Monday, November 28, 2011

A Civic Party for the District of North Vancouver

In light of 'all the incumbents re-elected" in the District of North Vancouver, a civic party may be needed that would present to the voters a slate of candidates that stand for a common set of policies. A Civic Party might also be the 'alternative' the District needs to get more than a 21% voter turnout.

Policies that come to mind are:

Amalgamation of all 3 North Shore municipalities,

Citizen initiated referenda

Adherence to OCP, unless there is a unanimous council vote to amend it

Growth contingent on additional transportation infra structure (roads, seabus, buses, bridges )

Internet Voting

In the District of Mission a slate of candidates (Citizens for Responsible Government) ran 100%successfully as a Civic Party with the purpose of winning over the great advantages of the incumbents.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Secret of Success

Don Bell and Darrell Mussatto have enjoyed tremendous success in their political careers. What accounts for their success? Are there lessons that aspiring politicians can learn from them? Will Bell’s experience as Mayor of the District of North Vancouver and Liberal MP for North Vancouver make him a good fit on City Council? A potential candidate for Mayor in 2014?
Mussatto was elected to a third term with a 74% majority. Will this latest victory give him renewed enthusiasm for the job? Will he go on to rival the late Jack Loucks who served as Mayor of the City for 18 years?
It will be fascinating to watch the dynamic between these political titans over the next three years.

Friday, November 25, 2011

An invitation to post

During the election the topics submitted to the blog by some of the candidates proved to be successful in creating the discussion we're famous for. I would like to extend this invitation to any blogger so if you have a topic you would like to see 'POSTED' please e.mail it to here at the blog. Anonymous 'COMMENTS' have been an important part of the discussions on the blog over the years and if you wish your 'POST' idea to be anonymous please indicate it in your e.mail and it will be 'Posted by John Sharpe'. If you're feeling more adventurous you may want to request permission to become a registered, 'named' poster via the same e.mail.

Looking forward to the discussions.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Election Signage

Recent weather may have taken a toll on candidates signs. If you notice any signs that are misconstrued please contact candidates regarding where these signs are located or perhaps pick them up and email the candidate to let them know where they are for pickup. Candidates can be fined for not getting their signs down 8 days after the election (Nov. 28th).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Every vote Counts

Maybe if Chris Dorais had just smiled or shook the hands of four more people during his campaign he would now be sitting in a School Trustees seat. Dorais was three votes short of Trustee successful candidate Christie Sacre' according to the 'unofficial election results' on the CNV website. Will there be a recount? Did Chris Dorais irk some voters with his brochures that said, 'Re-elect Chris Dorais' when he was actually not an incumbent since he lost his seat in 2008?

The other curious thing is why didn't the DNV post the voter turnout percentage like the CNV?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's a beautiful sunny day to Vote in North Vancouver!

This post is from Ron Polly.

Good morning everyone

A fine day and I hope this is the largest turnout ever.

Carson and I have run a very frugal campaign. We are at about $1,000.00 total. He is running mostly to get the under 30 crowd out. To let them know they do have a voice. To make a difference. The response to his passion and honesty has been over whelming. He has been asked by a lot of people to run again. I am sure he will. We are both very proud of him.

This has been an eye opening experience for both of us. I have found out that we have truly let money take over the municipal election. This is our home and we have sold it for a flashy ads and lots of ugly posters with 15 year old pictures on them.

One of the biggest compliments I have had is how many people said they do not vote but after reading what I have said they will be. That is great to hear. Mostly from the under thirty crowd.

What happens today we have to all work with for three years. Some of the decisions made by this future council will be with us longer than that.

I hope this council to be elected makes is a maverick council. The City of North Vancouver can set an example.

We can move forward on changes to how elections are held here. Place a cap on election spending and contributions from any one source.

Stop the sale of what is called surplus lands by the School District. To not rezone them to high density to be sold off to a developer who made the correct choice on whom to back in this election. I can not believe selling of these properties will not bite future generation in the ass.

Housing for seniors and people with dementia so they never have to be moved off some were as the level of care changes. We have the resources and the people to make this happen. Let us not wait for the provincial government to act. We can show them how it is done.

Actively work with all municipalities to move our recreational facilities forward to be the envy of Metro Vancouver. The more we have access to the healthier or citizens will be. They do not all have to be built now but we do need to secure the lands. That goes right back to not selling off our land bank.

