Email exchange: Roger Kemble & Frank Murphy on blogging, decorum, preaching to the choir and more.
Run it verbatim and see where it goes . . .
. . . R :-))
On 15-Apr-10, at 1:06 PM, Frank Murphy wrote:
Thanks for this Roger. I’m glad to have your interest in the blog and I knew you wouldn’t like me stepping in to hack something out of your comment but bear with me here a minute –
A lasting bit of wisdom working with you a couple of years back was this – I said as I looked around at the various incestuous self-satisfied advisory panels we had to deal with (with the exception of the theatreone board and later I did a turn on the board and worked with the brilliant and Nanaimo-bruised-and-abused Burton Lancaster — did you meet him? worked with Joan Littlewood at the Theatre Workshop — ) and I said everywhere I look I see arrogance. You thought a second and said everywhere I look I see fear. Revelation: I rescanned the scene and saw the important difference with fear being the far more prevalent.
Here’s what you can’t deny you know first hand (no matter how conveniently it allows you your superior self-righteous dismissiveness) whatever is motivating me here is neither fear nor “a sense of decorum”. So come on. What else might it be?
Let’s explore this possibility: the polarized status quo environment here suits the conservative old institution that is City Hall just fine. The politicians and senior staff have rationalized that they don’t have to come out and engage because when they do they only meet — what they are eager to identify as — the rabid venting of the malcontents.
I want Andrew Tucker challenged. I don’t want him given an excuse to retreat to his peaceful private cubicle. But he deserves the same courtesy that I insist I’m entitled to participating in the public life of this fine and frustrating little city.
I think it’s a fair and constructive criticism of the Friends of Plan Nanaimo that a similar culture of preaching-to-the-choir isolated them and limited the broader public appeal that would have resulted in a much more progressive and no doubt younger council. Personally I think Fred Pattje’s election is among FPN’s achievement and the initiative to gather enough signatures against the City’s offensive reverse-referendum on the extension of the city boundaries to accommodate the Cable Bay Resort project is the finest piece of citizen activism I’ve seen anywhere in many years. This stemmed from FPN efforts I believe and Fred and Ron Bolin did a lot of the grunt work face to face with thousands of Nanaimoites recording their abhorrence at a manipulative arrogant City Hall.
A calm insightful review of the FPN, it successes and its failures would probably be of great value as the next municipal election approaches.
So spread the word about Nanaimo City Hall Blog. We’re actively seeking people to write for it. With your ok, I’d run this conversation as a post on the blog — word for word of course. OK?
On 15/04/2010 4:33 AM, Roger Kemble wrote:
Thems was thu daze . . .
“I cannot understand councillor Kipp’s vote for Sandstone and Cable Bay”!
Answer: on civvy street Jim runs a developer drafting service: he was also part time city emergency director. He needs the dough!
1999 I was on the planning and development committee. Jim proposed a small shopping centre on Hammond Bay @ Norasea: his proposal was rejected and the site remains fallow.
Despite appearances his mind is sprawl.
One other caution. Don’t put too much hope in FPN. Essentially FPN’ers are hypnotised by academia. Under the illusion a Ph.D spells wisdom in practice it is quite the opposite: the result of 10 years passive obedience . . . and believe me FPN’ers are passively obedient!
Had FPN demonstrated modicum of flexibly listening to the public we would not be wasting C$800 g’s annually on 101 Gordon Street. Had you been present, watching them genuflecting and standing to ovation, at the Heyward Sanders love in you would have burst your buttons . . .
Nanaimo is arrested in a 1950’s mind set and it will take more than a few old men sitting on all the King’s horses to bring us up to date.
I hope Nanaimo blog takes off but so long as it is bogged down in a few who have neither the courage or wisdom to make incisive comment, and a moderator whose sense of decorum gratuitously edits out real comment (Tucker is a burnt umber proboscis, and you know it) then . . . I dunno . . . I hope we find the courage to be real people . . .
. . . R :-))
Roger Kemble ma (planning) rca maibcARCHITECT/PLANNER ROGER KEMBLE 1005 – 1 Chapel Street NANAIMO BC V9R 5H1 http://members.shaw.ca/urbanismo/DTES/DTES.charrette.html email@example.com 250.616.8405 Home
Roger Kemble takes a couple of gratuitous shots at Jim Kipp,who is not a “developer draftsman” but is a design draftsman.As for having worked on the Norasea project,so what? He has a right to make a living and that includes his time working for the City.
