Saturday, 22 November 2014

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive - 2014




GREAT NANAIMO TOY DRIVE DROP-OFF & REGISTRATION 

Drop off locations are now accepting toys and gifts and cash of course, for this years Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.  Some loactions include:
  • Woodgrove Centre by the Food Court
  • Saveon foods - at the cash registers
  • Country Club Mall inside the main entrance
  • Nanaimo North Town Centre by London Drugs
  • Coastal Community Credit Unions
  • Port Theatre
  • Nanaimo Fire Halls Numbers 1,2,3 & 4
  • Budget Storage

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

There is a big change in registration this year. New locations and times. The Madill building will not be used this year.
Please check the registration page for all updates.


allvoices

Council Seating Change - $4,000

One of the recommendations that came out of the Goverance Steering Committee report was by changing the configuration of the seating in Shaw Auditorium it would improve how city council conducts their meetings.

This is the same committee which cost taxpayers about $100,000 to hire consultants to tell the Mayor and City Manager how to interpret Roberts Rules of Order and the Community Charter.

Originally it was estimated to cost $8,000 for the changes, but staff are saying it can be completed internally for $4,000. I presume this is the material cost and the labour cost associated is not being counted as the staff are already on the payroll.

If I understand this project was already approved by this council and this is just a report on the progress of the work to be completed in Dec. 2014.

Note: I assume that Nanaimo City Council are not the only users of Shaw Auditorium, so I wonder how this configuration works to accommodate other users of the auditorium? It appears to greatly reduce the usable floor area in front of the existing council desks.

allvoices

Document Shredding Nov. 22/14


4th Annual document shredding
Saturday November 22, 2014
Woodgrove Saveon Foods 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Donation of $10 - Proceeds to Crimestoppers

allvoices

NANAIMO ARTS & CULTURE by Dan Appell

Shalema Gantt

EXPOSURE 
a personal view of arts and culture in Nanaimo by Dan Appell

I’m hoping this will become a series of articles dealing with the persons and conditions creating cultural experience in Nanaimo. It should give you a bit of a warning about who and what is about to happen, and some insight into what it takes to produce art and cultural events in this city.

My first article is focusing on the Nanaimo African Heritage Society (NAHS) and their upcoming plans for February’s Black History Month.

The African Heritage Society is in its 14th year. It was founded and still directed by Shalema Gantt. The purpose for her society is threefold; to improve our understanding of the contributions black people have made to the people of the West coast, to promote black american and African culture, and bridge the cultural divide between black people and the rest of the world. For Shalema, the focus of these three rather large tasks is February and Black History Month.

For most of the year, Shalema, is involved in one way or another, organizing events for Black History Month. Her efforts become concentrated from now until the end of February. For the next three months, Shalema’s role will alternate between producer, director, editor, salesperson, showman, performer, designer, hostess and whatever else it takes to get this thing done. And each day, seven days a week she is all of these things.

By the end of February, Shalema will have created an Opening Ceremony, a Gospel Song Festival, a Hip-Hop rave, a concert tribute to Bob Marley and a Closing Gala. Plus, she will have produced a small book that informs us about some aspect of black culture, and all the printed material to promote these events. When its over she will have left a small trace of appreciation for the achievements of Black people in this community.

What Shalema does is very difficult, stressful, and exhausting. She has given herself a huge task and everyday she rises to fulfill it.

Without Shalema Gantt its safe to say that Black History Month would come and go without much notice. We would lose an opportunity to be entertained and informed from a perspective that is not our own. Would this matter? Are Shalema’s efforts worth it? All I can tell you, and this is all I’ve ever learned; the more we know and care and understand about other people, the better we become. This is the purpose of culture, and the fundamental belief of all of us involved in cultural endeavours; all of our lives are worth improving.

allvoices

Friday, 21 November 2014

BRENNAN INVESTIGATION CALLED FOR


Follows is a suggested letter to be sent to the Chief Electoral Officer if you feel that Councillor Brennan gained an unfair advantage during the election by the misuse of social media on election day.

If the electoral officer hears from enough concerned Nanaimo voters, he will have to demonstrate his support of the law about using social media on election day by taking some appropriate action.

If using social media on election day is not considered to have the potential for influencing the vote, then the rule should be struck down, and all candidates can use social media on election day.