Animals are a common bond. We have no participation in a true refuge for them. It is coldly contracted out and it is long overdue for all three municipalities to have one large communal shelter. This would promote not only the well being of animals but in each other. It would be the start of a true connection of the three. A world class sanctuary would attract visitors wanting to spend time there. There is no wildlife rescue on the North Shore. This also could be included and again be a place for people to be volunteer.

Work at getting more events and business to come here.

Review the early public input process. To make sure that citizens are on the same playing field as those who now have a little too much influence in city hall.

Transparency and public input to be put ahead of all else. Public task forces over multimillion dollar studies.

These are just a few on my wish list. I will be looking with anticipation to see if the next council puts density or duty first.

I wish all who ran good luck today. I think we have lots of good people and some new stars on the rise.

Today I will be taking advantage of the dry weather and working on my driveway. The sand is packed and it is time to start getting those pavers in or I will be laying them on snow it seems.

Looking forward to Sunday then my next big challenge is about to start.

Thank you all for kind words and support.

Yours Truly,

Ron Polly

PS. I wonder if Anonymous is ever going to run for council ?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bill Bell Assessment, Part 2

So enough with North Vancouver City politics, let’s talk about the District. Recently I was asked to give my thoughts on amalgamation and I answered that I thought it was a good idea. I fessed up that when I was a City council member it was only the thought of being overwhelmed by the much larger district that kept me from supporting amalgamation.

But now that I have had a chance to go over the CFIB report on municipal funding I am less convinced that an amalgamated municipality would be any more efficient. Putting together two inefficiently run municipalities do not necessarily guarantee a better organization.

The second reason I am less enthusiastic about amalgamation gets us back to the election…the possibility of having a Margie Goodman as mayor is too disturbing to comprehend.

I shutter when I think back to the days when I was a lowly school board journalist for the North Shore News and she was on school board. Oh she was nasty! Goodman having been an elected official in the district is enough of reason for me to keep the two municipalities separated.

So yes! Richard Walton would be my choice in the District for Mayor, even if he is in denial when it comes to his municipality’s overspending.

As for the council race? The entire council works well as a team…too well, there needs to be some effective voice that is critical of what council is doing. Nothing in politics is that perfect. Where is Ernie Christ and other liked minded critics when you need them? Municipal spending on the North Shore is out of control and it will take a strong politician to cut through the municipal staff’s annual snow job they call the budget process to get spending under control.

I cannot recommend that any incumbent should be defeated or changed, but like the city, some old faces should be replaced with new faces, new ideas and a sharp mind to be critical in a constructive way.

Is someone thinking I would recommend Wendy? Nope, I wish I could as I think some of her ideas and criticism of the present council have been right on the money. Unfortunately some of her criticisms have also been erratic as far as quality and some have not been thought out at all.

Perhaps! And this may be wishful thinking, with the responsibility of being an elected official; Wendy would grow into the role of opposition. John Gilmour and Holly Back certainly have the credentials to be on council, but in my estimation they are more of the same current “team,” rather than a voice for those who want to see more balance of views on council and greater fiscal responsibility.

Finally! The Bill Bell assessment of the 2011 Election, Part 1

For the first time since 1974 (or there about) when I went door knocking for a “progressive candidate” running for alderman in the city of North Vancouver, John Braithewaite, I haven’t paid much attention to a North Shore Municipal election.

With a much inflated ego, during that time as a North Shore Journalist, columnist, election organizer and of course a candidate, I really thought my opinion counted and I could influence the outcome of any election. It’s taken a long time, but with age and hindsight I discovered on the North Shore what I think means diddly, North Shore municipal voters (as opposed to the great numbers of miserable apathetic residents who don’t vote) are an independent lot who are guided in their electoral decisions by some very common concerns and in some cases by some not so common reasons.

In the city where I am most familiar, there are three determining factors to being elected (I am not certain if this holds true in the current election but I suspect it does): CUPE support, Catholic support and Alliance church support.

If you have all three of these endorsements (often just word of mouth support, sometimes in the past, right from pulpet) in the city you are guaranteed a seat on council as long as the voter turnout is low.

Having said this, I think it is time for the voters on the North Shore to shake things up and get rid of some the tired old faces on council.

It needs people who understand when council is being manipulated by municipal staff. It needs people who have a big heart, but can keep the city financial house in order. And most of all it needs people who are willing to say no to increased density and are capable of not being bought off by the promise of developers dollars.

