Coun. Grant Meyer has asked council to discuss political T-shirts he says have been sported by vendors at White Rock Farmers’ Market. (File photo)

LETTERS: Seeing beyond the ‘transparency’

Editor: Re: City sets sights on ‘political’ T-shirts, Nov. 24.

Editor:

Re: City sets sights on ‘political’ T-shirts, Nov. 24.

White Rock Coun. Grant Meyer raises so many questions about an apparent lack of understanding of the Elections Act.

Under the act, the promotion of candidates cannot happen in two specific situations: No signs nor campaigning can happen within 100 metres of the chief electoral officer’s office during the campaign period; and no campaigning can take place within 100 metres of a polling station on voting days.

The city can pass a bylaw restricting campaign signs, T-shirts, buttons and so on. If this is what they want to do, I recommend let’s have no signs on public property. As to T-shirts and buttons, I would like to see how the bylaws office and the RCMP would go about enforcing that effectively.

I also find it disturbing that Meyer took a person’s concerns to discuss at council while protecting that person’s privacy.

When members of the public ask questions of our city council, they are requested by the mayor to say their name and address for the record.

If this alleged person does not want to express his or her opinion in full disclosure of who they are, should they even consider running for council? Politicians, even a prospective one, should always be open and accountable to every voter.

It is understandable why many residents feel our council is mired in a closed-door approach to governing and managing our civic affairs, when the mayor allowed this discussion at a council meeting.

Either you are truly transparent or you are not.

Ken Wuschke, White Rock

• • •

I propose an antidote for the unnamed “prospective politician,” whose concern about the wearing of politically inspired T-shirts by vendors at the White Rock Farmers’ Market so disturbed Mayor Wayne Baldwin’s de facto slate of councillors – Bill Lawrence, Grant Meyer, Lynne Sinclair and Megan Knight – that they voted to delay discussions on approving the market.

My suggested antidote would include a campaign by prospective candidates to pool their money and sell T-shirts with the caption “This is not a political T-shirt” to anyone who agrees. Such a campaign might help voters to replace the incumbent Lilliputians with strong-minded independents who recognize the contribution made to the community by the patrons, vendors and staff of the farmers market, and who are willing to clean up the mess left by what is sometimes called the ‘Condo Coalition.’

David Hawkins, White Rock

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