on his side to acheive that goal with this group you have described. Is that correct?

Anyway, I will be voting for him again and I hope that many more do as well...

Edward G. Hollett said...

Nope, it isn't 1133.

There are more sensible people in the world than idiots.

The idiots are just noisier so it seems like there are more of them.

Edward G. Hollett said...

And to complete the thought, he doesn't need to "tone down" anything.

The idiots won't pay any attention to what he is saying anyway.

The rest will take a hard look at him and vote for him based on what he stands for. As long as he is saying what he believes and that connects with the majority he'll do well.

Anonymous said...

This is funny. Ed has spent so much of his time namecalling and caracter assinating that he has forgotten how to sell his man.

Tell us Ed, beyond your anti-Danny, circular firing squad claptrap, is there anyting you can say to sell Lono to the voters?

What has Lono contributed to the community that makes him somebody us "idiots" should vote for?

Or is it just that you'd like to have another anti-Danny Tom Hann-type down on Gower?

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, 1745, since you already placed yourself in the small pile of idiots, you should already have the answer:

"The idiots won't pay any attention to what he is saying anyway."

BTW, thanks for making life easy, 1745. Now I can just safely dismiss you as an idiot using your won words.

Anonymous said...

Classic Ed Hominem material here, enough for a toilet book, or, even better, arse wipe itself.

Guess there's no good reason to for Lono then.

Thanks for encouraging the voters (or "idiots" as you call us) to leave that box unchecked.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Ah 1850, you seem to have a problem with logic.

A tiny minority of the voting population - blindly partisan people whom I called idiots - cannot possibly constitute all voters.

Plus there hasn't been a personal attack at all - unless we count some of the stuff you and your friends have ben engaging in - just a simple description of a particular group of indiviuals who are apprently capable of nothing more than blind partisanship.

Now if you opt to put yourself into that category - as 1745 did - that's your business.

And as I told your colleague 1745, there simply isn't anything anyone can say to persuade you of anything, if you indeed are one of the blind partisans you seem to want to be ('"idiots" as you call us'). You've already made up your mind.

it's like posting anonymously. You could easily take responsibility for your words and use your real name. You simply opt to be a coward and fling crap from the darkness.

Again, there's nothing ad hominem in pointing out the obvious. If you had an argument, a proposition or a position of substance, I could deal with.

Clearly you don't, hence you just offer up nonsense.

Don't be surprised that people are chuckling as you (like 1745) just prove my point.

Keep it up, too. You and your friends do nothing but undermine yourselves.

Simon said...

I didn't think that my candidacy would attract so much commentary but since it has. . . thank you all for your interest.

I hope that some or all these interested and keen observers of the state of the city will be just as interested in some of the hard public policy issues facing the residents of this city. That is what is uppermost on my mind.

Anonymous said...

Simon makes a good point. This thread is nonsense thus far.

Lono should have a fair hearing on his own professional merits. Non?

Now Ed, who else are you supporting in the election? People wanna know.

Edward G. Hollett said...

The thread hasn't been nonsense at all, 2323.

Only the contributions of certain anonymous pissants have been.

As for who I am supporting that's my business. If you want to make it your business, 2323, just reveal your identity.

Anonymous said...

Attack, attack, attack. Is that what Lono would do on council?

Edward G. Hollett said...

Aside from any prepared talking points you are using or your prejudice, 1316, why would you assu that?

Assu is the new word, BTW since when you assume - as you do - it only makes an ass of you.