If however, it is deemed to give those using social media an advantage, then clearly Mrs. Brennan's actions should bear consequence.

The following letter can be copy and pasted, altered to suit your thoughts and emailed to Mr. Archer at electionsbc@elections.bc.ca.

Be sure to sign the letter giving your name and address.


Keith Archer, Ph.D.
Chief Electoral Officer
PO Box 9275 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9J6
By Email: electionsbc@elections.bc.ca

Dear Sir:

Pursuant to Section 75 of the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, I respectfully request a formal investigation into the unlawful actions on general voting day by Mrs. Diane Brennan, candidate in the 2014 Nanaimo municipal election.

Of the eight candidates declared elected, Mrs. Brennan received the lowest number of votes. She was elected by a margin of 100 votes more than the candidate with the next highest number of votes. She received 4.73% of the total vote compared to the next candidate with 4.65% -- a difference of only 0.08 percentage points.

It is my belief, that her deliberate unlawful actions in the election, gave her an unfair advantage. Without the advantage Mrs. Brennan would have failed to secure sufficient votes to be elected on November 15, 2014.

As we have seen at the Federal Level, when the integrity of our democracy is at risk, severe punishment is appropriate. The unlawful advertising was deliberate, campaign oriented, calculated to reach electors at the most opportune times at voting places, and conducted with demonstrable contempt for the rules.

allvoices

Nanaimo Gold Medal Lawn Bowlers



 Help send Nanaimo Gold Medalists to New Zealand

National Gold Medalists, Randy Fred and Dave Ruckman, both local, blind lawn bowlers, have qualified to compete at the World Championships for Blind Bowlers at New Zealand in February 2015.   Randy has lived without vision all his adult life; Dave went blind over a 3 day period a few years ago.   

Randy and Dave are athletes who have been outstanding achievers on lawn bowling greens and throughout their ‘lives with and without vision’.  They have deservedly become Canadian representatives on the world stage for athletes with a disability.  Citizens nationwide deserve to know about the amazing achievements of these blind gold medalists because they will be representing Canada and Canada is YOU and ME!   

By rule, blind competitors must be accompanied by Directors/Coaches.  A fundraising committee has committed to raising $20,000 to enable these outstanding athletes to fulfill an opportunity of a lifetime and compete internationally.  The Nanaimo Lawn Bowling Club has recently launched a ‘crowd sourcing’ campaign https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3tVHb/  to garner sufficient funds to send Dave and Randy (and their Directors) on this Journey.

allvoices

$25,000 VICC Study Recommended

Staff Recommends Spending $25,000 
Market Feasibility Study Update For VICC

One item on the Nov. 24th City Council meeting that got my attention was a staff recommendation to put out an RFP to complete a partial update of the 2004 Market Feasibility Study for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Yes, you read that right .............. spend $25,000 for a partial update of a ten year old study!!! Expletive ... deleted!!

HERE'S A SUGGESTION ..........

Why consider spending 25 grand partially updating a ten year old study, when you can just look at the results since the VICC opened and draw some pretty basic conclusions of our own. Have five respected business people in our community evaluate the performance of the centre and follow their recommendations for the future of this tax-sucking vortex!

During the recent election campaign I suggested putting this building on the open market to see what the private sector thinks the building is worth, and what they would do with it. If the offered price would not get us out from under the outstanding debt, estimated at about $22 million, then we would have to approach divesting ourselves of this liability with some creativity, but it is clear the status quo is pure folly. An estimated five million tax dollars are being burned every year maintaining the status quo on this monumental blunder, poorly conceived and poorly administered by previous councils and administrations.

PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHY BUREAUCRATS SHOULDN'T 'DO BUSINESS'

This building which was pitched to the public as costing $42 million (including a downtown hotel) cost taxpayers at least $72 million as a result of complete ineptness on the part of city staff of the day charged with overseeing this monumental project, which was clearly well beyond their ability to deliver.

Just a few examples of complete ineptness on the part of the city manager of the day to manage such a project:
  • project was taken to a public referendum with a $42 million price tag attached which was to include the convention centre and a new hotel, final project cost at least $72 million and did not include the hotel
  • project manager was paid $3 million to oversee the project including the construction of the hotel, was paid with no mechanism for performance guarantee
  • performance bond was returned even though project was not complete
Can you imagine a project manager in the private sector responsible for a $42 million project, coming in at $72 million and being allowed to keep their job? Then, can you imagine the same manager being given a $500,000 severance package when they wanted to leave the company?