I don’t like picking on individuals but Bob Fearnley needs to go, he has no true backbone and is willing to flip a vote on any given issue. Craig Keating is too smart for council, he manipulates everything he touches and like I, has far too inflated of an ego to be effective as a councillor at city hall. He will make an excellent provincial politician but he has outgrown city politics and should never have run in this election once he got the NDP nomination.

Like Keating, Rod Clark has outgrown his usefulness as a councillor and should not have run; he deserves to be Mayor in my books and should have run for that position this time.

Don Bell, what was on his mind? I wish him the best of luck and with a name like that in the City he will probably get elected, but really? He is not the new face that the city needs.

My good back stabbing friend, his worship Darrell Mussatto, deserves to be reelected, but he does not deserve to have control of the majority of votes on council. If he loses majority, he will either become one the best Mayors the City has seen or his nasty side will come out from behind the grin and he will not make it past the next election. The choice will be his.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vote for a Change – George Pringle

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

Affordable housing is the most important issue

I think the number one issue is affordable housing. With huge Chinese demand, large numbers of Chinese people with lots of money. Supply is not keeping up with this massive demand. So there is a shift in the demand curve to the right. With high demand at every price level. So with high demand, limited supply, price jumps sky high. Foreign investment and Chinese demand here locally driving price of housing out of reach for lots of people. So that this generation of young people will have to move to Prince George or Chilliwack in order to afford a house. This issue is not being addressed by the current mayors or council members except for one. Are big buck developers being given priority here in North Van city so that high density becomes too high. They should restrict 25 tower buildings to the Lonsdale corridor.With increasing population high density is inevitable but, it should be done at a reasonable pace. So in conclusion growth with reason.

John Hutchinson

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

There are those parading around in this City election campaign quoting growth in our City is 1%.
This, they claim, is within the parameters of our Official Community Plan & therfore to be praised & readily accepted. No problem accepting growth at this rate ... all is well.

Not so ... check out this link ...

Here's some more interesting information.
Top Ten Growth Municipalities: 2009-2010 by percentage
1. Langford 6.6%
3. Surrey 3.4%
4. New Westminster 2.8%
5. Coquitlam 2.6%
6. Vancouver 2.3%
7. Chilliwack 2.3%
8. Burnaby 1.9%
9. North Vancouver District 1.8%
10. Richmond 1.7%

May I also point out that on page 7 of the 2010 Sub-Provincial Population Estimates, North Vancouver City had growth of 3.6% in 2009-2010 and 2.4% in 2008-2009. Wow, more than 3 times what we were told. This growth rate is not sustainable. The Density Genie is just about out of the bottle ... once out the Genie will not go back in. I am all about telling the public the truth & respecting our OCP.

What kind of North Vancouver City do you want to live in?

Rod Clark

Monday, November 14, 2011

Civic engagement or Civil engagement?

Everyone knows how important civic engagement is to me - see the Report of my Civic Engagement Task from last term. But how important is civil engagement to our community? This evening, I received a voicemail message from a constituent. He wanted to know my position on a particular topic. He asked me to return his call, but he also told me not to bother if I disagreed with him. Dilemma: knowing that we probably did not agree, should I return the call anyway? Good manners won out, and I returned the call. As I began to tell him my position on the issue, he hung up on me. I have a thick skin from many years in local politics, so it did not trouble me too much. But it made me think of this question for the North Vancouver Politics forum: how important is civility in today's politics? Jack Loucks used to say, "It's okay to disagree, but not be disagreeable." How do we disagree on and debate difficult topics without disrespecting people and process?

Topic provided by Guy Heywood

Harry Jerome Recreation Centre

Is the current Harry Jerome Recreation Centre really a fitting tribute to Harry Jerome, one of our community’s heroes?

This is a decision for the whole community to make together. That is why I wanted Harry Jerome to be a referendum issue in this election. That is why we must restart our community engagement process.

The Harry Jerome Recreation Centre has almost reached the end of its normal life span and is badly in need of a major renovation or replacement.

A new recreation centre will:

· Last for at least 50 years, before a major renovation.
· Combine the activities from six older buildings into fewer more efficiently organized buildings.
· Save energy and use sustainable building materials and methods.
· Can be built while the old building continues to service the needs of the community.
· Increase the safety and security of both staff and our community users.
· Be eligible for senior government funding.

