The Issue: Few citizens know what we do with our time. Yes - you see us every other Monday at a regular council meeting. You may follow the broadcast on line or on Shaw. You may not. Local media reports on the meeting, then (generally speaking) that’s it for two weeks. Most citizens see our work to this extent. So it begs the question: in your role as a steward of our City, what do you do outside of regular council meetings?
My Belief: I believe that I am accountable to you, so you ought to know what I do in my work.
A solution: Each member of City Council should file a Professional Activity Report (PAR) that identifies the various aspects of our roles, such as attendance at meetings, community participation and representation, issue research, preparation time, travel, citizen meetings, et cetera. Because we don’t have this in place, I created my own PAR, which you can see here. I am proposing that City Council adopt a standardized format that gives you an easily accessible report on our quarterly activities as your elected representative.
What’s in it for you?: While a PAR is simply a statement of ‘things I’ve done’, it gives you the opportunity to review my activities over the reporting period. Through that, you can judge my ‘on paper’ performance as your representative: Am I meeting with constituents? Am I researching issues? Have I initiated legislation for our community? How am I affecting life in the City of Lethbridge. This tool gives you the ability to compare it with my actual ‘at council’ and ‘in community’ roles: If I am claiming time for meeting preparation, am I showing up prepared? Am I initiating dialogue and raising issues? Am I an effective advocate?
You have to justify your time and activities at work. Shouldn’t we?