by Mike Andruff
Everybody wants the candidates to enunciate their platforms. Why? Do politicians generally do what they say they will? How well did the current group do? I submit it is time for you, dear voter, to tell the politicians about the Vancouver You Want. Let’s help the politicians out by telling them what is is we want them to deliver.
Here is an example. The Vancouver I Want:
Our property taxes serve a purpose. Civic politicians have relied on the taxpayer’s generosity too often, and for too long. The current council wants a fund on the books called, “Emerging priorities and inflation contingency” – $95 million! I am sorry, but again, that doesn’t pass the sniff test. I want the next council to return to principles of fiscal prudence.
Local Area Planning
I want neighbourhoods to control the development process. Developers, who wish to build in this city, need to work with local area associations. Development companies should be required to have the neighbourhood’s agreement on their proposals, and on how Community Amenity Charges will be spent in their community.
It is tiresome to read about certain politicians posting in social media how long they have to wait for transit to take them home. The mode of transportation they use is a matter of choice. They could walk, ride a bike, take a cab , a bus or a car. I want the city staff to look at alternative transportation models for the Broadway Corridor. Of course, young voters would support a party promoting rapid transit across town. However, we need to be practical and deal with workable solutions. The federal and provincial governments are not likely to pick up a $2 billion dollar tab for a “Vancouver only” transit solution. It is not fair to promote an idea that is not deliverable to the public.
People 18 – 35 typically don’t vote. Our civic democracy is not whole, if we can not engage a complete demographic spectrum. I want a Youth Congress to be established. It would be similar to the Student Vote mock elections done in high schools. The Congress would debate and vote on the top five issues Council voted on in the previous quarter. Results are only for informational value. One participant from each resident association would hold a one year term. This process would show politicians what others think of their decision making. It would also create a learning experience for the currently non-engaged.
Edmonton is known as the City of Champions. Sport is more than a pastime. It is an economic generator. I want city staff to assess the viability hosting a Commonwealth Games event, or events of a similar stature. We have great legacy facilities throughout Vancouver. Let’s use them to create a sportsville economy.
Apolitical School Board/Park Board
I want school and park boards to be administrators not politicians, similar to the resident associations. Our community is multi-faceted with multiple interests. Having these boards tell the community what policy it will, or will not, have is not fair in the broadest sense.
The city grabs too much money in parking revenue (remember, they need the money). I want parking in all public parks to be FREE on weekends and holidays, so that families can easily go to parks and enjoy recreation. They are in no less need for money than the City. Additionally, I propose a parking holiday throughout the City, on April 6 the City’s incorporation date.
Well there it is. My suggestions to the candidates. I encourage your comments on this post, or have your voice heard on other websites available like MyVoteMatters.ca.
You may not like these ideas, yours may be quite different, but we need to have this discussion now so we can help the next crop of civic politicians know about the Vancouver You Want.
November 15th is voting day. Learn the issues and candidates. Don’t walk, stride, to your voting district and VOTE!