A renovated recreation centre will:

· Last for about 20 years.
· Use the present configuration of six buildings.
· Not meet our energy usage targets and will increase future energy bills.
· Cost 2/3 the price of a new recreation centre.

Additionally, the present building is not up to modern seismic standards. If Harry Jerome was a school, it would have been already closed as unsafe. We are being irresponsible by not acting quickly to replace this recreation centre. The buildings are also full of asbestos which makes it hard to renovate, very expensive.

This is too important a decision for Council to make without extensive public input.

We need a Harry Jerome we can all be proud of!

Bob Fearnley

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Councillor Nixon suggests a forum

I would suggest a Forum to gauge support or lack thereof around the DNV OCP “support” of alternate forms of housing such as Small Lot Infill, “lane-way” or backyard cottage homes, or duplex development within Single Family neighbourhoods.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Community Learning Program

The primary focus of the new community learning program is to best address the needs of students and to support student achievement. The North Vancouver School Board of Education approved a motion in April 2010 to consolidate the alternate programs to be replaced by a new program – the North Vancouver Community Learning Program. Learning diversity will be offered within the umbrella of the program; designed to support student achievement, foster social/emotional learning and enable alternate pathways to graduation. The program will provide a new image and identity that has an enhanced pedagogical foundation while retaining the best practices from all the existing alternate programs.

The question I would like to ask the community is:

“How would you ensure that the new community learning centre becomes a warm, welcoming and enriching school/community environment for our students who need alternative learning pathways. What programs –ie. Applied sciences, urban agriculture, fine arts, drama/ film, etc, would you see including?”

Best regards,

Mary Tasi
Candidate for re-election for School Trustee – City of North Vancouver

Friday, November 11, 2011

Should parts of the farm be sold off?

Here is a question which I feel is relevant to discuss, both by parents affected by school closures and by the general public.
# - Under what circumstances would you consider the permanent sale of North Vancouver school district land and what would you want done with the resulting capital?

My opinion, the BinionOpinion:

There are twelve properties available to be sold and there may be a small number, due to overwhelming evidence that they do not need to be held for seventy-five years, that could eventually be reviewed for sale. In general I think it would be an exceptional circumstance to sell a property, as some of these can be retained by the Board of Education for lease periods of up to one hundred years and the properties can remain publicly owned and used to benefit the local communities in some other form. Decisions will need to be based on input, discussion and collaboration with various community partners, in particular the Ministry of Education and those communities affected by any proposed change.

Warmest Regards,
Norm Binion

Cultural Centres

I have sent out an invitation to all Mayor, Councillor, and Trustee candidates running in the 2011 Municipal election to ask if they would like an opportunity to provide a topic here on the blog. Below is the first topic from incumbent CNV Clr. Candidate Pam Bookham.

I can understand the desire of the Filipino and Iranian communities to have facilities to organize events and celebrate their heritage. We are all enriched by the visible and distinct diversity of our people and their culture.

The key issue, I think, is whether there is a role for the municipal council to play in the creation of cultural centres? Let's discuss this question openly.

I support an inclusive community. I want our public spaces (HJ, JBCC,NSNH,our library, our schools and hospitals, and City Hall to be welcoming of all our residents. We all contribute to the cost of these facilities.

I support programs that reach out to newcomers and strive to overcome language and cultural barriers.

That being said, do I support tax dollars being spent on cultural centres that serve one ethnic group? No.

Do I think City Council can assist such groups in achieving their desire for a cultural centre? Yes.

Let's talk about this and other important issues.

Best regards,

Pam Bookham

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Candidate Evaluation Guide

Sherril Guthrie designed a candidate evaluation guide for voters in Abbotsford which is also being used in Chilliwack, Mission, Burnaby, Delta and Surrey.

Read more:

Maybe we should have something like this for North Vancouver. This might be a way to know how the current council voted on past important issues without having to search the District Site? It should be clear and presented so the voter can make an educated decision. Many people don’t even want to vote because they have no idea who to vote for hence the low voter turnout.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Message to District and City Councils

What message do you think the outgoing 2008 -11 DNV Council and CNV Councils need to hear from the taxpayers? Would you pat them on the back or let them have it? Only a crystal ball would tell us what the configuration of these respective municipal councils will end up being on November 19 but, what would you like to give these councils to think about as their terms come to a close? Leave your message here on the blog (they do read the blog contrary to popular belief) or better still at this Monday nights ( Nov. 7th.) last regular council meeting and have your say in two minutes or less.