Saturday, February 26, 2011

Calling all posters


Northvancouverpolitics.com has a total of 27 registered posters. Some of the these folks haven't posted here for quite sometime, some of them may be long gone, and there are but a hand full of regular posters. If I may, I would like to re-invite all registered posters and those 'would be posters' to contribute to our political forum here on the blog. There's always something to talk about in our wonderful communities of The City and The District especially since it's a civic election year. It's all about taking an interest and discussing our local issues.
If you're not already a registered poster but, would like to become one, email discussion@northvancouverpolitics.com. and we will get you fired up.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was posted on Saturday. Zero takers. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they're contacting John through the e-mail address. Although I do sense that interest has waned a bit on this site, and many of the former posters are no longer around--Technetium for instance now lives over in Campbell River.

Anonymous said...

Given his name I think he/she could handle paying attention from Campbell River.

Anonymous said...

Having posted here saying I did not live in North Van twice in the last month - and being chastized for it - seems like an unwelcome home, no?

SOMEONE has also deleted two of my comments critical of this OP, where I provided links to rebut information - and nothing crazy, just from BC Ferries annual report and Stats Can; seems like an unwelcome home, no?

Anonymous said...

I hope you weren't being censored. If that's the case, shame. Forgive my stupidity, what do you mean by "OP"?

Anonymous said...

Ah, Technetium is now a school teacher with kids - not sure he cares about NV stuff anymore.

Anonymous said...

OP is original poster. The person drafting the blog, in the case of this site.

Anonymous said...

Well then. Do we need to write a "Dear John" letter....? Maybe this why some of the posters he is appealing to are refusing to heed the call.

John Sharpe said...

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to attract more people to this site?

Anonymous said...

I think a blog like this has to be really credible, or really outrageous or have a well-known, high-profile person with knowledge of the inside workings of government posting regularly. There has to be a reason why people come back often, and not just to bitch or make some inane comment that belittles or critizes others.

That's my opinion and I'm stickin' to it.

Barry Rueger said...

The success of a site like this relies entirely on the caliber of the discussions.

Experience elsewhere has shown that you need a (fearless) moderator or editor in charge if you expect topics and comments to maintain a high quality.

Experience has also shown that eliminating Anonymous comments goes a long way towards getting rid of personal attacks and pointless rants.

There are lots of moderation models (I like Slashdot's, where everyone moderates everyone else), but at the end of the day every person who posts has to be accountable for what they write.

Griffin said...

So a perfect opportunity for relevance has passed - today the federal Liberals chose their next flag-bearer to face off against Andrew Saxton when the next federal election is called. Where is North Vancouver Politics.com in reporting the results?

Anonymous said...

Asleep at the wheel.

Barry, your distaste for anonymous posters here is well documented. The reality is that some of the anons have contributed very positively to the content of this forum. They provide a refreshing and informed balance to what can be characterized as the pro-NIMBY, anti-growth stance from many of the 'named' posters. Some of us have no desire to put our names out there. I'm sorry that inconveniences you or upsets your sensibilities. You can't blame the anons for all the name calling, WQ often did her fair share. If there are no anons, this little piece of your world will be incredibly one-sided and pretty boring. Well, the latter seems to be the case after such a long absence. I suspect a lot of the old regulars simply gave up on this blog.

Whoever is in charge of this blog is going to need to work hard to make this little corner of cyberspace relevant. There's precious little here that isn't covered better in other blogs, papers and coffee shop chatter.

Anonymous said...

Rock and Roll!

Anonymous said...

Barry isn't running the blog anymore... John is.

Taleeb Noormohamed is the new candidate to square off against Andrew.

He beat Dee Dhaliwal, Roger Bassam, and Kevin O'brian, for the nomination on Sunday.

Incidentally, the reason why this blog became popular in the first place was because Ernie Crist used it as a forum for attacks on other politicians. It was quite popular, and a rich source of stories for local newsies.

People will come back here this fall for info on the election, but until you have a relelvant political leader posting, it won't have the credibility it once had.

Anonymous said...

