Thursday, February 16, 2012

What is the Blue Ribbon committee on Amalgamation and whom will serve on it?

The Blue Ribbon Committee will by definition consist of 5 to 10 distinguished citizens with the skill sets and talent to assist in the analysis of the cost inefficiencies of combining all three North Shore Municipalities. It will have a time limit of six months to accomplish its goal of studying the potential cost savings to the citizens of the North Shore. No staff or politicians will sit on this committee. Once the findings are complete the question of Amalgamation would go to a referendum in the 2014 Municipal Election. District Clr. Doug MacKay-Dunn is the driving force behind the Blue Ribbon Committee and he recommends that a Provincial Municipal Auditor assist in the process. MacKay-Dun will be bringing forward the Blue Ribbon Committee idea at a regular public council meeting sometime in March 2012.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is the District pushing for this so hard?

Anonymous said...

Because efficiency makes sense.

Anonymous said...

How will you convince City residents that this 'efficiency' won't cost them more in property taxes? Which returns us to the question, why is the District pushing for this?

George Pringle said...

There won't be a referendum in the City without City based people pressuring seven members of Council who are against amalgamation to hold it.

The Council does not want to officially find out their citizens would support a North Van amalgamation.

sue lakes cook said...

You will never get that commitment from the people in the City. The majority are still renters and have more a feeling of being temporary residents, and the rest are a growing number of extremely wealthy immigrants mainly from Iran.

By the growing number of Farsi speaking programs being introduced into the community at the Rec Centres and Library and I question how much Farsi speaking people want to give up their culture and be part of the mainstream.

City Staff, Darryl, Craig and the majority of council are going to go where the money is so they can build their steadfast kingdom.
Darryl will never allow for a referendum for amalgamation because he knows he does not stand a chance of being Mayor of the two North Vancouvers. Power is everything to the NDP phonies (no longer standing up for the average working person) and they will fight to the end to keep that power.

The City is a lost cause, no point trying to fight them anymore.

George Pringle said...

Sue, I have more faith in the citizens than you. It's not a question of Daryl and his Vision North Van slate and others, every member of Council opposes amalgamation as they worry more about their election than the extra taxes they citizens pay.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't DMD concentrating on North Van only? I would think the case would be much stronger for amalgamation. Yes, fire services for all 3. Is he including the City in his committee?

Anonymous said...

This committee will fail, terribly. Why is the Blue Ribbon committee trying to amalgamate all three municipalities? This issue has always been about joining the two North Vancouvers together, not West Vancouver, so why include it?

Anonymous said...

The CNV should pay more attention to this. Its books are in much better order than the DNVs, however the city owns much less land than the DNV.

It would be prudent for the CNV to go forward, as long as it doesn't cost we ratepayers even more for a long meet & greet just after the municipal election.

Bad timing.

Boo to DMD.

Anonymous said...

Do all the city employees get bonus money for trashing amalgamation while sitting at work commenting from the taxpayer paid for computers?

Anonymous said...

Which city employees are commenting?
I'm not a City employee, but am responsible for the first and third posts. I'd still like to know why the District is pushing for this so hard. What's in it for them, aside from shifting some of their tax burden onto the shoulders of the City residents.

Lets have an open and honest discussion with facts, not rumour and innuendo, so that we can all make informed decisions.

Anonymous said...

Sue why are you so hung up on Persians? They make up 6% of the population and, next to English speakers, are the largest group in our community by language, according to Stats Canada. They outnumber all other ethnic groups substantially, so I would expect to see their language fairly prominently within our community. Next up would be Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, German, Spanish and French bringing up the rear with just over 1% of the population. If this is unsettling to you, perhaps you need to move someplace where there are no other ethnicities but your own.

Anonymous said...

This is unfortunately turning into an IDIOT discussion regarding immigration and the most important input from our new citizens.

There is no room for racism.

Anonymous said...

There's a good thing about freedom of speech. It lets the rest of us see what Sue Cook is really all about. Let her continue to dig her own grave.

Anonymous said...

