Saturday, November 23, 2013

2014 Municipal Elections will be upon us one year from now

One year from today we will be up to our ears in the municipal election 'silly season'. Actually, the election will be all but over at this date next year with election day being the third Saturday of November 2014. With rumours of certain incumbents not seeking re-election, some seeking alternate endeavors, talk of 'A' slates, and other new comers it could be 'sillier' than ever!


                                                                                  

55 comments:

Barry Rueger said...

Just did a fun trip through the Vancouver Sun's Municipal Election database

It's interesting to compare the City and District in terms of where people raise campaign funds.

It's true that in the CNV the lion's share of campaign support comes from Developers, Unions, and pubs, while corporate donations are relatively rare in the DNV.

It would also seem that you can run and get elected in the second tier without spending very much money.

I disagree with John though when he talks of this as being "silly."

As has been noted time and again, municipal politics probably have the most direct impact on people - the services provided by the District and City are the ones that we all use every day, all year long.

Anonymous said...

If nobody is going to seriously run for Mayor against Walton then it will be really "silly." The last election was a joke on the citizens of DNV.

John Sharpe said...

The term 'silly season' has been bantered around here on the blog for years at election times. It is not meant with disrespect and I do sgree with you sometimes Barry and this time it is on your point of "municipal politics probably have the most direct impact on people"

You have to admit that things do often get silly at election time and with politics in general.

Toni Bolton said...

The common political season definition: "In politics, the time, especially just before the election, when undeliverable promises and wild accusations are the order of the day".

Anonymous said...

Just a note ... that database refers to the 2008 election, although not much different in 2011

Anonymous said...

Darrell Mussatto's Dad died last week.

Anonymous said...

Read the NS News Trevor Lautens re Mussatto, Keating and Buchanan taking large campaign donations from unions, developers etc.

Read Mussatto and Keating's NS News response that taking the money and not recusing themselves from votes that may benefit their donors are not related.

One of the things about conflict of interest is that, in the public sector, if it has the appearance of being a conflict - it is.

All the rationalizing in the world does not make clean hands.

Anonymous said...

Word is School Trustee Barry Forward may be running for DNV Council....

Anonymous said...

Well why not? There are definitely two and maybe even four vacancies on the horizon and Barry does have political ambitions.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the City, none of the encumbent DNV Council members have taken lobbyist campaign donations.

A couple of the unsuccessful DNV candidates accepted union donations but they woren't elected.

Let's hope that Barry upholds the DNV record and doesn't stick his nose in the trough.

Anonymous said...

Therein lies the trap...

During the last election union and corporate contributions were fairly minimal in the District, but when you are an incumbent it is easier to say no to controversial contributions.

Look back at their donations from when they were first elected. A majority of even the squeaky clean DNV Council accepted donations.

Anonymous said...

And yet, the long term incumbents, Mussatto and Keating, took donations from the very groups that rely upon their decisions to advance their interests.

Why is it so hard for them to say no?

Anonymous said...

Because they have no grass roots support - look at their list of donors.

Anonymous said...

Somebody on this blog should post John's letter to the editor in Wed's NSN and in yesterday's Outlook. Are you shy about posting about your own letter?

Anonymous said...

Why post it here? Mountain biking has been talked to death. No point flogging a dead horse.

Anonymous said...

Mountain bikers have flogged the forest to death. Not worth mentioning? Excellent letter, John. Will it be an election issue in 2014?

Anonymous said...

The forests were flogged to death the first time they were all cut to the ground! You act as though it's old growth.

Anonymous said...

What makes second growth forests any less valuable than old growth? Some of those "second growth" trees are 80 to 100 years old. Does that give mountain bikers the right to destroy the forest again?

Anonymous said...

Let's just get the study done.

Anonymous said...

let's just keep everyone out of the forests, seeing as every action has an impact.

Anonymous said...

Re taking campaign donations. Here's the thing.

When you work in public office, whether elected or an employee you are in a position of trust. Everything you do has to pass the "smell test." Hypothetical examples:

1. A Planner in Surrey "forgets" to submit over $40,000 in cheques to the employer. He then tries to shake down the guy that wrote the cheques for more money. He is fired and he ends up with criminal charges.

2. A cop takes "gifts" from the owner of a pawn shop. what would you think?

3. Politicians take thousands of dollars in campaign donations from big unions and developers that operate within their jurisdiction. They explain in the local newspaper that taking those gifts doesn't influence them.

Yeah, right. Payola is payola no matter how you dress it up.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with your hypothetical examples is that campaign donations aren't illegal.

Anonymous said...

Quite right. Illegal for civic staff but legal for civic bosses.

Morally defensible? I think not.

To believe that influence isn't being purchased is delusional.

Doesn't pass the smell test.

Anonymous said...

There is no confusion on the part of donor.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reference to the donor database, Barry.

I saw Rod Clark taking $1300 from CUPE BC and $650 from CUPE local 389, along with Mussatto's slate.

After the election he switched his vote often to vote with Mussatto against his campaign promises.

I wonder what 2011 looks like?

Barry Rueger said...

Actually the 2011 Campaign Finance Disclosure Documents (DNV) are posted here. Lots of union and developer money.