The "Barry" referred to above is Barry Rueger, not Forward.... And I think I would differ with you in terms of who made this blog relevant and it wasn't just Ernie Crist. There were lots of posters with viewpoints worthy of discussion by local political junkies, but they left when the blog was hijacked by WQ, then went into hiatus, then was shut down for a while, and they just haven't come back. Sort of like not watering a plant--it doesn't just pop back to life after being neglected for too long!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't care less if Barry R. doesn't like Anons. The contributions of the Anons are generally diverse, informed and of great interest. I prefer them.

The personal attack thing is just a red herring as Wendy, Sue, Ernie and many of the so-called named posters engaged in exactly the same behaviour and worse.

Pointless rants?! Holy cow Barry, re-read some of your posts.

John. Eliminate all named posters excluding yourself as site moderator and let's just get on with the discussion on a level playing field. If by doing so we lose a few named posters then no great loss.

Griffin said...

My own view is that if some want to post under their own names, fine. But some of the anons are posting that way for a reason - they want to put something "out there" but don't want it known that it came from them. And often those are the little juicy bits that make discussion more interesting so as long as the anons don't get down and dirty, then just maintain the status quo on this "little blog" as Barry F. used to refer to it.

Anonymous said...

The "anons" are no more likely to "get down and dirty" than those with names and we watched named posters do so for months on this blog without impediment.

The important and interesting parts of the blog are the points made and the information exchanged. Who made or exchanged them is of no importance at all and, no, before you go there the name doesn't make the information more credible to the reader than the lack thereof.

Griffin said...

So basically we agree. Now all we need is something interesting to start the ball rolling.

Anonymous said...

How about the Outlook today and discussion of report re North Van fire department amalgamation discussion. The City of North Van requested not to be included???? Just because the City's fire chief with one fire hall is the highest paid on the North Shore????

Toni said...

Need new thread for discussion

Anonymous said...

Apparently the Emily Carr school on Granville Island is being forced to find a new home. Why not get it on the North Shore where the Maritime Museum was proposed? The foot of Lonsdale would be a great location for an art school.

Griffin said...

I thought the foot of Lonsdale would have been an excellent location for the Cannery Restaurant when they were being squeezed out by Ports Canada, but that didn't happen, despite the fact that owners said they had looked for a suitable venue to relocate.

Whose responsibility is it to try and attract businesses to North Vancouver? My guess would be the Chamber of Commerce, but there could be some opportunities for our elected officials to earn their keep as well.

Anonymous said...

City of North Van residents need to pay attention, waterfront and Harbourside discussed at Council last Monday. Decisions are being made now, and public input opportunities are questionable.

Anonymous said...

Re Fire Dept. amalgamation.

Once again CNV "opts out" of any discussion of amalgamation for it's gold plated staff.

A Fire Chief and his staff to run ONE fire hall when other Fire Depts. run numerous halls with one Chief!!?? What a swindle.

What does CNV fear? It's obvious. If the Fire Dept can be amalgamated and run more cost efficiently so can every other dept. Good bye CNV counci, senior staff and their little fiefdom.

Amalgamation will never happen until CNV voters want a better deal on taxes by reducing duplication of service costs by supporting amalgamation. The CNV council and senior staff will do everything in their power to scare the voters into defeating any amalgamation vote.

Status quo.

Anonymous said...

You have an absentee dictator that lives in west van for a city manager that also gets an inflated wage. Do you think he really gives a sh*t about the tax payers in the city of North Vancouver?

Anonymous said...

Amalgamation isn't going to cost the CNV tax payer any less. I suspect the tax burden would increase because now we'd be paying for the Districts inefficient land use (read low density). We'll end up subsidizing the tax payers of the District. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:29
So instead of subsidizing the tax payers of the district you are more comfortable with subsidizing a bunch of fat cats at the city and supporting dysfunctional corporations like the LEC?
Do an FOI of the costs in salary for the HR department at the city compared to the HR department at the district and finally a private company. You will probably find that the cost to employee ratio at the city is exorbitant and way out of line.

Anonymous said...

I agree, but nothing compared to what the cost of subsidizing the district would be.

Anonymous said...

If local government spent the tax payer’s money supplying the services that the tax payer expects and deserves, i.e. sewer, water, roads, etc. We would have well maintained roads, clean graffiti free neighbourhoods, and pristine drinking water.
I would love to see a prof at some school of economics or university assign a project to their students that studied and produced a report of costs, pros, cons of amalgamation between the district and city.