It is truly too bad that people like you try to intimidate and put down the usefulness of this blog by your pettiness.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I was referring to Anon 6:05's comments.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but speaking out against Sue Cook's racist, bigoted remarks is petty? Are you kidding me? Are you agreeing with her bigotry? As Anon 2:52PM said, there's no room for racism.

If you think speaking out against racism and bigotry is intimidation and 'petty', then I'm guilty as charged.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, take one step back.

We Canadians seem to have adopted an attitude that if we notice or comment upon a non-mainstream culture in Canada someone will shrilly cry "racist" and that settles the matter.

Yes, there are real racists in every country in the world including ours.

That doesn't mean that unless we speak glowingly about any particular group we're racists.

There are good, bad, generous, selfish folk in every culture.

A person that judges a person by their colour or culture and immediately decides they have no value is a racist.

A person that without bias assesses people by their actions without pre-deciding that they must be good or bad due to their colour or culture is thoughtful and their comments have value and are absolutely not racist.

There's a big difference.

Anonymous said...

Friday Anon 2:21 pm, you are not giving what you say you want.

You say "What's in it for them, aside from shifting some of their tax burden onto the shoulders of the City residents" is trying to deliberately fearmonger City residents. The point of this blue ribbon committee which will have no politicians, unions or employees at the table, is to identify the savings amalgamation will give. The details will be in the report prior to any vote by the City and District residents.

The citizens who pay the bills and not just those who benefit from the status quo have the right to decide.

The savings of over 2 million dollars a year of senior staff and 4 less Councillors can be used to to reduce the property taxes of both the City and District. The new rates per type of property becomes one. In some zoning types, the City is higher, in some the District is higher but both will be lower after amalgamation.

The sale of the unnecessary District Hall and other redundant properties will lower provide funds to lower tax rates for both even more.

The status quo would become indefensible with actual numbers.

The District Councillors don't seem to be concerned that they would lose 2 seats and but the City Councillors are in a tizzy about the prospect that they would only have 4 Councillors.

The Mayor sees only a Vision North Van slate is for years has been one seat away from complete control of Council and day when development and density will skyrocket even more than today's unacceptable levels. A Council of nine of all North Vancouver makes his goal even tougher, particularly as he consistently refers to District residents in a negative, us and them, way.

Anonymous said...

There is much talk (whining) lately about the densification of our communities. What is not talked about is the crime, pollution, traffic congestion, etc. that always follows.

People buy their properties in municipalities because they like what they see. What most are getting from their city halls is lack of any kind of knowledge or understanding of what their citizens want -- or don't want.

However, much of this blame must be accepted by the citizens themselves. Voter turnout in municipal elections is notoriously low. In my municipality it was 21 percent in the last election.

We must spread the word to the citizens to pay attention to municipal politics. The wrong people vote for the wrong people.

John Sharpe said...

Anonymous said...
This committee will fail, terribly. Why is the Blue Ribbon committee trying to amalgamate all three municipalities? This issue has always been about joining the two North Vancouvers together, not West Vancouver, so why include it?
Friday, February 17, 2012 12:11:00 PM;

That was one question I asked Clr. MacKay-Dunn: Why include DWV? I've always presumed it would only be the the CNV and DNV. His answer was that even greater avings could be realized by including the DWV - One North Shore Fire Dept., less staffing, Police, and Rec. Centers. If all three were joined it would be one big North Shore with greater efficiencies in those areas.

Anonymous said...

Joining all 3 municipalities will fail, terribly. Perhaps that is the strategy? It would certainly put the amalgamation issue to rest for a long time once they get it to fail, terribly.

Anonymous said...

There is the City of Burnaby,
there is the City of New Westminster,
etc. etc.

Why North Vancouver a City and District?

sue lakes cook said...

When are the people who use this blog going to start acutally reading it?

There is not one racist thing I have ever written on this blog. I have said over and over that I believe in a multi-cultural society but that is NOT what I am seeing in the City of North Vancouver.

