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.

21 comments:

John Sharpe said...

Bill,

If I may read between the lines I hear you saying that out of all those 'who have a chance of being elected' you lean towards Qureshi as opposed to Gilmour or Back. I was talking to an insider today whom thinks the most likely new council member will be Kevin McCauley. We shall see in about 24 hours.

Bill and Dot Bell said...

I am not sure what the District voters will do but given the revelations (even if the Mayor's explanation)on spending in the district, the voters just may be ready to vote for a someone that will stir the pot. Overall I see the voters as being happy with a functional council, there won't be a major shakeup.

Don McBain said...

I also have read between the lines and will be voting for Wendy, and her alone.

John Sharpe said...

A major shakeup, no but, a "functional council" is precisely the problem. Just what does that mean? They all agree almost all the time therefore there is a lack of diversity, real debate, and discussion. Opposition is always good in my mind.

"Pass the motion, may I have a seconder" doesn't cut it for me.

One thing I will say about Ms. Qureshi; she may not be viewed as nice and politically correct but, she does say what many people think but, will not say and it is this segment of the voters that may get her surprising results.

Bill and Dot Bell said...

It means exactly what you are saying...it is functional, but without debate, it is not as effective as it could be.

Anonymous said...

Kevin certainly would add an honest opposing voice when needed,new eyes for old problems,a minor change of the incumbents would be good.No one worked harder this campaign proving dedication and commitment.Apparently only five of the seven are a team according to thier group handout,give the new guy a shot if not he will be running in the bye election when either Litttle or Bassam jump ship for the provincial ranks

Anonymous said...

VOTE MACAULEY TOMORROW!
I know we will

Anonymous said...

Bill Bell hopes for council members, "with great fiscal responsibility"... So do we all.

Who has the spleen to be that person?

That means that those endorsed by the unions are unlikely to wrestle down our biggest expenditure - the union wages and benefits.

Macauley, as the only District candidate receiving union fianacial support, can never uncouple from his sponsors.

So, who is the Horatio in this play?

Anonymous said...

Who is the "Group of Five" in the District hand-out you refer to?

Anonymous said...

After hearing the candidates at several venues, I also am going to support Kevin Macauley. He would be a fresh voice and bring reasoned ideas to council, I believe.
Scary to think of John Gilmour getting elected - just what we need, someone so pro developement on council

sue lakes cook said...

Well good to see the Fire Fighters have found this blog to support their buddy Kevin.
How pathetic that he is using the "Firefigher" theme as his claim to fame.

I saw the retired Fire Man thing on his car - maybe all the candidates should have their profession on their advertising as well:
Joe the plumber, Fred the doctor, Gloria unemployed, etc, etc.

We all agree that Fire Fighters are a very important part of our community, but really we are not 6 years old anymore so maybe Kevin could grow up as well?

John Sharpe said...

Anon 9:23 Pm said, "Apparently only five of the seven are a team according to thier group handout,give the new guy a shot if not he will be running in the bye election when either Little or Bassam jump ship for the provincial ranks"

The 'hand out brochure' I picked up at a meeting has the group of five as Little, Bassam, Muri, Hicks, MacKay-Dunn. Barry Forward is also listed for School Board. That leaves Nixon out in the cold. This comes as no surprise because many of the council meetings I have attended he is the somewhat contrary voice.

Sue,

"Well good to see the Fire Fighters have found this blog to support their buddy Kevin.
How pathetic that he is using the "Firefigher" theme as his claim to fame."

They may have "found" it but, it is very deceiving and difficult to put a quantity to the real amount of 'finders' who are promoting Kevin especially when the comments are anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Ouch, Sue.

Kevin is banking on his union background to attract those that support the civic union aims (ie. higher wages and benefits).

The Fire Dept. (I get not with you) has a generally good rep with the public. Kevin, as a former union president, is trying to leverage Fire management's ensurance of a high level of service delivery as something that the Fire union is responsible for.

The union is responsible to their members - not the public.

You're right that the union members are using this blog to support Kevin but so what? That's fair.

I won't be voting in favour of union candidates but some will and that's democracy.

Anonymous said...

The campaigning is all but done,quit the pettiness and get out and vote on this sunny day!I already have and may the best candidates win.If you are reading this you could be voting!

George Koch said...

I'm going to vote NOW for my one and only candidate, Wendy Qureshi! Why would I vote for her competitors?

We need a strong and critical voice on Council and Wendy will be that voice.

Anonymous said...

Wendy -- erratic!?

She has stuck to her platform for 6 years. She has never wavered.

She has written many letters to the editors and they reinforce her stance on "affordable housing" and transparency at District Hall.

Bill Bell says if elected she will be "opposition" and that is all good.

The most important point she makes is that DNV should look after the taxpayers who live here now, not developers and the development-driven current council.

Anonymous said...

Not in favour of Wendy! She would be the laughing stock of the DNV. Why would we want a psychotic alcoholic on council? Let's do some thinking.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:38. Who died and made you king? This is a blog about politics and we'll discuss politics here whenever we like.

sue lakes cook said...

"Not in favour of Wendy! She would be the laughing stock of the DNV. Why would we want a psychotic alcoholic on council? Let's do some thinking."
my oh my - where we have those kinds of words before = especially aimed at women???? Oh yes, Mr. Pringle of course

George Pringle for Mayor said...

Actually, Sue I would have voted for Wendy and we had a couple chats at meetings.

Future events will surprise you.

sue lakes cook said...

Nothing about you would surprise me. There are a lot of stupid people who do not see through you - at first and maybe never will, but obviously the voters were not sucked in.

I am sure you are busy trying to align yourself with anyone you can.
You did indeed post many nasty things about Wendy in the past as well as myself and Barbara Perrault.

Have fun while you can.