Griffin said...

Simple logic says there would be huge financial savings. One less mayor, probably four less councillors, one less fire chief, one less COO, CFO, get rid of the Rec commission managers, to say nothing of the upkeep in having two "City Halls". NVC and District continuing to maintain their own individual presence is unbelievable inefficiency. Of course the politicians and bureaucrats will continue to insist that costs would not go down, but this is not Toronto or New York City, folks.

Anonymous said...

Griffin, I understand the cost savings in eliminating the redundant administration/services, but what would be the end result for tax payers once you factor in the costs of providing services to the district vs. the city? It is my understanding that because of the density of the CNV, the tax burden has less impact on individual taxpayers. While the District is less efficient in its spending due to a less dense, spread out population, doesn't it stand to reason that the tax rate for people and businesses in the City would go up because of the Districts inefficiencies? I'm certainly no economist so maybe the elimination of the duplicate administrative/service functions would be enough to offset this.

I'd love to see some actual studies that show us all what the numbers would be.

Anonymous said...

"the City subsidize the District?" "District's inefficiencies?" Are you kidding?

You mention the District's land. Where exactly do you think the City residents go to mountain bike? The District. To enjoy a picnic by the sea? Cates park. To walk their dog in the wilderness? Lynn Canyon.

If you read the independent consultant's Fire Dept. report you will see that the District F.D. responded to help the City 114 times in 2009. The City helped the District 13 times.

The District clearly subsidizes the City at the moment.

I think that the efficiencies of shedding the high priced help at CNV (as Griffin pointed out) coupled with the City actually paying it's fair share for the amenities that it's residents use would end up in a slight tax reduction BUT FAIRER AND MORE EFFICIENT tax structure for both.

Anonymous said...

Let's see the numbers to show us the facts rather than opinion!

Anonymous said...

You must have missed the stats re the consultant's report that clearly demonstrates that the District is subsidizing the City.

Anonymous said...

Where is this report?

Anonymous said...

Available in hard copy at your local city hall or on line at West Van's website.

Anonymous said...

Well, my question is why would stats regarding NVC and NVD be available on West Van's website??

Anonymous said...

So the use of the Fire Department comes into question. I'm more concerned to see a breakdown of what the costs would be if all departments are amalgamated. I also want to see the impact of the different land uses and densities between city and district and how those will impact our taxes. The District is clearly less efficient in its land use/density and I suspect that that will have an impact taxes. I report on fire halls just isn't going to cut it for providing the whole picture.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 12:31.

Because it was a report concerning amalgamation and consolidation of the 3 N. Shore fire depts and therefore the same report was presented by the 3 Fire Chiefs to the 3 councils.

If you had taken a look at the report you would have answered your own question.

Sheeeesh talk about hand holding.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:55. The District land use is not "inefficient" it is linear. The dollar value of the District land bank is staggering and beggars the City's land values many times over.

The use of the District's more than 100 dedicated parks and pristine mountain trails by City residents is a fact. Perhaps the District could be more "efficient" if they charged for use by non-residents.

Obviously the joint fire services independent consultant's review doesn't tell the whole picture on how the District subsidizes the inefficient City. It just illuminates one Division. Wonder how the others look?

Anonymous said...

The District has more land, so of course you can claim a higher value. So I'm not sure what your point is. The sparser the density, the more inefficient. It costs more to service a large, spread out community than a compact, denser one.

As for park use, there are users from all over the region. Those users also bring money into your community when they stop at a coffee shop or restaurant after a hike in your parks. If you want to charge user fees, be prepared for the spin-off from that. I doubt local business will be favorable of your suggestion. It smacks of the worst kind of NIMBYism and elitism imaginable.

Show us some actual numbers covering all the economic outcomes of amalgamation. Anything else is just blowing smoke.

Anonymous said...

The next election should include a referendum that will ask the question should the city and district fund and initiate an unbiased economic study of amalgamation.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is the year to do it then. How does one get that ball rolling?

Anonymous said...

Find enough councillors who want to see amalgamation and get them to make it an election issue. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps blowing smoke could be best demonstrated by comfort with the status quo. After all, if the City doesn't pay it's fair share why would the City tax payers want to do so?

Anonymous said...