There is a world of difference between the private and public sector, and consequence for performance is one of them.

BTW does anyone know what's up with a certain city management staffer who might have been connected to the Leadercast thingy that had some connection to this building and the management of same?








allvoices

Operation Red Nose Nanaimo - 2014


What is Operation Red Nose?
 
Operation Red Nose is an educational campaign and a free service for you, your co-workers, friends and family which provides a safe alternative to drinking and driving. The service is provided free of charge, however, donations are very much appreciated and gratefully received. Operation Red Nose is a confidential service, and is available to any person operating a motor vehicle who does not wish to drive their car for any reason. A person does not have to be drinking to use this service. However, Operation Red Nose is NOT a taxi service. It is only available to people AND their vehicles to the destination of their choice within each service area.

Operation Red Nose Nanaimo is now in its 18th year helping to create safer communities by providing an alternative to drinking and driving during the holiday season. Proceeds from this event will support local athletes and youth through programs and services such as the Don Long Bursary, XploreSportZ, Active Star and PacificSport Youth Leadership.
 
How can you help?
 
In 2012, nearly 300 volunteers were able to get over 1,500 people home safely over the campaign which provided 11 operational evening from late November through New Year’s Eve night. Operation Red Nose could not happen without our dedicated volunteers and the numbers indicate that there is a need for this service in our community. The larger numbers of Red Nose volunteers means that we can ensure we get even more of our neighbours home this year.

We are seeking volunteers for various positions and for all operational evenings. Please visit our Become a Volunteer Page for more information and to join us today.

We also look for support from local businesses. Together we can make a difference. Visit our Become a Corporate Sponsor Page for more information.

Or please contact our Operation Red Nose Coordinator, Jeanne Seney at nanaimo@operationrednose.com or 250-740-6572 .

What areas does Operation Red Nose Nanaimo Service?

 
Operation Red Nose Nanaimo operates from Lantzville in the north to Ladysmith in the south.

What are the Operation Dates for 2014?
 
Operation Red Nose accepts calls for services between 9:00pm and 3:00am on the following dates highlighted on the calendar below. 
 
 

allvoices

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Morgan Carey Pitches The Dragons

Real Estate Webmasters CEO
In The Dragons' Den

Local high-tech website design and marketing company founder, Morgan Carey appeared before CBC's Dragons in the den looking to sell a stake in his company. The episode was aired on Nov. 19 and Morgan is the final pitch of the night.

Morgan explained his company was not in need of cash but was looking for the connections and contacts the Dragons have to drive his company from currently employing 100 people to employing 1000 people in the next five years.

Morgan was offering a 4% share in his company for $2 million, Jim Treliving offered the $2 million but for a 10% stake, Morgan countered and they came to an agreement of 5%, meaning the company is considered to have a $40 million evaluation.

Morgan recently moved his company into the old Free Press building after a $2 million reno, which is also the site of his restaurant REWsters ........   no, that is not a typo it shouldn't be ROOsters even though Morgan does have much to crow about.

This is exactly the type of business Nanaimo should be bending over backwards to attract as it provides good paying, family supporting jobs attracting young, creative and vibrant people to our city. It is also a business which brings new money into the community as most of their clients are from 'away'.

Click HERE to watch Morgan in the 'den'. This links to the entire episode and Morgan appears at the end.


allvoices

Nanaimo City Council Meeting 11/24/14


nanaimo-info-blog.com

  Nanaimo City Council Meeting

Monday Nov.24 , 2014
7:00 PM Shaw Auditorium
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

        Democracy Is Too Important To Leave To The Politicians
        Do Your Civic Duty By Getting Informed and Getting Involved

        If you say: " I'm too busy just trying to keep it together to get involved, consider that perhaps, if you were more involved you might not be having so much trouble keeping it together "!

        You can view this Council Meeting Agenda here - - -  Agenda .

        If you can't attend council meetings in person (preferred) you can watch regular council meetings on Shaw cable channel #4. You can also watch the meetings live on the city website using this link. 

        The regular city council meetings are the only ones broadcast live on either Shaw Cable or streaming video from the city website. The Committee of the Whole meetings, while not broadcast live are recorded and can be viewed on the city website HERE.


