Thursday, May 08, 2014

Mayoralty Contest in North Vancouver City could be closer than most people think

By Bill Bell  

I like Mayor Darrell Mussatto; we have known each other since he was first elected to City council in the 90’s. Yes we have had our differences ...but for the most part he is a friendly and hardworking Mayor of the City.
Last election Mussatto cleaned house against his two opponents, out stripping them with campaign donations, organizational support, and endorsements from key voting sectors; clobbering them with ballot support from North Vancouver voters. He garnered 73.8 per cent of the vote.
Mussatto, since the last election has not changed much, a little grayer but he is still the small “l” liberal (with socialist tendencies) who also hasn’t met a developer he did not like. This coming Fall, Mussatto should not have any problems being reelected? Right? Wrong.
His opponent Kerry Morris, has long ties to the community. He grew up with City politic in his blood - His father Frank sat on council for one term with me in the late 80’s, and before that Frank virtually ran the City as head of development service. Simply put Kerry is running as hard as any candidate I’ve seen. He is running the old fashioned way, pressing the flesh, shaking hands, passing out election cards and leaflets and telling everyone that something is out whack at City Hall and he can fix it.
His biggest stick is his attempt to tie Mussatto and Councillor Keating to campaign donations by big developers and in particular Onni - the developer of the huge Safeway site at 13th and Lonsdale. He taints them as politicians with a conflict of interest at the worst and ethically challenged at best.
I will give Kerry full marks for hard work; he is everywhere on the campaign trail and the election is well over 6 months away. I’ve only met him briefly and I certainly was not swayed but then again I think I will watch with interest as this aggressive, no holds barred upstart progresses on the campaign trail. Perhaps some of his arrogance will soften and his messaging become clearer.
So why is Mussatto in trouble? Normally I would say the Mayor is safe barring some unforeseen scandal but in this case Mussatto’s biggest weakness is himself…or better stated, Mussatto is just too confident and overconfidence is a politician’s greatest weakness.
Mayor Barbara Sharp was considered both overconfident and arrogant when Mussatto defeated her 3 elections ago. Like Sharp, Mussatto is losing touch with the electorate and just doesn’t see it when the people on the street say he is “in the pocket of the developers.” There is a repetitive chorus out there that he gives away too much (density increases) to “his friends in the development community”.
The anti-development forces in the city are usually not enough to boot a popular mayor out office, but in this election a perfect storm is developing around the increased density issue. The North Vancouver School board wants to up-zone two properties in two different City neighborhoods. Residents in Cloverly and Hamilton Heights are up in arms over the potential of large scale developments on those properties.
And although City staff have recently reduced its proposed density increases in the Official community Plan, some City councilors are attempting to paint Mussatto, Keating and Councillor Linda Buchanan as wanting increases in OCP density.
These Team Mussatto councilors were unsuccessful in pushing forward with the OCP decision allowing the whole development debate into the election process. You got to think there is a conspiracy on behalf of some council members to nail Mussatto, Keating and Buchanan as density increase loving politicians.
Combine that perception with developer big buck donations that was given to Team Mussatto and I say the Mayor is going have a real fight on his hands
.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

How can anyone vote for someone routinely raising taxes 3-4X rate of inflation?

Anonymous said...

Will Mayor Darrell follow the voluntary prohibition adopted by his council on donations from developers and unions?

Anonymous said...

Who is the guy in the first picture?

Anonymous said...

This is who he is:
http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=7be79169-ec04-4a5f-89cb-9b8cb3df41f8

Bill and Dot Bell said...

The City budget according to Darrell Mussatto had a 0 per cent lift this year. Mussatto told me recently that he will follow the "rule" and that allows him to take union and developer money.

Bill and Dot Bell said...

Kerry Morris has his own web site http://www.kerrymorris.com/

Anonymous said...

Is a person with pending charges allowed to run for public office?

Bill and Dot Bell said...

Who has pending charges bill@ontheroadin.com

Anonymous said...

It mentions pending charges for in this article.

http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=7be79169-ec04-4a5f-89cb-9b8cb3df41f8

Bill and Dot Bell said...

That story is really old...charges must have been dropped. Does say something about the candidate's patience though.

Anonymous said...

Having witnessed Keating's bully tactics first hand I was hoping to see him go in the next election.

I was formerly neutral on Mussatto. The veiled threats contained in his letter to the Chamber has tipped the balance and he is behaving just as arrogantly and heavy handedly as Keating.

Hoping the City voters bump both of them.

Anonymous said...

I think and hope that a lot of municipal councils throughout Metro Vancouver will not be re-elected. People are sick and tired of development after development being approved at the expense of low rental units and in favour of big developer $$$.

