In CITY FINANCE, CITY GOVERNMENT, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT on August 24, 2011 at 12:44 am
Ron Bolin: August 24, 2011
The Special Council meeting of August 22 displayed many of the difficulties facing Council and thus the public regarding Nanaimo’s municipal political atmosphere:
- This important “Special” meeting took place outside the normal Council venue, at an impossible time for most citizens, in a small room with limited seating, and was not recorded for subsequent public viewing. It was not really open to the public in any meaningful way;
- The agenda for this meeting, in accordance with the usual practice, only became available to either Council or the public only two working days which straddled a weekend before the meeting. This ensures very little time for thoughtful deliberation by either Council or the public;
- An attitude by staff which I can only call, at best, unimaginative, and at worst , much worse, in providing critical information to Council.
Among the items at this Special meeting were such matters as: Read the rest of this entry »
In CITY GOVERNMENT, MUNICIPAL/PROVINCIAL AFFAIRS, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT on August 21, 2011 at 6:58 am
Gord Fuller: August 20, 2011
So, many of us have always thought developers have had an upper hand when it comes to lobbying council to get their agendas met. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with this, if the opportunity is there then use it. The reality is Neighbourhood Groups and individual Citizens also have that same opportunity, if they so choose to use it. The sad reality is that more often than not they either don’t or wait until it is too late.
I received the e-mail at the end of this post, the names of the innocent or not so innocent have been removed, from a friend who thought it would be nice if the neighbourhoods were aware of the context of the e-mail and call to action by the development community. As you can see from perusing this e-mail was sent out as a result of council’s decision to put forward an amendment to the new zoning bylaw to keep maximum height in single family residential to the old standard 8.25m as opposed to the new 9m standard. Read the rest of this entry »
In CITY GOVERNMENT on August 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Ron Bolin: August 19, 2011
On the night of November 19, exactly three months from today, we will have a “new” Mayor and Council, whether new by first time entry or “new” by re-election. If the traditional pattern holds, we will not know much about their motives as they will not have debated the issues with us or with each other; they will be backed almost entirely by either the union movement or by developer/ contractor/ real estate interests; and they will not have a transparent agenda (notice that I did not say that they would not have an agenda) by which to measure their previous actions whether they have a political track record or no.
Think back to the 2008 election. Do you remember what our current Council members promised? Did any of these promises materialize in the past three years? Or were they simply overwhelmed by events, leaves in the wind so to speak? If they run again, ask them to haul out their old election materials and measure their own progress. Determine whether they have met their -and your- expectations. Ask them what has been the hardest thing about being on Council. Ask them if they feel they lost income to be your representative Read the rest of this entry »
In CITY FINANCE on August 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm
Eric Ricker (intro by Ron Bolin) August 12,2011
The attached Letter to the Editor was written and sent to the Daily News on July 23, several weeks ago. As it has not been printed, despite the cogency of its questions to our local situation, I have asked and received permission from its author, Eric Ricker, a retired Professor of Educational Policy and Public Administration, to publish it here. Eric was raised in Nanaimo and is the Editor of the book: “Nanaimo between Past and Future: Critical Perspectives on Growth, Planning and the New Nanaimo Centre” which was published by the Friends of Plan Nanaimo in 2005. Copies are available in the library.
The Column to which he refers is by Diane Brennan and is titled: “Ferry bigwigs get too much money”. It can be found at:
In 2006 Dr. Ricker raised an issue regarding the publication of letters to the editor in the Nanaimo Daily News with the BC Press Council. The results are shown at the Press Council’s web site at:
http://www.bcpresscouncil.org/reports/2006.html Read the rest of this entry »
In CITY FINANCE, CITY GOVERNMENT, UNCATEGORIZED on August 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm
Ron Bolin: August 8, 2011
In 2005 there were 8 candidates for Mayor and 39 candidates for our 8 Council positions. 42 individuals and companies each gave between $500 and $5000 to the winning candidates and funded nearly 90% of all the money spent for their election in the 2005 campaign: 42 out of over 60,000.
Over half of the money spent by the winning candidates came from only 12 donors! Twelve out of 60,000+ !!! There are very few grass roots in Nanaimo politics which is dominated by corporate/company and union donations.
In 2008 there were only 4 candidates for mayor and 26 for Council. Mayoral candidates spent between $54 and $34,316 expending between 13 cents and $4.78 per vote received. Candidates for Council spent a total of $86,475 ranging from zero to $12,475 each with an overall average expenditure of $0.72 per vote, and individual averages ranging from zero to $1.64 per vote. Again, only about 30% of eligible voters bothered to vote with the winners getting between 30 to 50% of these votes cast, i.e. about 10 to 15% of the eligible vote. No grass roots here either. Read the rest of this entry »