Residents in Sooke are concerned about the imminent tax hikes to pay for the new sewer system.

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Ombudsman is a misnomer

Editorial, Sooke News Mirror, December 18, 2002

Sooke mayor Ed Macgregor had a good idea, but the completely wrong moniker when appointing Councillor John Farmer as the sewer project ombudsman.

According to the Oxford dictionary, an ombudsman is an official appointed to investigate complaints against public authorities. In some ways, maybe Farmer fills the bill, but the term also carries with it connotations of an unbiased, outside person dealing with a problem. We are not saying Farmer canít see both sides of a problem, but in these matters he is still a representative of the municipal government.

It was a good idea on Macgregorís behalf to have someone on council deal with citizensí concerns that canít be ironed out at the staff level.

Itís just that it is not appropriately named. Macgregor should reconsider naming the position as sewer project liaison or council sewer project representative.



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