Day -27 The List – Candidates 19 & 20

Sarah Kirby Yung

Michael Wiebe

The park board is often a first stop in a budding politician’s resume. These two candidates will round out The List for park board. Meet Sarah Kirby-Yung and Michael Wiebe.

Sarah brings a marketing background to the table. A mentor of Sarah says “her passion for Vancouver together with her skills, experience and commitment, will make her an excellent Park Board Commissioner.”

Michael’s heart is in the game. He has been a community volunteer at an early age, has worked in government,  is a Mt. Pleasant restauranteur, and an advocate for his community. He wants the voice of the City to be improved to reflect the city’s beautiful attributes.

Day -30 CoV wants a 31% increase in Capital Plan Borrowing

by Mike Andruff

Capital IdeaWhen you walk into your local voting district (polling station) on election day, you won’t just be voting for 27 civic officials, you will be asked to approve the City of Vancouver’s Capital Borrowing Plan for nearly a quarter of a billion dollars ($235 million).

To provide some context in terms of the 2014 request, the City wants 31% more than you approved in 2011.

Now given the next civic term is four years in duration, all physical assets do need repair and replacement. The question remains how efficiently can we expect these funds to be used? And, will they be used for the purposes intended?

In my July 2013 post on Vision Vancouver’s transparency issues, I noted the cost of the bike lanes were not available to the public in the public records (please recognize I take no issues with bike lanes, only with the lack of transparency). Repeated FOI requests were rebuffed. But by tallying numbers used in City Council minutes, bike lane spending could be estimated at $75-$100 million. Here is what the 2011 Capital Borrowing Plan detailed:

B. Transit and Safety Improvements
To provide for modifications to the arterial and neighbourhood transportation networks, and to expand and make safety improvements to the system of greenways and cycle routes $8,500,000

One must be excused if over swept by a healthy sense of skepticism about how the current borrowed funds will be spent.

I recall Visionista,  Kevin Quinlan’s famous statement: “Vancouver’s still-embedded-but-painfully-outdated notion of civic government as non-partisan and being solely concerned with efficiency and delivering services is to be forever altered by Vision Vancouver”.

Well, as I read the Capital Plan, it has a lot ($95,700,000) to do with the basic services systems we rely upon. We are now being asked to authorize undefined capital spending that will be used at the whim of council and may include: recreational and exhibition facilities, public safety, street and bridge infrastructure, street care and communications, community facilities, and civic facilities and infrastructure. But maybe not, as we saw with bike lane spending over the last three years.

Community centres have been outraged over previous capital promises made and then changed on a whim. Other facilities need sharper definition before assent should be granted.

If only the Public Safety and Public Works were authorized, an accountability message would be sent to council  when spending the taxpayers’ money.

Being a voter is no easy task in the civic context. Continue to read about the issues, study the candidates, and remember on November 15th – VOTE!

 

 

Day -31 – The List – Candidate 18

Imtiaz Popat

 

The next selected candidate for The List for park board is Imtiaz Popat.

Imtiaz is recognized social advocate particularly for those who are marginalized. He is an excellent speaker, a hard worker, and will be an effective contributor to the activity of the park board.

Day -32 – The List – Candidates 16 &17

Sandy Sharma

Stacy Robertson

 

Today we have completed the roster for school board with candidates 16 & 17. Selections made to date are characterized by diversity of interests, experiences levels, and commitment to their community. This board will hopefully continue to work effectively as administrators. Selected candidate have shown concern for students and our expectations are for a quality learning environment.

Today’s selections are Sandy Sharma and Stacy Robertson.

Sandy has served on school board and PAC advisory committees. She is also an independent business owner. Her commitment to her community is exemplary.

Stacy has worked in his community to improve its betterment. He offers outstanding credentials which will be an asset to the business of the school board.

 

Day -34 – The List – Candidates 14 & 15

Janet Fraser

Stephane Mouttet

 

The List returns this Thanksgiving weekend and selects two outstanding community representatives. Janet Fraser – School Board and Stephane Mouttet – Park Board.

Janet has outstanding credentials to perform her role as a school board trustee. She has worked at the grass roots level of the school system, and also has been a committed member of her Marpole community.

Stephane is a tourism leader in the Vancouver community. He is a unique individual and a social networking machine. We need promoters of the City’s beautiful parks and this individual is preparing for his time to shine.

Day -35 Vision Vaunt Vancouver

by Mike Andruff

Mailer

 

The other day, I received Vision’s campaign mailer through the mail slot. As I read the general campaign promises, I wonder to myself if others would buy them one more time? They would promise things to young voters like a subway that they have no hope in delivering, or like they will stop tankers in Burrard inlet (federal jurisdiction).  Please. This is Vision vaunting.