There is no way to eliminate "influence" in politics. If doesn't some from donors, it will come from friends and associates, co-workers, or the people with whom you attend church.

Or, looked at differently, you're not being "influenced," you're "representing members of your community."

I'd love to see a system that eliminates all donations and hands each candidate the same X thousand dollars to mount a campaign. A level paying field might force people to worry about developing a distinct platform instead of fighting sign wars.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have your friends and neighbours than union members/developers that don't know you but know what you can do for them.

Anonymous said...

What if your friends and neighbours have biases and are looking for political favours?

Barry Rueger said...

Of course once you've outlawed donations from Unions, Development companies, and hatmakers, you will also need to be able investigate all donations from individuals to make sure that they are not associated with Unions, Development companies, or hatmakers.

Or, to be perfectly blunt, those with money will always find ways to fund the candidates that they prefer.

Anonymous said...

Any yet DNV candidates seem to be able to run campaigns without donations from big labour and developers.

Re support from friends and neighbours.

I don't think that your friends expect you to ratify wage and benefit contracts that gives them and 500 others higher salaries and better conditions.

I doubt your neighbours expect you to give them a juicy development permit for a high rise commercial/residential building.

Improbable.

Typically they just expect that you are a community minded person who will try to ensure a safe neighbourhood and funded public amenities for the general population.

Big difference.

Anonymous said...

...and occasionally fix a ticket for them.

Anonymous said...

Why did John delete his post from yesterday?

Anonymous said...

Rumours?-Walton might be stepping down. He's aged a lot since becoming Mayor. Who might take his place? Counc. Little? MacKay-Dunn? A newbie?

L Leeman said...

I have heard nothing of any rumour that Mayor Walton is stepping down.

However, as citizens of DNV, we deserve an actual CONTEST for the position of Mayor. In the past 2 elections, Walton has had a free ride and although it doesnt mean he has done a bad job, it is an unhealthy situation that we hope will not repeat.

Anonymous said...

So run for mayor then.

Anonymous said...

Nixon and Hicks have announced their retirements. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if DMD also throws in the towel. Little has his eyes on the Conservative nomination in the new Burnaby North-Seymour riding and if he's successful there, will likely not run. So that leaves only Bassam and Muri with any experience on Council. I don't think Muri is interested, and Bassam doesn't really have enough experience to make the jump. So if Walton is indeed ready to retire, his replacement will likely be a newcomer to politics, but someone with a good track record of community service and senior management. Could be interesting.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter who runs or is elected anymore. All our municipalities are ruled by Metro Vancouver's strong armed tactics. Kow tow to the Regional line, or else. It makes a mockery out of democracy. Who wants to lead under those conditions?

Anonymous said...

??
I think you've overstated that a fair amount.

Yes, Metro Van has a lot of authority over waste collection/recycling, air quality, sewage and water rates etc.

But they don't really have any clout when it comes to protective services, transportation, parks, engineering, business licensing, permitting, or how the Municipality spends its budget.

Land Use is likely the question on your mind, but Metro Vancouver didn't set the land use parameters in the regional growth strategy, the DNV/CNV Council did. DNV/CNV still has the ability to generally change land uses within as long as they don't build outside of their urban containment zone or convert swaths of farm (which we don't have) to residential uses.

New Topic? This one is going on three weeks.

Anonymous said...

All one needs to do is to Google read the "GREATER VANCOUVER REGIONAL DISTRICT INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE" minutes to learn more about Metro's strong arm, in the interests of the whole regional district, trumping the municipality:
i.e. November 15, 2013 -
"A part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being
considered relates to or is one or more of the following:
(e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the board or committee considers that disclosure could reasonably be
expected to **harm the interests of the regional district**;"

Anonymous said...

So, pretty standard closure clause.

That doesn't explain how you think they have the ability to over rule a local municipality. The inter gov committee can propose anything it wants but it doesn't have the ability to force a municipality to do anything. In order for Metro Van to have new powers they must either get the provincial government to give it to them or get the municipalities to unanimously ratify the new powers.

Anonymous said...

"Nixon and Hicks have announced their retirements. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if DMD also throws in the towel. Little has his eyes on the Conservative nomination in the new Burnaby North-Seymour riding and if he's successful there, will likely not run. So that leaves only Bassam and Muri with any experience on Council. I don't think Muri is interested, and Bassam doesn't really have enough experience to make the jump. So if Walton is indeed ready to retire, his replacement will likely be a newcomer to politics, but someone with a good track record of community service and senior management."

Welcome back Don Bell

Anonymous said...

If Walton and Little are not around, Councillor Bassam will run, and that is not a bad thing. He is a hard worker and a good man, but he is not a statesman, yet.

A term with Bassam in the mayor's chair with a new council would certainly be a good test of his abilities.

I think the District has had several good councils and would prefer to see one of the young councillors step up.

Anonymous said...

Don Bell will never be re-elected in the district.

Anonymous said...

If there are only 4 or 5 incumbents, Don Bell would get back on council in a heart beat. For Mayor he would probably be more likely to support his buddy Roger Bassam.

Anonymous said...

Don Bell will not be re-elected in the DNV. He has burnt his bridges.

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