On my way to City Hall for the Count. No insult to anyone but this is my call with my pundit hat on
Mussatto (taking 60% of the vote)
Order of Councilors
Of course, there will be some surprise tonight that no one sees coming, hopefully me.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I revealed the 3.6% population increase at Tuesday's Mayor's Debate. The interesting thing is that BC Stats published this in January. Yet Darrell's undeclared political party, parrot the line that our growth is under 1% a year, a total falsehood. What has not been reported by Ivan Leonard and Rod Clark as they spread what I found, is when we officially (March's Stats Can census) go over the 50,000 population mark, the Community Charter forces us to add 2 more members of council. The only way we can stop this is to hold a referendum six months prior to the next election. An expensive mid-term referendum. Perhaps Darrell wants a Council of nine so he can run more former NDP candidates for his union and big developer party. If they ever have a majority on Council 3.6% will seem like a kick in the shins compared to the kicks in gut we will get from Darryl's Doc Marten wearing EcoDensity warriors. Someday the false green clothes will be ripped off of Darrell's growth addicted wolf, you cannot turn a 4 story apt into a 24 story apt without dramatically increasing the amount of the city's greenhouse gases and Darrell has committed our city to a goal in 2050 of, "reducing GHG emissions by 80%.” Darryl and Council really dropped the ball in not having a referendum during this election but of course Darryl would have to reveal that his addiction to growth has resulted in 2009's 3.6% and a probable 5% in 2010. Addicts will do anything to hide and protect their addiction. There is only one candidate opposing Darryl who has committed to strengthening and even reducing allowable building heights during the upcoming OCP revision and committing to never voting to amend the new citizens OCP. There is only one candidate opposing Darrell who called for Renter Rights and a Council that does not turn a blind eye to violations of our bylaws by the same big developers who all want to build their 50 story "landmarks" in NVan. While Council turns a blind eye to apt buildings without a simple little wheelchair ramp. There is only one candidate opposing Darrell who calls for a three year tax rate freeze, an end to free dinners for Council and staff and sister city trips to Chiba, the whaling capital of Japan. I would even take a $20,000 pay cut, cut the $9500 car allowance and donate the money received from sitting at Metro Van meetings to local North Van charities. There is only one candidate opposing Darrell who calls for a referendum on amalgamation. In 1981, almost a majority of the City's residents voted for amalgamation but the Councilors and potential councilors fear the loss of two seats as that would diminish their chance at the free conventions to Whistler that some Councilors take. It's time to vote for the City, vote for a change, vote George Pringle on Saturday Nov 19th.
(sent to northvancouverpolitics.com)
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
You came here tonight to hear a vision of leadership. To have leadership you have to present a strong open point of view. It is not good enough to just say “vote for me because I’m a nice guy”. That is not showing positive leadership.
Darryl’s message is clear, “I’m a nice guy”. It is, in fact, his whole campaign.
My four priorities are very open and clear.
Property Owner Rights The new OCP needs to be ratified by referendum of all the people not just Council. The Council will not find it as easy to disobey the citizen’s OCP in the future.
Renter Rights Darryl wonders why most renters don’t vote, well, if you enforced your own bylaw which protects the health and safety rights of renters maybe they would feel they are a part of this City too.
I must point out that Bylaw 7931 does not even include a requirement for disabled access, no wonder there are so many buildings without even a simple wheelchair ramp. Our government should not be just collecting fees.
A Tax Rate Freeze which includes the canceling of luxury items like sister cities and free dinners for Council and staff prior to every Council meeting is a good start.
A strict limit needs to be put on the number of conventions attended by Councilors. As my contribution, I will take a $20,000 pay cut and not take the $9500 car allowance. I will also take every after tax dollar earned from sitting at Metro Van meetings and donate it to local North Van charities.
Finally, a referendum on an amalgamation with the District from the City’s point of view.
There are many myths being created by Darryl and his team, the first is leadership. Darryl paints a picture of a Council that is all rowing happily to the cadence he provides but a Councilor openly calls him a liar during an all candidates meeting. The fact is Darryl acts as the leader of his undeclared political party, I call it Vision NVan, more than he acts as leader of our City.
If Vision NVan is ever given a majority on Council they will steamroll their undeclared agenda on NVan. Our 2009 3.6% population increase, the highest in Metro Van, with 5% appearing likely for 2010 will seem like the good old days compared to what we will be forced to endure under an unrestrained Vision NVan. The big developers and unions are not funding the Vision NVan candidates out of the goodness of their hearts. They want construction contracts to build massive Yaletownesque towers and much more staff with 4% pay increases every year.
