The old caution that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it found confirmation in the latest report on Yellowknife’s Municipal Enforcement Division.
“We were told 20 years ago to do many of the same things we’re being told to do today,” Councillor Adrian Bell wrote in an email to EDGEYK.com. Bell noted the 1995 review was not included in the background documents for the latest look at the MED, the main points of which were presented in summary on EDGEYK.com last week and which can be found in full here.
One of they key findings of the latest review – inadequate links between City Council and Municipal Enforcement – was identified as a deficiency in 1995, “and we have yet to address it,” Bell wrote.
“They should be reporting their activities to us and we should be setting strategic objectives for them.”
Bell wrote that the latest MED review reveals that “on the policies and procedures side, it’s clear that the division is a mess.”
MED files include “different policy documents, several of them if not all of them unsigned and undated, inconsistent terminology all over the place – just a mess.”
Bell wrote that the latest operational review is worthwhile, “but at the same time it’s incredibly frustrating that we had to pay someone $50,000 to recommend such basic actions as ‘consolidate your policies into one document and use consistent terminology’.”
Bell feels that if council requires monthly activity reports and an annual priority-setting exercise, “things will change pretty much instantly.”
“We shouldn’t be micromanaging the day to day operations – which is fair,” Bell wrote, “but we should be bringing concerns the SAOs attention. And we should certainly be providing broad direction and receiving regular reports on the division’s activities.”