Although the Atheist Bus Campaign is a controversial issue on its own, the decision by some councillors, including Cullen, to debate an issue of the day-to-day management of OC Transpo brings to mind a grander discussion of whether or not Ottawa city councillors are micro-managing the city's transit utility, OC Transpo.
Past decisions have also arguably bordered around micro-management from council. When dealing with transit plans, budget cuts, and virtually any decision made with regards to OC Transpo, councillors have seemingly debated everything from grander visions to the most minute details of implementation of the plan. This degree of political involvement does not only politicize the decisions made, but it also serves to frustrate citizens--myself included--trying to keep up-to-date on all the technical issues being debated by council, a phenomenon that's been referred to as 'transit fatigue'. While it's valuable for our elected officials to have input in the direction of OC Transpo, how much is too much involvement?
So I pose a few discussion questions to readers:
- Do you think councillors are micromanaging OC Transpo?
- How much council involvement is too much in OC Transpo?
- Could council's time be better spent dealing with larger issues, and leaving technicalities to OC Transpo staff?
- Would establishing an arm's-length transit commission solve this problem, if you do think it's a problem?
Please feel free to answer any or all of the questions in the 'comments' section.