         Some Council Decisions You Might Want To Think About

        The city just agreed to pay an outside firm nearly $25,000 to review the city website's content and set up a navigation structure. Our IT head gets paid about $150,000 a year and IT staff are paid at least $37.00/hr. and yet they can't properly set up the city website?

        The city paid a consulting firm $75,000 for the purpose of reviewing and developing governance-related policy, structures and processes. (In other words to tell the city manager and mayor how to do their jobs). A recommendation that came out of this report was the hiring of Alison Habkirk (an associate of Jerry Berry) at a cost of $8500, again to tell city management and council how to do their jobs.
         
        Council decided to spend $120,000 to install a public toilet at Diana Krall Plaza.

        Council decided to spend at least $200,000 on the old theatre on Victoria Rd. when a $20,000 solution would have done, until it is decided what is to be done with the building long term. Two engineers have raised questions about the seismic standard of the building, but staff seem content to ignore the concern.  

        By deciding to bring downtown parking enforcement 'in-house' which was supposed to save tax dollars, we are now going to lose $140,000 in the first year.

        We are paying over $60,000/yr. for downtown parking attendants (meter maids).

        We gave a $300,000 tax exemption to the bar operating in the old train station. This exemption was originally thought to apply to the area of the train station used as a train station and not the area operating as a pub.   

        Council decided to spend $170,000 on an electric Zamboni, when a propane fueled one costs $80,000 and does the same job.

        Council decided to spend thousands of dollars to implement a policy of banning the sale of bottled water at civic facilities.

        Council decided to add another $700,000 to the $844,000,000 financial plan to pay for a communications person (spin doctor), do you think that is a good use of YOUR tax dollar??

        Two years ago they decided to spend $16,000,000.00 on a new staff office, an amount equal to YOUR tax increase for 5 years! 





        allvoices

        MESSAGE TO COUNCIL FROM THIS ELECTION

        LARGE NUMBERS OF RESIDENTS ARE TAX FATIGUED

        The whole focus of my recent election campaign (many will tell you this is the flaw) was focused purely on the levels of taxation and city spending the community can actually afford. I was advised that my myopic focus would likely not get me enough broad support to win a seat but the 5658 people that did vote for me were only voting for one thing ........... city spending restraint. A platform which I feel could have provided 'elected' numbers had the message been presented using a larger promotion budget than I had at my disposal. Full page ads, with the same simple message could very well have translated into higher numbers at the polls. But considering a full page ad is in the $2,000 territory it was simply beyond the reach of my budget.

        During the campaign period I did not do a lot of the 'advised' vote-winning activities such as going here and there to different special interest groups putting together support from across the community. Granted this is a good vote-getting/buying strategy that has merit to get elected, but, frankly is just not my cup of tea. I am of the opinion that unless and until we are assured our basic infrastructure such as water, sewer, roads, sanitation and safety are fully funded and protected we can not keep throwing money out the window on vote-getting projects.

        That, however, is exactly what I expect to see as we begin to see which special interest groups have been elected. The IAFF union supported councillor to loose his seat came as quite a surprise but I will be interested to see which other candidates got the union-nod. I know that Councillors Bestwick and Yoachim were endorsed by CUPE via a postcard they mailed out during the election. The IAFF members were out in a force of eight to support their candidate (Ted Greves) at the Chamber of Commerce forum at the VICC during the election.

        The union 'special interest' is one I have some difficulty with when you consider the percentage of tax dollars that are consumed paying their wages and benefits at city hall. When you consider the wages and benefits to the RCMP (never shown as part of the wages and benefits on city reports) combined with union and exempt staff at city hall, that is where over 80% of your tax dollar now goes. If it weren't for the revenue from user fees (just another name for tax) the city wouldn't have enough money to fill the pothole in front of your house. Note, when I claim 80% of tax dollars I am referring to the revenue in the city budget coming from property taxes alone. This of course is not the entire city budget which is also funded with user fees, transfer payments, DCC's and reserves, the reference is purely to the revenue coming from taxes which is now in the $93,000,000 range.

        Put another way, with 745 FTEs employed by the city this means that less than 1% of the total population consumes 80% of the taxes paid by the rest of us. Sustainable? Affordable? City hall, and council will tell you it is.