I just drove from the North Shore to Queen Elizabeth Park and back today and it is a mess of construction zones that don't give a RA about each other. And the anger of the drivers is palpable. The mess called Sealynn Village is an incompetent jumble of noise and blockades and people directing traffic who don't appear to have a clue what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

Putting in a voluntary cap means nothing if you're not good enough to be able to raise funds in the first place. Morris can't raise the money so tries to look virtuous to cover his lack of ability.

Anonymous said...

Correction for the link to Kerry Morris' website:
http://kerrymorris.ca/

Idiotic comments like 10.57pm are not contributing anything to the discussion. People I've spoken to are thrilled that there is a credible candidate to oppose the current mayor who has passed the best before date.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:56 about 10:57's comment.

Besides, candidates have been elected on the North Shore before without financially robust campaigns.

It's not all about the money. Go Kerry Go!

Anonymous said...

Nice to read your words again Mr Bell except when they are in error.

From your post:...Last election Mussatto cleaned house against his two opponents...

There were three other mayoral candidates in the City of North Vancouver in 2011:

(Kit) Chris J. Nicols
Ron Polly
George Pringle.

I just got this info from the cnv website.

Anonymous said...

Not sure we need a mayor prone to public temper tantrums leading to arrest. Any other choices?

Anonymous said...

Is he the same Kerry Morris of North Vancouver that was charged with:

47695-1 1 18-Jun-2006 CCC - 253(a) care or control vehicle or vessel while impaired Commit MORRIS, KERRY North Vancouver BC
47695-1 2 18-Jun-2006 CCC - 254(5) Failure or refusal to provide sample Commit MORRIS, KERRY North Vancouver BC

Anonymous said...

Or this one...

MORRIS, Kerry
MORRIS, Kerry v SEARS CANADA Provincial
Small Claims North Vancouver Provincial Court 1323468 11Jan2013 27Jun2013

This guy seems exciting.

Anonymous said...

I know the charge you reference in relation to Morris was dismissed and the two officers who brought those charges went on leave, and later left the force.

The file discloses that the Sears action was won by Morris and related to Sears failure to perform against a failed roof warranty contract. He proposed a $5,100 settlement but was awarded and paid $13,000 by Sears when they refused the initial settlement and forced the matter to trial.

Does not appear to be a guy who backs down when a fight is in order.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has watched Mr Morris speaking to Council will be aware that he doesn't back down! Change will be a very good thing.

Anonymous said...

Posting anonymously about yourself... nice.

So let me get this straight. Two police officers conspired against you and charged you with failure to provide and care and control while impaired and you were so compelling in court that they decided to change careers?

Bill and Dot Bell said...

thank you for the correction...Mussatto clobbered three other candidates. Is there a reason why so many people here are named "Anonymous?"

Anonymous said...

Many reasons I would think.. one being that there is a nasty piece of work who obviously has spent a lot of time trying to dig up dirt. I don't think anyone would want to be next in the crosshairs.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a good idea to get these public perception issues out now so I will down the line be voting for a reasonably well vetted candidate. Innocent until proved guilty?

Anonymous said...

Court Services Online can be very interesting at times, you are right that it doesn't tell the whole story but it certainly frames the discussion nicely at times.

When it comes to politicians I am hard on them and if they pass the test then I am very supportive of them.

Kerry Morris seems like he generally has his priorities right and apparently has the diligence to see something through, but Mayor is a special role where the person must know the right thing to do generally and have the humility to receive and consider other options anyway. Morris' hubris is dripping through his articles on his website, but can he sit in front the lowest resident, check his ego, and listen. If he can't then he is just another waste of time.

Anonymous said...

To Bill. Yes, this site is an exchange of political and topical comments related to N. Van.

The content of each post is what is important - not who posted it.

After ongoing complaints from those who prefer to post their comments along with their name John disabled the Anon capability. This site virtually died.

The Anon posts were restored and so was lively debate.

Anonymous said...

The only people who seem to care about posting under their names are the ones who have a political agenda and seek name recognition. Some of us just wish to discuss the issues and don't feel there is any need to expose our identities to some of the wing-nuts who frequent this blog.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:36 said "The content of each post is what is important - not who posted it".

Anon 3:01 said "Some of us just wish to discuss the issues and don't feel there is any need to expose our identities to some of the wing-nuts who frequent this blog."

I would suggest that "who" is commenting says a lot about "what" they are saying".

You might want to read Theodore Roosevelt's quote re "The Man in The Arena":

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who
is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without
error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best
knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least
fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who neither know victory nor defeat."

