Welcome to 2021 and with Covid-19 on the way out, it looks as though things will only get better. Fingers crossed all goes well with vaccine distribution, the opening up of our economy and an end to all of the negativity created to cause division among us. In all honesty, I’m so glad 2020 is behind us. Here’s to 2021 being the year of recovery.
As your local councillor, I am periodically inundated with questions, concerns, complaints, enquiries, whatever you want to call them via emails, phone calls, texts, call-outs on social media, etc regarding everything from folks not wearing masks, berm height, stench of garbage, lack of internet, to the costs associated with life-saving efforts to save mosquitoes. Okay, the last one I made up. Whatever the question, they’re all relevant, important and honest.
However, when the “caller” communicates in an offensive, threatening, malicious or derogatory way towards myself, my colleagues, or their neighbours without first getting the facts, I have little time or respect for those individuals. 99% of the time, taking a step back and looking at the whole situation, regardless of the outcome and treating others with respect and understanding, resolves the problem amicably. There’s always an answer to life’s problems no matter how involved or menial.
But there are those out there who have nothing better to do than to stir “shtuff” up. Purposely. They create “false truths” (you’ve heard that one before) and knowingly they will cause division. We only have to look to the USA to see it in full play. Well, it also happens here in Rocky View County (RVC). Okay, maybe on a much smaller scale, but there’s no doubt in my mind, that’s it’s done to discredit, taint and maliciously harm individuals and often time for reasons unbeknownst to the individual being targeted. Sadly, that’s politics.
Case in point. Recently, on a group faceBook (FB) post, a false accusation (one of several thrown at me over my term) about my conduct as your councillor was brought to my attention. In most cases, they go after my advertising design company, AdMaki Creative. And they have all fallen by the wayside as they were dubious claims at best, proven false by legal experts. But this time their purported attempt to just discredit me goes further. This time they are knowingly manufactured. A simple call to me would have easily resolved their claim of “Councillor Kamachi has been pilfering taxpayer dollars to expense advertising for his business”, however, they go to great lengths to build distrust and falsely accuse me of taking advantage of the public purse. This is pure slander. Honest fact finding is what I would expect from reputable groups.
The post was anonymously written and hosted on Rocky View County Connect’s FaceBook page (RockyViewForward.com is their web address). The accusation was that I was using ratepayer dollars to pay for a monthly comic I produce for this very publication to promote my business. The group posted my actual expense report (which was scrutinized and authorized by Rocky View Administration and the Reeve), which they obtained via a Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection (FOIP) request for a fee (don’t get me started on the costs to residents every time a FOIP is conducted on any elected official). Maybe I’ll cover that on another rant.
Along with the expense report photos was a shot of the comics in question I was apparently expensing. Yes those comics were my creation. Yes they have my company’s URL at the bottom. But Nooooo. They are not expensed. I get paid by the High Country News to produce said comics. They have absolutely nothing to do with my expenses although they would like to make you think so. In fact, the expenses in question are for the extra space I request from the publication to communicate more than the “free” space allotted to me as an elected official. Let me make that clear. The expense claims are for the extra space I have requested to speak to Division 1 folks.
Needless to say, everything was on the up and up and this group knows that. I find the irony in their intentions misleading. On the Rocky View Connect/Rocky View Forward FaceBook page description they claim, “This page aims to unite residents across the County to share information regarding County matters and events.” I make my case.
Until next month stay safe.
Wear a mask.
– Cheers, Mark