        TO BE CLEAR

        This is not sour grapes on my part, nor am I claiming that "I" could have been elected by simply having a bigger budget. I am saying that with proper communication the 'fiscal restraint' message resonated with a lot of Nanaimo residents and that number could have been enlarged with more publicity.

        This council was not given a blank cheque to start throwing even more tax dollars onto the fire. Whether they have the backbone to start dealing with the out-of-control wages and benefits being supported by the rest of the community remains to be seen.


        My new byline:

        Jim Taylor .....  
        Nanaimo Councillor-in-waiting

        allvoices

        Wednesday, 19 November 2014

        DAILY CRITIQUE OF OWN ELECTION COVERAGE?


        The above cartoon appears in todays Nanaimo Daily News ( or Snooze as they are sometimes known).  I added a little colour to the screengrab I took of their version.

        Those purveyors of ad-delivery systems, and in the Bullies case, flyer delivery systems don't seem to be willing to provide any election news that hasn't been sponsored by a candidate. I don't expect them to give ink to every two bit council candidate (self included) that is merely trying to promote themselves. But when three or four days before the election they put some pablum on the front page identifying what they feel are 'election issues' and have provided zero coverage of those issues during the election campaign ......................... well, 'nuff said.

        Where was the coverage of the levels of taxation that 50% of residents surveyed said was already too high? What exactly is meant by a core review and why do we need one, and why didn't the incumbent have one? Why have we spent $2.5 million on the Colliery Dams ($1 million on wrong information) and still don't know what we are doing? Why the Leadercast cover-up? Why selling the old annex for $1?? Where does the Port Theatre expansion funding come from?

        That is just a short list from this pathetic blogger guy, who can't understand why the professional 'journalists' in this town can't seem to identify an issue, unless Mr. Cooper claims it is one.



        allvoices

        NANAIMO OPERATION RED NOSE SEASON

        Nanaimo operation red nose
        Call 250-755-6969
        9:00 pm - 3:00 am

        2014 Evenings

        Nov. 28, 29

        Dec. 5,6,12,13,19,20,26,27,31

        Visit their website for more information about sponsoring and promoting Operation Red Nose and how to volunteer with the program.

        Note: for the Nanaimo connection click on the above graphic or the link in the previous sentence, as typing www.OperationRedNose.com links to a French site. If you had a smattering of high school French you can figure it out, but my links go to the local info.

        allvoices

        Tuesday, 18 November 2014

        Mayor Elect Thinks $4,000 Trivial?



        Tamara Cunningham reports in the Nanaimo Bulletin that when questioned about personal expense spending Mayor elect Bill McKay is quoted as saying:

        “I think you are dealing with the trivial to be quite honest with you ... we have a $190 million budget and you are worrying about whether I spent $8,000 or $4,000, really?”

        This is the same Councillor McKay who eagerly offered $10,000 to the Zero Waste Conference organizers, even though they were not asking for city support. A cynic might think this generous offer of a mere ten thousand tax dollars was designed to gain political favour with the anti-WTE group in the city.

        allvoices

        Complaint Filed Against Councillor Brennan


        Chief Electoral Officer Asked To Investigate

        "Unlawful actions on general voting day"

        Nanaimo resident Dominic Jones has filed an official complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer asking for a formal investigation into the unlawful actions on general voting day by Mrs. Diane Brennan.

        Mr. Jones says he is of the steadfast belief based on attached evidence that without her deliberate unlawful actions in the election, Mrs. Brennan would have failed to secure sufficient votes to be elected on Nov. 15, 2014.

        Mr. Jones estimated that Mrs. Brennan's unlawful advertising on Twitter and Facebook had a total measurable potential reach of 4.304 people. The number being overwhelmingly material to the election result considering the slim margin by which she secured election.

        You may download a PDF copy of the entire complaint including screenshot evidence HERE.

        allvoices

        CLEVER WORD-PLAY

         REAL EYES .............. REALIZE ................. REAL LIES

        Stopped by local photo artist Sher Falls website and this pic and clever word-play caught my eye. You can see more of Falls work on her website or photostream.

        allvoices

        NANAIMO SANTA CLAUS PARADE NOV. 29


        NANAIMO LION'S CLUB SANTA CLAUS PARADE
        Saturday November 29 - 5:00 PM

        The Nanaimo Lion’s Club Santa Claus Parade is a long standing tradition in Nanaimo. This year marks the 20th year of the parade. Parade attendees who were children when the parade began are now grown up and returning with children of their own! Enjoy marching bands, brightly lit floats, animated mascots and the return of Santa Claus to Nanaimo.

