Vox Populi and the City Council-A A +A
I have issues
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
AS a legislative body, my understanding is that your primary consultation for laws has to be your constituents. The balance of power as they call it, because not everyone can quit their day job and represent themselves in city council, a councilor takes on this mantle and does this for you, bearing full understanding of your needs, your agenda, and of course the greater public good.
To me something is amiss when a city council whose task was to legislate starts employing consultants. Of course, there are exceptions outside the realm of technical expertise. But in theory the city council is supposed to be well representative that the consultations need not be outsourced, but can be done within the council itself, which Cagayan de Oro is fortunate enough to have. It is filled with sufficient diversity, we have lawyers, we have media men, we have experienced lawmakers, so it is bothersome, and piques ones curiosity when you still have to hire a former city mayor for consultation services.
WHY? Is Vicente Emano’s wisdom beyond any realm that our city council cannot handle? But if we presume that he is, without a doubt, the source of all good that can come out from the city council, doesn’t this fundamentally violate the “nature” and purpose of our councillors? Why did you vote them in the first place? I thought they were there to represent the people, not to be represented by someone else.
Let’s entertain this thought for a second, if the consultation services of the former city mayor is indeed rewarding, then don’t you think it’s best we downsize the existing city council in place of him? Perhaps we don’t need as many heads. But if his services are barely significant, why waste resources?
Ah because he’s only going to be hired for 1 peso a year, right. But the resource here isn’t just monetary, it’s the entire structure you have to put in place to accommodate his wisdom, there is always an opportunity cost when you use him, and I am certain it comes at the cost of no longer adhering to the pulse of the people, but the thoughts of one man.
We can start discussing the ills of the Moreno administration of hiring consultants in another page, but even if we presume his actions were also wrong, it doesn’t make majority of the city council any smarter by doing the same mistake. Much less because their position of duty already presupposes they only have one “consultant.” And that is the people.
Vox Populi is a famous practice in journalism to get feedback from the people, the man on the street is empowered to share his views, our dear city councilors have a mandate to reach out to the public, they are channels of our own rights, the current actions of the city council make me think twice that this “public” they serve seems to be just one man.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 06, 2014.