The June 16 COW

The following was just sent to Mayor and Council.  This process achieves the end of forcing me to think about what is on the agenda, what I think about it (if I do) and it gets it off my chest. I do not comment on items about which I do not have an opinion and Council can take it as it will, but I suspect that if more citizens were to do the same, even if only on one item in which they are interested, we might get different traction than in trying to catch them at the meetings (which is perhaps even more important for the tv viewers, but does come perilously close to being too late).  Perhaps if we can reason with them ahead of time and then drive the issue home as a delegation at the meeting we might have better luck than we have been having in getting responsible decisions.  All this depends in the longer run in getting a Council which will demand that agendas be available a week to ten days in advance so that both we and Council have time for due consideration and diligence.  Think about how you might let Council know your wishes and reasons before the meetings take place.  Any ideas??


Mayor Ruttan and Councillors:
I offer the following comments regarding items on the June 16 COW agenda for your consideration:

6(a) The 2013 Annual Municipal Report: There has been insufficient time for a careful review and as this document is backward rather than forward looking and I have no official role to play in its adoption, I will examine it at my leisure.
I note, however, that the SOFI document has not been released simultaneously, and even though another two weeks is allowed, I find it hard to think of a reason for this delay and further note that the City of Vancouver and others have not waited for the clock to run out.

8(a) Sponsorship Policy: I look forward to this long overdue policy report which can perhaps convert at least some tax costs into sponsorship revenue. I and I believe I am not alone, would appreciate being informed when the video of the Niagara Falls FCM panel on this topic in which Councillor McKay took part in is available on line.

8(b) Management of Community Performing Arts Centre: We have the facility. It might as well be used, but under no circumstance should additional City Funds be allocated to it.

8(c) 2014 Community Service Grant to NOCA for the construction of community book shelves: I ask you to reject this grant of $775 on the grounds that it is essentially robbing whatever communities are to be served by these shelves (the number and location of these shelves is unspecified) of the incentive to organize and fund such low cost projects for themselves and thus to take responsibility for their initiation and maintenance. I believe that there are one or two such facilities which have been undertaken by communities or by members of the community which have been operative for some time without City funding. This should continue. There are not many projects which a community can easily afford to undertake for themselves, but if such a facility is desired, this is one. I remind you of the old saw about giving a man a fish, vs teaching him to fish.

12(a) Regarding Council’s decision to cancel the broadcast of the Leadercast event:
In an entry entitled “Conscience and Contracts: Whose Conscience, Whose Contracts?,
I wrote previously regarding what I consider to be Councils’ ill thought out capitulation to an antidemocratic idea in cancelling the Leadercast program on May 5 and wish to second the delegations request that the motion and policy which were adopted at that meeting be rescinded, albeit with deference to good intentions.
I also would like to know the cost to the City of this decision to date and any estimates of possible final damages/reparations.