         

        WANT TO BE A PART OF THE PARADE?


        Complete the Online Parade Application and return it today!  You can drop off or mail your completed entry to A10 Victoria Crescent, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5B8. You can return it by email to jane@dnbia.ca or fax it to 250-754-8108. There is no cost to enter the parade and your club, organization, business, band or musical group can win cash prizes!

        Best Overall wins the “Santa Award” and $300, Best Musical/Band entry, Best Business and Best Non-Profit entry are also eligible to win $200.  Please read the parade rules carefully. All floats must be lit as it is a 5pm parade. Be original, be environmentally sustainable, be fun!  If you have questions about float entries or the parade rules, please contact Lion Eric Anderson, Parade Chair at 250-753-5057.

        Deadline for entries is Friday, November 21st,2014.

        allvoices

        VIRUS CAUSED SEA STAR DEATHS



        "This very high number of sea stars in the Pacific Northwest leading up to this disease epidemic probably is what exacerbated the virus and made the switch between something relatively benign into something that was totally virulent," Hewson said.

        A Vancouver Sun article reports that scientists have isolated the cause of the massive die-off of sea stars in the Pacific Northwest. They are reporting an explosion in sea star numbers prior to the virus outbreak, which is commonly seen as a means of keeping populations in check.

        The article pointed out an interesting observation of how one action can affect another. The rise in the number of sea stars, led to a decline in the number of sea urchins (a delicacy for sea stars). The virus greatly reduced the number of sea stars which has resulted in a huge increase of sea urchins, who incidentally have an impact on giant kelp, which is their delicacy.

        allvoices

        Nanaimo Back On SUN News

        Ezra Levant
        Click image to view video

        Nanaimo made it back into a SUN News commentary by Ezra Levant. He offers a recap of the Leadercast debacle which brought Nanaimo some negative attention last summer and ties the event to our recent election.

        This should finally put this unpleasant chapter of the last council to rest. Except for some full disclosure as to what really happened at city hall which led to that ill-conceived motion bringing fury down on our heads.

        There is much speculation around little old Nanaimo, that this whole event had been orchestrated by some staff at city hall and the convention centre in an effort to make city council the fall-guy for what was an illegal action by city hall staff. The contortions city hall went through keeping Bestwicks' notion of motion under wraps just adds fuel to the fire as to what really happened.

        Since this event a senior staffer is noticeably absent these days and rumor has it they are on sick leave, the cause of the illness in some corners is suggested to be a case of Leadercast-itis!

        But then again, this is Nanaimo and there could be no basis for this bit of speculation/gossip.
        My new byline:

        Jim Taylor .....  
        Nanaimo Councillor-in-waiting

        allvoices

        Monday, 17 November 2014

        Not Returning As NRA Director

        After deciding to seek a seat on city council I resigned as a director and the President of the Nanaimo Ratepayers Association and tendered my resignation on Oct.16.

        Now, with the election out of the way, I had considered returning and seeking a spot on the board but after much consideration have decided I will not be returning to the board. I will however be remaining as a member and earnestly watch to see their evolving role in speaking up for the interests of Nanaimo Ratepayers (Taxpayers).

        As a co-founder of the Nanaimo Ratepayers Association one of the biggest things I hoped we could achieve was greater electorate awareness of just how those in power spend their tax dollars. It was never my goal to use the association as a personal election vehicle. A criticism I know some will make, however it is simply not true. Until about two weeks before finally announcing my bid for a seat on council I had NO intentions of actually seeking office, as I felt (and still do) feel I can effect more change through the role my website can play in keeping Councils' feet to the fire.

        Jim Taylor

        allvoices

        ONE LAST 'THANK YOU'

        Jim Taylor - Councillor-in-waiting
        THANK YOU TO ALL 5,658
         WHO HONORED ME WITH YOUR VOTE

        THAT WAS MORE HUMBLING 
        THAN I COULD HAVE IMAGINED

        Going into this election I had no idea how much support I could expect to have as I am not a 'joiner' nor am I a 'schmoozer' and my personal social circle is quite limited. It always has been, and that is just who I am.

