Podcast: At-Large Councilor Rhonda Pownell

Rhonda Pownell, Ross Currier, Tracy DavisOn our last podcast of 2009, we tried to decipher the Nfld News column by City of Northfield At-Large Councilor Rhonda Pownell titled Teamwork: Time to let go of fear, unforgiveness.  So this week, she came on our show to explain it herself.  From there, we broadened the discussion to include overall City Council performance for 2009 and anticipated new goals for 2010.

Click play to listen. 30 minutes:

You can also download the MP3 or subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe directly with iTunes. Our radio show/podcast, Locally Grown, usually airs Mondays at 6:00 PM and Sundays at 10 AM on KYMN 1080 AM.


  1. kiffi summa said:

    Actually,Griff, although you tried hard to get answers from Ms. Pownell, I don’t think you were very successful in doing so, especially in the latter half of the program.
    It is hard to ‘square’ some of the recent city hall policies with the Council’s stated goal of communication and information delivery.
    Some examples:
    1. It has been the policy to provide citizens with a copy of a tape, now disc, of a council meeting upon request. One can still obtain a copy, free of charge, for a now limited 48 hour time period, it may be renewed for another 48 hours if no one else has requested, i.e. only one will be made; reason? “cost savings”.
    But here’s the kicker: ***one must file a data practice request in order to get this public information which is certainly not in a protected category!***
    What can be the possible purpose of this new restrictive … some might consider intimidating…regulation?

    2. There has been for some years a policy that if a person requests an answer to their open mic comment or question, they must submit it in writing in order to receive a reply…OK…fair enough,
    But now, if you do NOT receive a reply, and inquire again at open mic, you may be told that it was not considered necessary to reply!

    Just these two examples do not match up with a prominently stated council goal; so who makes these policies? how do they get reconsidered, “corrected” , or changed to the stated more citizen friendly position.?

    Basically, I would have to question the opinion piece as seeming to acknowledge following in a group, rather than ‘leading’ ( this born out by words spoken at council meetings, at EDA meetings) and say that I believe the council’s serious responsibilities are based on statutory responsibilities and the oaths they as council members have taken.
    It is not ‘committee work’, and it is not a ‘team’, although the concept of moving forward together is always more pleasant than conflict.

    I believe the best councilor is one who represents the people, without violating their own beliefs, and does so from a strong central identity and core principles which support the common good AND has the strength of character to make an intellectual case for their position.

    January 6, 2010
  2. kiffi summa said:

    It should be noted by all: the League of Women Voters had their planning meeting yesterday, and the issue that was considered to need the most attention in the coming year,, by a LARGE plurality was : Local Government Openness and Transparency… Twice the votes of the second in place!

    So, whatever Ms. Pownell and others think is in place… I guess it’s not working.

    January 10, 2010

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