Friday, November 18, 2011

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.


Pam Bookham said...

Thanks for weighing in on this election Bill. I tend to agree that the majority of NV voters are more than able to make their own choices, but it has come to my attention that Keating, having been asked to make recommendations, has done a mailout naming his picks (not one incumbent made the list), I thought I would do the same for whatever it's worth. So here is my recommendation for what it's worth.

Thank you for your support. As for the other candidates, I believe all of the incumbents have given good service to the City and deserve to be re-elected. They represent diverse points of view and the fact that they have been elected before, some of them many times, proves that they have won the confidence of the voters. Together we make a motley crew, and at times, I’m sure, we have allowed our passionate disagreements to spill over to the dismay of the electorate. A small community such as ours, in my opinion, is better served by independent councillors who will weigh the information available and vote accordingly. I do not think it healthy to have a block of like-minded individuals controlling council. That’s when the voices of the public can be easily dismissed. Recall Gregor Robertson’s comment “Who are these f*****g hacks?” when ordinary citizens took the time to attend a public hearing. That’s the arrogance of a mayor who knows he has a clear majority. It’s for that reason that I cannot support Linda Buchanan and Cheryl Leia. They make up the Mayor’s slate (I think they are calling themselves a team). As capable as they are, they have not been honest about the nature of their campaigns. Asked whether they were part of a slate, Cheryl responded, “define slate.” I’m not happy with that answer. It’s evasive. I would have had more respect for both of them if they had simply said yes we are and explained why.
So that leaves one seat, and I leave that to your judgment. Don Bell has a ton of experience to offer. Amanda Nichol is promising and would speak for young families.
One more day of campaigning, and then it is in your hands.
Thanks for your interest. Encourage everyone you know to vote.
Best regards,

Bill and Dot Bell said...

You are just too kind, while your opposition isn't. Or perhaps you are trying the old trick of defeating your opposition with kindness?
My guess is that the incumbents will be returned with Fearnley holding on to the last seat as usual fighting off one or two of the newcomers.
Don Bell will be the new person on council which means Mussatto will quickly line him up and try to get him on side (hopefully too little too late)
But my concern is with that makeup on council it will remain a pro development, increase density council...which is a shame, but the voters do get what they elect.

Pam Bookham said...

Bill and Dot, I'm hoping that the recently released stats on population growth in the City will inform the revision of the OCP and result in slower, more thoughtful growth with more attention to creating a complete community: more and better-paying jobs, better traffic managment, enhanced green space and renewed recreation and cultural facilities.

Marty Howard said...

Bell loves the developers and he is in very tight with the Iranian community.
Where does Bookham come off with her list? I think that young Polly fellow would make an excellent candidate.
I have watched this blog for years and Pringle is a really nasty guy.
I think John Harvey deserves a place on School Board because a retired person can give time to this important place.

Anonymous said...

OK Bill, where is oart two?

Anonymous said...

Sorry 'part two'

Anonymous said...

Bill - in your prediction, even if the unlikely happens and Bob wins, he is not the deciding vote since Don takes Mary's spot.

It is more likely that Cheryl is on rather than Bob and a more trustworthy four face the Mayor's three.


Independent Voices is a registered campaign organizer and endorses:


We support the following
INDEPENDENT candidates
for North Vancouver City Council:

Mayor: Ron Polly
Council: Don Bell, Pam Bookham, Rod Clark,
Elizabeth Fodor, Guy Heywood, Amanda Nichol

We believe they best represent the Core Competencies
for Local Government Elected Offi cials.
(ref. Local Government Leadership Academy 10/06)

• Acts Ethically
• Accepts Personal Responsibility
• Considers Community Needs
• Is Open-Minded and Objective
• Engages Public in Process
• Makes Diffi cult Decisions
• Listens to Ideas and Concerns
• Assesses Implications

In our view, these independent individuals, each with differing
opinions and strengths, will represent residents fairly and not be
beholden to special interests. Based on what we have heard and
seen, we think they will demonstrate balanced viewpoints,
informed decision-making and prudent leadership.

Remainder ad in the NS News today

Anonymous said...

Having failed to knife Fearnley in the back during last election, Tapegate, you are coming back for another go at him. Interesting! Almost makes me feel sorry for him.

Seriously Bill, what is the source of the bad blood between you two?

That would be more interesting than this other nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Be honest Pam there are no independents just two sides NDP Councilors vs BC Lib Councilors.

Anonymous said...

Bill - you've said who is not worth voting for but who are the six worth voting for?

Anonymous said...

The six listed in the previous posting would fit well

Anonymous said...

Bill, what on earth has Darrell done to "deserve to be reelected"?? Time for a change! 18 years, and he doesn't understand that the City needs to be run as a business (quote in News on Wed). Lots of photo ops does not a Mayor make.

Anonymous said...