        I knew I could hope for some support from those who are regular readers of my blog www.Nanaimo-Info-Blog.com but also realize that not all who read my blog are supporters but rather detractors wanting to see what that 'pain in the butt' was saying now!

        During the campaign I was getting positive results from most I spoke with and was encouraged and surprised at the level of name recognition I had, but still had no idea what number of votes that might translate into.

        On election night at Shaw auditorium, assembled with the other hopefuls I was of course disappointed to not win a council seat, yet also absolutely amazed to realize 5,658 Nanaimo voters had chosen to give me their support.

        Now when I stand before Council to make a presentation I can speak as one who has 'just about' as much support as many of them sitting there, whether that will mean anything to the usual polite tolerance shown to delegates remains to be seen. One strong indicator of this Councils' attitude toward public input, will be what they do with the Governance Steering report chaired by Councillor Greves.

        IMHO they should rip it up, and I would expect newly-elected Councillor Fuller to lead that charge, if a charge is needed!


        allvoices

        Nanaimo City Council Meetings 2014


        CURRENT COUNCIL HAS TWO MORE 'KICKS'

        A friend asked me the other day, if the current sitting council would be conducting any more city business, I hastily responded I didn't think so as I was sure now that we have a new council, they are the ones the electorate want making decisions for them. I was wrong, as the above calendar clearly shows.

        This sitting council has one more COW meeting (Nov. 17) and one more Council meeting (Nov. 24) before they vacate city office and the new council takes the reins.

        THINGS I WOULD WATCH FOR

        GOVERNANCE REVIEW COMMITTEE ...... this one piece of 'work' by the current council could effectively gag much of the public during open council sessions and is a dangerous piece of work put together by out-going Councillor Greves and his committee. It likely has strong support of city staff and particular city manager Mr. Swabey who has said on camera (not in-camera) that the public is present to observe and not participate.

        LOCK IN THE PORT THEATRE EXPANSION ....... to make sure Nanaimo taxpayers will have to honor whatever they chose to give the Port Theatre Society (just before the election) which was given at the Sept. 8 council meeting at which the society made a presentation but made no 'ask'. Call me a cycnic but during the election I read someplace that if I as a candidate were guilty of vote-buying I would be in BIG trouble.

        Seems that vote-buying is restricted to duly elected councillors only!
        My new byline:

        Jim Taylor .....  
        Nanaimo Councillor-in-waiting

        allvoices

        WINNING INCUMBENT ELECTION STRATEGY

        Well, talk about a shake-up at city hall, out with the old and in with the new, at least five new that is after the Nov. 15 civic election which saw voter turnout of 34% compared with the abysmal 27% of the 2011 election.

        We witnessed an interesting strategy by two of the incumbent members which got re-elected, and that strategy is to put on a cloak of invisibility and don't open your mouth unless you absolutely have to.

        A couple of other incumbents who did not adopt this strategy, lost their seats and one nearly lost theirs as well.

        As was predictable, the local presstitutes did their best to keep the fact an election was underway a big secret with their complete lack of reporting.


        My new byline:

        Jim Taylor .....  
        Nanaimo Councillor-in-waiting

        allvoices

        HERE'S A THOUGHT FOR ELECTION REFORM


        INCREASE NANAIMO CITY COUNCIL BY FOUR 

        Well, here I sit at 2:00 am and after only four hours sleep I found myself still doing the Monday morning quarterback routine about our recent civic election. Of course my perspective this time around is different than from years past and reflecting on the results will provide fodder for several upcoming articles on this site. But this is the first idea to drift through my thinker, as sleep is escaping me at the moment.

        Of course I realize this thought would not have crossed my noodle, if I hadn't run in this election and come in 12th.

        That said, would the city of Nanaimo be better served if we did in fact have 12 councillors, arguably 12 heads should be better than 8 don't you think? Would 12 councillors have given us the two year long running Colliery Dam saga? The $16 million (built without a tender) shiny new office? The $120,000 Diana Krall loo?

        COST OF FOUR MORE COUNCILLORS

        I am usually the last one advocating spending more money at city hall, but as I am known to do, I did crunch a few numbers, and think we could find the money and in fact it would be better invested in the four new Councillors.

        If each councilor costs $35,000/yr. the total cost for the four new councilors would be a whopping $140,000, which if you think about it has only bought us one spin doctor recently.