I sense petulance in your reply! If councillor Kipp is, indeed, what you say let him speak for himself.
A private citizen is, of course, entitled to” a right to make a living”. But, and this is a big but, that does not ” include(s) his time working for the City.” A councillor has privileges and with them comes responsibilities: that latter has been demonstrably lacking in the last decades.
Sprawl is a critical issue: councillors who voted to eliminate the UCB, aided and abetted by a clearly incompetent director of planning, eager to curry favour, are neglecting their mandate.
Councillor Pattje is an outstanding exception, voting against, and for that I commend him! Patjje for mayor next round!
For the rest, mayor Ruttan is decent pleasant, yet ineffectual, fellow, they have been there far too long and have grown arrogant and detached: as well, indeed, incapable of understanding contemporary urbanism.
For decades self righteous do gooders have strutted and posed protesting “sprawl” while living in sprawl!
For decades self righteous do gooders have strutted and posed protesting “the decay of downtown” while never visiting downtown! Certainly not living downtown
Self righteous do gooders have strutted and posed “decrying global warming”: yet changing their life style not on iota to support their empty words!
These are petulant immature people incapable of acting responsibly . . . and maybe you Mr. Schulstad, sir, you are one of them . . . SHAME!
Mr.Kemble.I did not refer to Mr.Kipp’s current position as a City Councilor but rather his former contract position as the City’s emergency coordinator.As far as being petulant and immature,my wife thanks you because it confirms her long-standing belief.
What is the url for Nanaimo blog you refer to? I use http://www.nanaimoblog.com as a url leading to http://www.nanaimo-info-blog.com.
I think Roger’s referring to this blog: https://nanaimocityhall.wordpress.com
I dunno were this fits but it’s important . . .
Let me throw this out for our thoughtful, local blog-ista’s consideration.
This is, yet, another example of the administration’s, elected and staff, complete lack of comprehension of what makes a city tick.
LANE-WAY HOUSING: carriage houses or ancillary cottages.
Carriage houses were first proposed by DPN’s Planning and Design Committee as a means to increase the downtown bowl pop to 12,000: a reasonable increase of some 8,000+/- over 15 years.
Vancouver has them.
DNP convened a public forum at NAG some months ago.
A city staffer opened, explained existing granny suits rules: a point already known: all that is necessary is to do the paper work and pay the fee! Ergo why the meeting . . . so . . .
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss something completely new: lane-way housing.
That did not happen!
Instead we were regaled by a mortgage broker with what the staffer already told us a few minutes prior: with the difference . . . the broker was looking for sales!
What came of that?
Well we have something: to wit, height 14 feet making a second storey impossible, 750 sq. ft. +/- gross area which pretty well cuts out a livable unit and, and this is unforgivable, an lane way may only be built provided an existing granny suite be removed. Totally at odds to the purpose of a mortgage helping eco-density!
Indeed, how many mortgage helping, eco-density, inexpensive additions to our housing typology have been built to date? That was two years ago. Not many!
It’s really no big deal. There are a few locations in the city where this form of “eco-density, mortgage helper” is possible: the old town (were some are grandfathered), the south end and the Brechin area. Anywhere there is a lane or corner lot, of course!
In other words the whole concept of eco-density is thoughtlessly miss understood. Period. And why?
Looking at all this one has to seriously wonder what is going on in the minds of those nine nice little, well-intended yet clueless, people who have been chattering for decades, most Monday evenings, around that pretensious over expensive VICC light well.
Oh dear . . . not a very encouraging prospect eh!
But what do I know?
I never tire of recounting that when Anne McAfee, former co-director of planning City of Vancouver was here to do a presentation, as part of the 10 Year OCP review, on infill densification successes in Vancouver neighbourhoods, she pointed out how important it was the City Councillors participated in the process, attended neighbourhood meetings and engaged directly with neighbourhood folk and explain what the city was trying to do and what benefits it would bring to their neighbourhoods. She scanned the room and asked if there were any Nanaimo City Councillors present. There weren’t. Planner Tucker looked crimson.