Here is what I remember of Vision over the last year alone:

  • massive, and still ongoing upset of the community community centre system,
  • a record number of court injunctions filed against the City by ordinary citizens
  • land use that favoured developers moreso than community interest
  • majority block voting for Vision’s agenda versus the community’s
  • closing public roads for select neighborhoods
  • information gathering by FOI requests rather than public records
  • an emphasis for green and social issues rather than roads, sewers, parks and safety
  • a staff of 22 in the City’s communications department
  • expensive task force reports that have produced little, if any tangible benefits for taxpayers
  • $25,000/plate lunches to fund the Vision campaign, in an era of election reforms
  • The Vision Team wanted to pave Hadden Park with ashphalt (green hypocrisy?)
  • The Vision Team chose to send an advocate to the Sochi Olympics first to be paid for by developer friends of Vision, but finally on the taxpayer’s dime
  • We learned, “Vancouver’s still-embedded-but-painfully-outdated notion of civic government as non-partisan and being solely concerned with efficiency and delivering services” as stated by Visionista, Kevin Quinlan is to be forever altered by Vision Vancouver
  • trying to follow financial reports prepared by the City are troublesome and unclear
  • the relationship between neighbourhoods and the planning dept. have been described as a “bad marriage”
  • the Hastings community had to accept the City’s determination to have the PNE managed by it’s appointed board versus the elected Park Board
  • cost information for things like bike lanes are simply not available to the taxpayer
  • you can not actually talk to the Mayor directly as a taxpayer

Their slogan is, “Strong and experienced leadership.” Pure propaganda. Take some time to reflect this lovely Thanksgiving weekend, on how Vision has served your community. Listen to other candidates. Study issues presented by others, then on November 15th, make your voice heard, and VOTE! 

 

 

Day -37 NPA, The Cool Hand Lukes of Vancouver

by Mike Andruff

Cool Hand Luc

Back on August 15, 2013, I posted a story called Shaking the Bush Boss In which Lucas Jackson and many Vancouverites, expressed their complete distain for parking meters. Why have Vancouver parking meters had  such a voracious appetite for the commuter’s credit card? Vision Councillor Heather Deal maintains the City needs the money.

The NPA have a different point of view. “Forcing metered parking on the city 365 days a year is a money grab. The NPA wants to add to the liveability of an extremely expensive city by giving Vancouverites, particularly its vulnerable residents, a break.”

Many agree with Vision’s point of view. They need the money. What about you dear voter. What is important is that you express your view on this, and all the other issues, by way of a vote for the policies that best represent your interests. Learn the issues, meet the candidates, go to the debates, and on November 15, VOTE! 

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Why do we believe Vancouver elections only start just before they end?

Vancouver Decides 2014:

The Vancouver election is not as sexy as a school strike , but our ideas related to “Who is fit to run this city?” have been here for over a year. Local media have been looking the other way, until now. One might find an amazing symmetry in Mr. Lee’s blog post and our past posts. Flattery?

Originally posted on Vancouver Sun:

I don’t know about you, but I like to think that civic elections, particularly those involving hyper-political Vancouver, should comprise more than the last three weeks before Election Day.

In the years after an election, we are conditioned by politicians to understand that if we don’t like what we see or if we believe the city should run differently, the appropriate answer is to wait until the next election. We have the right to “throw the bums out” or “hire new managers” or “seek a new direction” or find any other suitable euphemism for voting.

But when it comes to the actual election year, have you noticed how slow the folks running for office actually are in wanting to engage the beast? Here’s the example: we are just over a month away from polling day, Nov. 15, and we still don’t have the entire election platforms of either the Non-Partisan…

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Most Parties Endorse Coalition’s New Planning Process

Vancouver Decides 2014:

More eligible voters need to appreciate the importance of this process AND to realize the current civic government turns its back on these principles, thus perpetuating their single minded densification plan as a misguided journey toward affordable housing. Just one more reason to VOTE for change.

Originally posted on Jak's View of Vancouver v.3:

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has issued the following very hopeful press release:


Municipal Parties Endorse Coalition’s Collaborative Approach to Planning

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods is proud to announce that the NPA, COPE, Vancouver Greens, OneCity, Cedar Party, and independent Bob Kasting, have now endorsed the Coalition’s proposal for improving the planning and development process in the City.

One of the major news stories in Vancouver last year was the unprecedented level of discontent with planning and development in neighbourhoods across our city. In response to these concerns 24 diverse communities from all across the city came together to form the Coalition, with a common goal to fix these divisive processes. All member neighbourhood associations gave input to establish principles for a collaborative planning process.

Following those discussions, in April this year the Coalition issued a document called “Principles & Goals” outlining a new and more…

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