Monday, October 8, 2007

A city that plans is a planned city

Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Fielding last week released Council's Strategic Plan for 2007-2010 and, much like the upcoming provincial election, citizens will be forgiven for having not the faintest idea how it could possibly impact their lives.

It will, however, make politicians feel good about politics — which has become the chief function of our modern post-political democracy anyway. As long as the sordid negotiations of policy are left to the business of those who have something to gain from them, most of the rest of us are content that politics should be something that doesn't really intrude upon us — except through anecdotes or hearsay for those occasions when a vague feeling of obligation compels us. Sentiments, like tinsel, are the perfect gloss for these and any occasions, as the professionals have concluded. They're certainly more pragmatic than, say, making council's minutes available to the public in less than a week after they've already met.

In 26 colour glossy pages and professionally-designed layout surrounded by dozens of bright, cheerful photographs, the occasional bits of illustrative text form nothing but a catalogue of buzzwords that no self-respecting politician would ever fail to invoke. The two-page glossary, for example, includes definitions for the terms "Heritage," "Vision," "Values," "Performance," "Results," and "Alignment." It's all very comforting and tranquillizing, of course, as it's meant to be… but without any other particular meaning or purpose it can't really be read as anything else than a prescription (or shrugging apology) to keep doing things just the same way they've been done.

In other words, a Job Well Done by all on council and in administration! Now if we could just get down the alignment in the "Alignment" graphic…


Jake said...

Another wasteful civic fluff piece that has little if any substance. Has the typical HR buzz words that really have no use in the real world.

Probably cost the city $150,000 bucks to produce it.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I just visit London and don't live there. Although not much can be said for the municipality of Lambton Shores either, they are becoming about as dense.

MapMaster said...

London is a rather pleasant city to look at. It's certainly easy for visitors to overlook its artificial political and economic impoverishment.