I figured Don Bell was in
with the Iranian Community, so
he is for pro development and
without hesitation

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see which campaign the Party of so called "independents" is. It will be clear by the ad.

Is the BC Liberals funding this?

Bill and Dot Bell said...

Mussatto deserves to be get in only because the two others are unproven. Better the devil you know.

Bill and Dot Bell said...

I am writing a part 2 for later this afternoon. As for Fearnley? I am not trying to stab him in the back, but rather the front which is what he deserves. From the way I see it, he voted so many times against his own priciples that he eventually forgot what his principles were. It was actually quite sad watching him vote on so many issues that he once had the strength to support.
As a person I like Bob Fearnley, as a politician he would have to go back to what he originally believed in and stuck to it to ever get my support.


The ad is funded by a small group of residents, no affiliation to anyone and not beholden to anyone. The residents are concerned long time council watchers. The block voting this term has not been as blatant as last, because the block lost one of their group. There will be a lot of controversial development proposals this coming term, and all parties are represented in the group.

Anonymous said...

Did this INDEPENDENT PARTY get the permission of those they put in their party before putting an ad out?

Bill and Dot Bell said...

Ron Polly really sounds like a great guy with a platform that I personally like. I prefaced my remarks with the provisal that I really hadn't been following this election, so please forgive me if my judgements sound a bit rash, particularily with the new faces running for council.
If I had the time to listen to Ron and ask him some questions he might be able to convince me that he would be a good alternative to Mussatto.


No, the group endorsing the candidates did not contact any of them, and did not share the list with any candidate. The candidates listed were unanimously chosen by the supporters listed.

Anonymous said...

Is it legal to be a campaign organizer for a candidate if that candidate has not approved it? Sounds very dodgey to me.

Anonymous said...

From: Craig Keating
To: Craig Keating
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 9:36 PM
Subject: My picks
I'm taking the bull by the horns and trying to get to everybody in my contact list to let them know all at once. For those of you who I've already responded to, sorry for the repetition.
Here goes.
For Mayor, I'm supporting Darrell Mussatto, of course. He's been a great Mayor so far: strong vision, great values, and very fair to everybody.
Of course I'm just vain enough to cast a vote for Craig Keating.
The two other Council candidates who've impressed me the most are Linda Buchanan and Cheryl Leia. Linda has been a school trustee for the past 3 years and has really shown her leadership skills and intelligence as the Board dealt with declining enrollments and funding shortfalls. Cheryl is a health professional specializing in seniors care who has been on a wide variety of important City committees including Recreation Commission and Advisory Planning Commission. They have proven that they are job-ready for Council.
Amongst the others, Juliana Buitenhuis, Yashar Khalighi, and Don Bell have impressed.

Anonymous said...

Mayor: Ron Polly, Darrell Mussatto

Council: Don Bell, Pam Bookham, Rod Clark, Elizabeth Fodor, Guy Heywood, Amanda Nichol, Craig Keating, Linda Buchanan, Cheryl Leia, Juliana Buitenhuis, Yashar Khalighi

So I'll be picking Chris Nichols or George Pringle

and 6 of Michael Charrois, Bill Duncan, Joe Heilman, John Hutchinson, Glen Miller, Carson Polly, Behgam Rabbani or Ron Sostad.

I don't like Behgam or Ron so it's the other six Chris' demand to the CEO of North Van on a council of 7 equal votes is silly but I think George was to hard on Darrell. Still thinking of my mayor's pick.

Anonymous said...

Independent Voices are the following:

This ad is supported by the following concerned citizens:

John Watson, Valerie Cottingham, Ruth Raymond, Fred Dawkins, Marc Pedersen,

Joan Peters, Gerry Scott, Carol Abbott, Richard and Patricia Walden, Jim and

Marilyn Watson, Toni Bolton, Ivan Leonard, Fiona Walsh, Carol Stewart

Interesting to see that even though Ivan Leonard was stupid enough to sign Poison Pringle's nomination papers, he is smart enough to endorse Ron Polly for Mayor.

Anonymous said...

The great puppet master Keating has spoken. All he is named will be under his control.
If they get in there will be huge celebration from CUPE, City Fire Personell, the Developers and the Iranian community.
Everyone else better pack you bags and leave - no room at the inn for you.


It would seem that comments are deteriorating, as is the campaign.

Good luck to all the candidates.

To anon at 12.26 from the election guide, page 7 fyi:
Campaign organizers operate independently from candidates and do not require the consent from a candidate to do so.

You've Got to Be Joking said...

Bill Bell was spot on with his assessment of Mr. Keating. Craig is a pompous blowhard who has difficulty accepting that the people, and I mean real people, actually might think a little differently from him. His slate, and let's make no bones about it this is Keating's slate, is going to be under his thumb until he bolts for higher office. The likes of Buchanan (quite frankly a Keating clone) or Bell will take it in the chin for a couple of months and then realize that the only one benefiting from this approach is Craig Keating himself.