For example the mission statement for North Shore Neighborhood House - why is it only in English and Farsi. If we live in a multi-cultural society would it not make more sense if the non-english version had a line recognizing all the different ethnic groups in our community. How about starting it with one line in the Squamish language since they were actually the first here?
Why are the story times at the City language in English, French, and Farsi? Where aren't story times in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, Korean, and tag-a-long?
Why are the workshops from the Seniors Survey only in Farsi in the City of North Vancouver, making the seniors who live in the City have to go to the District of North Vancouver or West Vancouver?
Sorry but 6% is not enought to warrant special treatment over all the other immigrant groups to the City.
If you think I am the only person talking about this subject you are stupid and ignorant.
It is time the City started creating a community that is involving everyone on an equal basis and try and bring us together instead of focusing on just one immigrant group because of the dollars they bring in.

Anonymous said...

Sue-

We often disagree but one this topic not necessarally so.

It has long been an effective tool to discredit the speaker instead of addressing the speaker's topic.

In western countries there are laws against racism and the word racist is wrongly used by those either highly ignorant or manipulatively clever to stymie discussion.

While it has long been permissable to observe traits of western cultures and religions it has become politically incorrect to comment upon non-western groups.

We can observe that the Scots have a reputation as pennypinchers, the French have great food but the English not so much, the Italians make better lovers than fighters, the Germans are compulsively organized etc. without fear of the shriek of racism.

It's OK to hang a bad rap on "Christians" as being unreasonably moralistic and uptight. Actually, with the "racist" crowd it's preferable.

However, if one dares to be similarly less than glowing about widely demonstrated general traits, opinions, or behaviours of a non-western group, then having the temerity to even make such an observation, may attract the loony liberal cry of "racist".

For me I will treat all people and groups equally and not favour or disfavour any regardless of origin.

I'll comment without bias based upon observation and the politically correct can like it or lump it. They're the ones with prejudice.

John Sharpe said...

Back to the topic....Tend to agree that including the DWV makes the outcome of the "A" issue less likely, but if the results of the BRC are compelling it could be hard to argue against. This is why no politicians or staff will sit on the committee as it is politically highly charged.

John Sharpe said...

On that note does any one have some suggestions as to whom might sit as the Posting Topic asks?

John Sharpe said...

Sue,

You have so much to say, but I do not have you down with 'posting permission' privileges. You could start your own topics here on the blog.

John

John Sharpe said...

Joint services always an option

By Honourable Ida Chong, North Shore News FEBRUARY 19, 2012

Read more: http://www.nsnews.com/news/Joint+services
+always+option/6177304/story.html#ixzz1mt5ytgSh

Anonymous said...

West Van should be out. Demographically, it is a very distinctly different community.

The city and District each spend about $900 per citizen per year, while West Vancouver spends over $1400 per citizen per year. They expect 'no-call-to-small" policing and their own custom Transit service. The city and DIstrict are way closer to each other on so many differnt areas.

If you are talking about a regional District, I would certainly support a North Shore Region out to Lions Bay with Bowen included, but West Van can't amalgamate.

Anonymous said...

Agree with last statement - work on amalgamation of fire services only with West Van. The two North Vans definitely. Not a lot of common sense in the City though.

Anonymous said...

Don't get the logic of restricting savings through amalgamating 3 fire services but not pursuing similar savings by looking at amalgamating finance, engineering, HR, planning and all of the major cost centres.

Anonymous said...

Amalgamate fire, library, and rec services across all 3 municipalities. Amalgamate District and City, leave West Van as is.

Fed up City resident said...

Bring it on DMD! From the Outlook Feb 29:

Another high priority among residents when it comes to questions of cutting costs to the district and boosting revenue and service levels is consolidating services with the City of North Vancouver.



The survey showed 93 per cent of households support either partnering or consolidating services with the city in this regard, with 63 per cent expressing “strong support.”



Coun. Robin Hicks said the district should send those pro-consolidation results to the city government to gauge their support with a statement of intent to explore the issue further.



Pro-amalgamation councillor Doug MacKay-Dunn agreed.



“We may be discussing in the coming weeks the time to form a blue ribbon committee,” MacKay-Dunn said, “to have a look at the consolidation of services in terms of finally perhaps getting to that point where it becomes politically palatable to address the amalgamation question.”