        So the question to consider ---- would Nanaimo be better served with four new councillors or one spin doctor who works to keep the councillors from putting their feet in their mouths?

        Of course, the other option would be to not elect four more councilors, and fire the spin doctor and save taxpayers $140,000.

        My new byline:

        Jim Taylor .....  
        Nanaimo Councillor-in-waiting

        allvoices

        Sunday, 16 November 2014

        COW Meeting November 17, 2014


        Committee of the Whole Meeting
        Monday, Nov.17, 2014
        4:30 PM Shaw Auditorium
        Vancouver Island Conference Centre
        • Loves and Fishes Grant Request
        • RFP Proposal - Animal Control
        • College Park Water Supply Main Capacity Upgrade
        • Appointments to the Design Advisory Panel

           Democracy Is Too Important To Leave To The Politicians
          Do Your Civic Duty By Getting Informed and Getting Involved

          If you say: " I'm too busy just trying to keep it together to get involved, consider that perhaps, if you were more involved you might not be having so much trouble keeping it together "!

          You can view this Council Meeting Agenda here - - -  Agenda .

          If you can't attend council meetings in person (preferred) you can watch regular council meetings on Shaw cable channel #4. You can also watch the meetings live on the city website using this link. 

          The regular city council meetings are the only ones broadcast live on either Shaw Cable or streaming video from the city website. The Committee of the Whole meetings, while not broadcast live are recorded and can be viewed on the city website HERE.


           Some Council Decisions You Might Want To Think About

          The city just agreed to pay an outside firm nearly $25,000 to review the city website's content and set up a navigation structure. Our IT head gets paid about $150,000 a year and IT staff are paid at least $37.00/hr. and yet they can't properly set up the city website?

          The city paid a consulting firm $75,000 for the purpose of reviewing and developing governance-related policy, structures and processes. (In other words to tell the city manager and mayor how to do their jobs). A recommendation that came out of this report was the hiring of Alison Habkirk (an associate of Jerry Berry) at a cost of $8500, again to tell city management and council how to do their jobs.

           
           Council decided to spend $120,000 to install a public toilet at Diana Krall Plaza.

          Council decided to spend at least $200,000 on the old theatre on Victoria Rd. when a $20,000 solution would have done, until it is decided what is to be done with the building long term. Two engineers have raised questions about the seismic standard of the building, but staff seem content to ignore the concern.  

          By deciding to bring downtown parking enforcement 'in-house' which was supposed to save tax dollars, we are now going to lose $140,000 in the first year.

          We are paying over $60,000/yr. for downtown parking attendants (meter maids).

          We gave a $300,000 tax exemption to the bar operating in the old train station. This exemption was originally thought to apply to the area of the train station used as a train station and not the area operating as a pub.   

          Council decided to spend $170,000 on an electric Zamboni, when a propane fueled one costs $80,000 and does the same job.

          Council decided to spend thousands of dollars to implement a policy of banning the sale of bottled water at civic facilities.

          Council decided to add another $700,000 to the $844,000,000 financial plan to pay for a communications person (spin doctor), do you think that is a good use of YOUR tax dollar??

          Two years ago they decided to spend $16,000,000.00 on a new staff office, an amount equal to YOUR tax increase for 5 years! 





          allvoices

          FEWER REGISTERED VOTERS IN 2014?


          64,057 REGISTERED VOTERS IN 2011

          62,673 REGISTERED VOTERS IN 2014

          THAT MEANS THERE WERE 1384 FEWER VOTERS THIS TIME AROUND. DOES THAT MEAN THAT MANY PEOPLE HAVE LEFT NANAIMO OR THAT FEWER RESIDENTS ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE OR ??????????

          allvoices

          Three Incumbents Not Returning!

          Mayor JOHN RUTTAN

          Councillor TED GREVES
          Councillor FRED PATTJE

          I will leave it to all the armchair quarterbacks to divine the reasons this last civic election has seen these three incumbents un-seated.

          Former Mayor John Ruttan only managed to garner 3212 votes compared to Bill McKays' 6400 votes. While Councillor Ted Greves managed only  4879 votes and Councillor Pattje managed 6447 votes. The minimum required votes to earn a seat on council was 6548.

          Clearly the community is not satisfied with the performance of this city council over the past three years.

          In addition incumbents Diana Johnstone and George Anderson chose not to seek re-election in this civic election.

          allvoices