Show us how the City isn't paying it's fair share and the Districts are. No rhetoric/opinion, just facts with references to independent studies, please.

Lyle Craver said...

One of my ongoing frustrations with the District OCP process is District's complete unwillingness to include any language at all indicating that amalgamation would be desirable.

One Councillor put it to me as "the City knows we're interested - we don't have to put it in our OCP".

At one of the District OCP meetings we were asked to in one sentence say "In 2030 our community will be a better place because..." which I answered 'because City and District amalgamated 15 years ago and taxpayers are reaping the benefits'

Bottom line is there are all kinds of special interest groups who think they benefit by the status quo while only the taxpayer benefits by amalgamation.

Thus without a revolution in our political thinking it isn't going to happen!

Lyle Craver said...

Looking back through this thread I remember the name Technetium which I always thought interesting name for a blogger since Technetium is a chemical element that is highly radioactive...

Anonymous said...

Lyle, show the residents of the City the numbers and studies that will illustrate that it will benefit the City taxpayer and convincing them should be easy. All we're getting is opinion with nothing to support that opinion.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:50. The Fire Dept independent study shows the City doesn't pay it's fair share.

Anonymous said...

Well, demand changes and see what happens!

There is also a huge imbalance in terms of playing fields and rec facilities. City residents benefit in greater proportion to District residents because they only have two rec centres within city boundaries and proportionately fewer playing fields. Solution: do away with the Rec Commission and have a two-tiered pricing system so that the residents who are actually paying the upkeep for the facilities have a slight advantage. Then maybe the numbers will begin to look a little more realistic.

Anonymous said...

The most sensible change is the one that the City rejects. Amalgamate the services.

Anonymous said...

If you amalgamate the services you also inherit the hidden subsidizations that bankroll attempts at being an entrepreneur in the form of corporations like the LEC.
The city recently installed services for the LEC to a development at 12th and St Georges. Who paid for this LEC, developer or subsidized by the tax payer?

Lyle Craver said...

The City benefits quite nicely by the status quo which involves its taxpayers not having to support the fire departments, rec centers, parks while enjoying the benefits while building the density that results in higher taxes.

The question is not opinion vs numbers but that you have a situation where the status quo suits them just fine while District taxpayers pay more than their share of lots of shared services.

They may not be CALLED shared services by the politicians but they are de facto shared services by how they are used.

As long as these services are used by both but paid for unevenly by each group there is no incentive to change.

I prefer the 'honey' approach but to be effective there needs to be some 'vinegar' too.

(One could make the same argument in District's dealings with the Squamish and Tseil-wa-Tuth as discussed in this week's Council Workshop)

Anonymous said...

It's an odd situation. The City has staff and equipment that allows it to operate at a daily "maintenance" level. The minute that something extraordinary happens, they need to rely upon the greater (and therefore more costly) District's resources. The District typically can make do on it's own.

Therefore, as Ernie told us until it became his cliche, "The District subsidizes the City."

It's true but what City taxpayer wouldn't prefer it that way? Why pay more when you can milk the cow through the fence?

Anonymous said...

Lyle,
I don’t agree with the statement that the city taxpayer does not have to support fire and recreation facilities. I understand that the city provides data services, wireless, phones, printers, computers as well as related support for the entire John Braithwaite Community Center. In fact both the public computers and staff computers were replaced by the city last year even though there is no city staff working at the community center.

The city does provide funding for the one fire department.

What may be odd is the funding model. Why does the city provide all the data services, wireless, phones, printers, computers for the John Braithwaite but not Harry Jerome?

The recreations facilities like the Harry Jerome and John Braithwaite are within the bounds of the city and are provided by the city are they not? There is some funding provided for these facilities although it may lack consistency or be utilized efficiently. Same goes for the fire hall.

The biggest threat to service levels and facilities being provided to the tax payers in both the city and the district are not the costs of providing the services and facilities but how the politicians and local government model the delivery of the services and facilities.

When you have a local government that consists of a minority of staff that try and deliver services in a cost effective and efficient manner coupled with a majority of politicians that are self-serving the tax payer is more or less screwed.

Local government has done a stellar job at skirting the amalgamation issue even if it only involves the fire services in both the district and city or the library services in the district and city or in some part the rec facilities. The politicians and senior staff are all about optics while ignoring functionality.