This leads into the second myth being sold by Darryl, that we have a modest growth rate of less than 1%. In fact, as published in BC Stats last January we had a population of 48,994 in 2009 and 50,724 in 2010. That 50,000 number is important as the Community Charter orders us to have 8 Councilors when we pass that mark. But perhaps this is part of Vision NVan’s plan.
The third myth is Darryl’s Eco-Density which is based on the premise that you can re-develop a 4 story apartment to a 24 story apartment and reduce the number of cars and green house gases produced in NVan. It is a wolf dressed up in green clothing. What Darryl has publicly stated he wants is property taxes to be based on density so if you are not in a large tower you will pay a lot more taxes. Is there any wonder schools are closing down when family housing is being eradicated?
The City needs to get back to the basics like making sure that the roads and sidewalks are kept in better condition.
The City needs to enforce their bylaws so a resident who pays to have a legal secondary suite and pays their taxes as well doesn’t subsidize an absentee landlord who illegally packs people into a house with no regards to tenants. I have watched a Council that not only turns a blind eye to their bylaws but votes to approve of the exploitation of tenants and I think there is something very wrong with that.
As Marc Anthony said, “I come here not to praise Darrell but to defeat him”. Well I’m paraphrasing Shakespeare a bit.
Rod Clark has warned us that the population from all the development already approved will show in a few years. Actually, it started in 2009 and does not include 17 projects approved or in process now, including the Extra Foods Tower or the ONNI towers on the Safeway site or the monster double duplexes of Bewicke.
If you get a small patch of green space on Marine, an apt complex destroys it, forever.
Almost 100 single family homes per year are converted to duplexes each year. The larger Comprehensive Development Zoning turns a couple of lots into an 11 unit project or larger is created more and more each year.
The density addiction creates a rush to build more and more until what is NVan is destroyed. We can say NO, we live in a democracy, you are allowed to say NO.
I’m just a guy who joined the Princess Patrica’s Canadian Light Infantry and became partially disabled at 20.
I went to UVic and obtained a Political Science degree with a focus on Public Administration. I started post grad work in Public Admin in the Local Government program but left BC for work in Ontario. I was training to be a bureaucrat in a municipal government, I know how the system works.
I’ve sat in the Council chambers or at home watching the meeting on the internet for seven years. I’ve served on the North Shore Canada Day parade committee and on the Task Force for Civic Engagement.
I tend to think outside of the box. I don’t have the tunnel vision that sitting too long on Council creates. I don’t say “it can’t be done because that’s not the way we do things.”
Metro Vancouver has assigned us a large piece of the 35,000 population increase they seek in their growth target. The voters of North Van can say NO. The people Metro wants to move here don’t have a vote, you do.
Darrell has said “they’re coming and we can’t stop them.” I don’t believe that. If we don’t build it, they can’t come.
Monday, November 7, 2011
First, Darryl's statement is typical of our elected officials in the City. They like to use terms like "us" and "them" in order to protect their little status quo and what really matters to a status quo politician is their re-election. Should not the highest priority be the residents of the City? People who live north of 29th are not a scary enemy who wants to steal your money.
It is just inside baseball anyway, the people paying the bills need an end to continuous tax increases. The people identify with North Van more than the old line of City and District.
We shouldn't be manipulated anymore.
We have reserves (not cash in the bank) which have spending restrictions to ensure the spending is on a directed purpose. No interest is used on general revenue.
Both the City and District have reserves most are set for normal costs. The District has reserves of 47,550,598 and the City has 97,988,000.
The City has created reserve funds like:
the Lower Lonsdale Amenity 9,225.000,
Lower Lonsdale Legecy 1,887,000,
the NMC money of 6.5 million,
the Marine Drive Community Amenity of 1,001,000 and the big one of "tax sale lands" over 48 million.
Amalgamation does not affect a Lower Lonsdale fund, it has to be spent there.
But would a new North Vancouver suffer the same tunnel vision of the defenders of the status quo? 4 members from the old city boundaries and 4 from the District elected separately like the School Board does now. One Mayor.
Darryl's view of "us" and "them" assumes that the District is a monolith. Since the original boundaries were drawn, the City has merged on the West and North side. In a combined Mayoral election the people on both sides would weigh the worth of candidates not which side of an imaginary line one used to be on. The voters are smarter than that.
I propose a referendum where both the City and District ask the same question with a set of conditions. Are the status quo politicians afraid that it would be shown that the residents see through their lines? In the last referendum, in 1981, the city voters almost approved a merger.
It is a myth that the City would not support a merger, it is the politicians who are strongly opposed to it.