Which are you?

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, here is more from Roosevelt's speech:

"Theodore Roosevelt – “The Man in the Arena” excerpt from “Citizenship in a Republic” speech (given in Paris, France April 23, 1910)


The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel
a kind of twister pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of
the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy
being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an
attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or
in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit
of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to
perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities - all
these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness.
They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek,
in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from
themselves in their own weakness. The role is easy; there is none easier, save only the role
of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who
is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without
error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best
knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least
fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who neither know victory nor defeat."

Anonymous said...

How does discussion translate to criticism and cynicism? Odd that you chose to post your quotes while remaining anonymous...

Bill and Dot Bell said...

Lively debate...but with the use of anonymous it is very difficult to follow. Can't you people who are afraid to use your own name come up with a catchy nickname at least..

Bill and Dot Bell said...

ps If you want name recognition amongst the masses for voter appeal it is not going to be by writing on this blog. As much as I enjoy the comments of the contributors it is made up of people who have already made up their minds.

Anonymous said...

We have been participating on this blog for years and we don't find it difficult to follow the thread at all.

If you want to reply to a specific anon just reference "Anon 4:28". If you want to continue the discussion then just do so.

Prefer discussion with anons but each to their own.

Anonymous said...

we need How a mayoral candidate who supports amalgamation...

Bill and Dot Bell said...

So how do I know if Anon 4>38 is the same as Anon 5.32.... It is silly. At least come up with a handle.This anon nonsense is like a discussion with shadows.

Bill and Dot Bell said...

or perhaps you like to have a debate with yourself?

Anonymous said...

Part of this problem is that in order to log onto this blog with a "handle" you need a Google account, for which you have to provide personal information, i.e. your birthdate, including year.

With what is happening with identity theft, etc., I don't want to provide that information to Google.

John Sharpe said...

Unless the previous Anon is referring to full fledged posting privileges such as Barry Reuger has then I suggest he/she is mistaken. As an example to use a handle like 'Griffin' divulges no personal info. whatsoever. I have no idea who Griffin is. The only thing is anyone could actually use Griffin's name so you can't be 100% sure who it is.

P.S. Having said that, I have no reason to think any of the comments made by Griffin are anyone but Griffin.

John Sharpe said...

Bill,

Very happy to see you making the odd comment here again. You are most welcome to provide posting topics anytime!

I am also quite pleased with the recent uptick in Blog comments and activities. Anon or not :)

Anonymous said...

John, unfortunately the scenario you describe did happen here in the past. I used to post using a 'handle' and, frequently, one particularly nasty individual with differing views would post using my 'handle'. When there are people like that active on the blog, it gives one pause about revealing ones identity, particularly when I have no political aspirations and only wish to discuss the issues.

Anonymous said...

Why have RCMP Officers have put in place in City Hall when Kerry has been a rampage, oh, I mean righteous crusade?

Was he armed when he threatened to take hostages at the Telus office?

Anonymous said...

It is people like 1:34 who ruin the blog. It's this same type of people who are continually complaining without offering any solutions.

They show their anon faces here and criticize. If they don't like the venue, then they should go away.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 2:41 (see Bill, that's how it works). Chill out.

If Anon 1:34 wants to toss some kind of wild eyed speculation around that's OK. We're all adults. Just don't reply or comment further and treat his opinion with polite disdain and move on.

Not every comment is a gem - whether you are anon or otherwise- so just behave as you would at a social gathering when someone blurts out a dubious view.

Hmmmm...well there are a few schools of thought on that.....hey, how about that missing airliner....wonder when the real facts will surface....

You, get the drift.

Anonymous said...

Kerry Morris lost my vote on Canada Day. It can be the small actions that show the true nature of a man.
Briefly - I was enjoying the parade with my daughter when Morris came prancing down the street handing out flags and "whirly gigs" My daughter asked me to get one. I asked Morris if I could please have one. He looked me straight in the face and said "No, you are too old to have one". I was stunned. Why did he assume it was for me and not for my daughter? Clearly he cannot walk and think at the same time. Secondly, I thought Canada day was a celebration for all. What if it had been for me, did he mean I was too old to have fun? Clearly he has no respect or concern for older residents. Well Morris, I will still be alive at election time. And if anyone starts an "Anyone but Morris " campaign I will have plenty of energy to participate. As far as I am concerned the man is an Imbecile, a view possibly confirmed by his past encounters with the police. Apologies to all for the lengthy comment.

Anonymous said...

If Kerry Morris is not capable of paying his telephone bill without accidentally adding a zero or two to the check how will he cope with a multimillion dollar budget at city Hall?