Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nanaimo Councilor George Anderson - Prepared??

Claims 'Age Discrimination' at City Hall?
What exactly does that mean???

The above screen grab from an article in the Nanaimo Bulletin reminded me of a certain youthful politician clad in body hugging wetsuit, jet skiing up onto the beach in Pentiction. Councilor George Anderson does seem skilled in 'getting some ink' at the Nanaimo News Bulletin and kudos to his pr team for keeping their guy front and centre in an election year.

In the article this photo came from, Councilor George Anderson was complaining about something he called 'age discrimination' at city hall. In the article Anderson commented that the mayor had questioned his ability to balance school, civic and regional affairs simultaneously when he didn't have the training. He points to this to support his claim of age discrimination and says the same comments would not be made of an older councilor.

I am not sure what age would have to do with it at all, but it certainly seems that juggling his school with his civic duties is proving a challenge which other councilors are not facing. Attending the Special Committee of the Whole budget review meetings city staff have been putting on every Wednesday morning for the past several months seems to be something he is unable to accommodate. I doubt if Councilor George Anderson has attended two full meetings since these in-depth, two hour meetings have been put on, which are designed to give Councillors a much deeper understanding of the fiscal affairs of the city in relation to services being provided. It would be hoped this will result in councilors with enough personal understanding of the city's finances and not having to simply rely on staff for their 'opinion'.

$30,000 - 'Is Not A Lot of Money'

You may recall when council decided to blow off $200,000 on the derelict old theatre on Victoria Rd. the engineer was recommending increasing the budget by $30,000 to cover contingencies (a practice only tax dollar spenders would approve) during the debate on the matter Councilor Anderson said he did not feel $30,000 was a lot of money. Perhaps if he attended the budget review meetings he may have a different opinion, or perhaps he really doesn't have trouble spending 'only' $30,000.

Backdoor tactic an affront to democracy

Whether you support the WTE proposal at Duke Point or not, the method by which Anderson tried to do an end run around taxpayers who want some facts before slamming the door is far from admirable. Age has nothing to do with that opinion. You may recall Anderson tried unsuccessfully to get council to send a letter to Vancouver saying we weren't interested in a WTE plant at Duke Point. I take no issue with his opinion or trying to get council to support his motion, however I do take great exception with the underhanded way in which he tried sliding it by the rest of us.

The nature of his motion was not published on the Council agenda, which is made public the Thursday before a Monday night meeting. Neither was the nature of his motion even published on the amended agendas that are not released online and only available at the night of the meeting. It would appear that a very deliberate attempt was made to completely blindside anyone who opposed his motion. The part of this little saga which puts it over the top, is the fact that the gallery was loaded with people who supported his motion, who clearly knew what he intended to do. Age discrimination has nothing to do with bristling at such sleazy political attempts to deny the opposition a fair voice. If that is the younger, progressive approach to democracy, it stinks just as badly as the way the old boys club gets things done.

Wants To Spend $175,000 On More Buses

Again, Mr. Anderson managed to grab some front page ink at the Bulletin, recently with his claimed attempt to increase money going to bus transportation by $175,000. The article left a few questions hanging, I asked Mr. Anderson to clarify, which he has chosen to ignore.

It turns out, that perhaps after grabbing the headlines, he realized his motion was a non-starter as he withdrew it at the RDN meeting. A few things that didn't add up for me was the fact he seemed to be saying that $175,000 would fund 5,000 bus hours. He also said the funds would come from the RDN and BC Transit. However, in the same article he points to the fact that "$175,000 is not even close to one per cent in taxes", a comment that left me scratching my head. Is this another example of $175,000 isn't a lot of money because it is no where near a 1% tax increase?

Mr. Anderson doesn't seem to realize that when you add up a bunch of increases that 'are not even close to 'one per cent in taxes', pretty soon you have a one per cent tax increase. Perhaps attending the two hour budget review meetings would give Councilor George Anderson a better appreciation of things fiscal.

Age discrimination? Hardly. A cavalier approach to spending your tax dollars, and an apparent disregard for democracy, combined with poorly thought out motions, are all questionable qualities that have absolutely nothing to do with age. Sadly, on the current city council Anderson has company.



  1. Mr. Anderson's age has nothing to do with nothing. His performance is the only thing I would judge him on, and on that alone he is just one of five members of council I hope are not re-elected this fall. I have to say I am a little disappointed....not surprised just disappointed.

  2. Bingo! You hit all the squares! Unfortunately Councilor 'point-of-order' has filled in numerous other squares- free of charge!

    This has nothing to do with age.. it is about intelligence, experience and common sense!

  3. Come November Anderson is out!

    He should not bother receiving any more PR and physical appearance help, because he won't need it after the election.

    And to think Anderson says in the papers people have been asking him to run for Mayor! I don't think those in the loony bin can vote, can they George?


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