Anonymous said...

Where's part 2?

Anonymous said...

On Bill Bell

Who gives a damn what Billy Boy says or does anymore?

Talk about being all washed up, that pretty much sums up Billy boy. He doesn't even live here and he speaks to us like he is the expert.

Go back to pickling your liver in Mexico Bill and I'll vote the way I want to.

Bill and Dot Bell said...

Boy did the annonymous (BF) not read my post, I agree with him...except the part about pickling my liver...that is nasty, I happen to love my liver. As for part 2? I sent it john S a while ago.

sue lakes cook said...

The City of North Vancouver is now on the edge - there is no way it is going to stay the same.
Is this a City which is about to become a wall of concrete high rises?
Is the City going to be a place where only the very wealthy can live - forcing seniors and families out?
What will happen to all the thousands of people in the service/retail industries who live in North Vancouver when they can no longer live here?
How high are the salaries for
Firefighers going to go until they agree they are earning enough? Is a range of $75,000.00 to $171,000.00 really not enough?
Are CUPE workers the next middle class of the City?
146 City employees (including Managers) earning over $75,000.00 a year in 2010 - how many more will be earning this amount in 2011 or 2012, etc. until the next election?
Why do some of the candidates have to have a slate backed by Unions if they want to represent all of us equally?
Some one came into my work place and said they believed the evil side is taking over and I happen to believe him.
I did my vote and I voted for the following:
Ron Polly, Rod Clarke, Pam Bookham, Amanda Nichols and Guy Heywood.
I truly hope they get in, as I do believe they are fair, honest, decent and will stand up for the population as a whole. I believe they will let the City grow in a slow, well planned manner which respects the enviornment as well as a variety of paycheques.
I believe they will treat the population with fairness and respect and as equals.
Remember that once we did have a Mayor that was just like that - his name is Loucks and he has never been replaced.

Anonymous said...

I feel the need to air a comment that has not been raised in this Blog. I am frustrated that too many City residents are not aware of Mr. Keating's personal agenda. He has openly accepted the nomination for the Provincial NDP for our riding for the election to be held sometime between now and May 2013. He has also stated that if he wins a seat in the Legistature, he will resign his Council seat (if he is elected tomorrow).

He is actually being very selfish with this position, and advancing his political career at the expense of City taxpayers. If a by-election needs to be called to replace him, it is estimated to cost us, the taxpayers, a minimum of $80 000! Why elect someone who can't make up his mind where he wants to run, and is not truly thinking of his constituents but his own personal interests with this election?! Craig said at an ACM that he was looking forward to the future. Whose future???

There are many other reasons that I feel strongly that Craig Keating and his slate/team do not deserve our votes, but his selfish, arrogant nature is top on my list.

That's my 2 cents worth on Election Eve.

Please vote tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Most union employees, don 't attend
or watch council meetings. Just
vote for what there CUPE leaders want them to vote, prime example
are the Firefighter's.

Well the big buck is not going to
keep coming.

I will be voting for Independents

sue lakes cook said...

Wishful thinking aside = this is who I think will be the winners by 8:05 tonight:

Darryl Mussatto
Craig Keating
Cheryl Liea
Linda Buchanan
Don Bell
Pam Bookham
Rod Clark
Guy Heywood

Once again the City will belong to Keating and Richard White. Whatever they want they will get, whatever the unions want they will get, whatever the developers want they will get.

The City will become a true high rise concrete jungle full of cold impresonal strangers, for when you get rid of single family homes you get rid of caring neighbours.
However, that also gives those in power even more control - united we stand, divided we fall.

I remember when Darryl and Craig first got elected, and I was one of their biggest fans. I volunteered for Craig when he ran for the NDP. What happened to those two? Is this really a case of power corruption? I truly wish these two would come back and represent all of us equally like they originally pledged. More fool me.

sue lakes cook said...

There are 46 listings in Metro Vancouver on the Multiple Listing Service for $10 million or more.

Twenty-one are in Vancouver, 19 in West Vancouver, two in North Vancouver, and one each in Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby and Langley.

So where were the $10 million homes in North Vancouver and who bought them?

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Only six councilors are elected Sue, not seven.

Anonymous said...

You will probably find that in the 3 municipalities on the north shore most union and exempt employees come only for the work and do not live in the municipality. Therefor the priority is how much they can take while providing a perception to the tax payer that they are making improvements. Case in point City Manager City of North Vancouver well past best before date and still supported by the Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Read here on the kindness of Pam Bookham - killing her students with it for years.

Anonymous said...

Well, previous post good example of dirty politics. Sounds like ratings were all made by students late for class. Good for her to try to make them accountable.

Anonymous said...

And just for fairness, here's the comparison for Keating who was rated slightly higher because he shows movies every second class:

Anonymous said...