Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Michael's Musing

The Council Clique
The first full meeting of the new Council happened on Dec 7

My brief impressions of that meeting: The themes of the meeting were Real Estate and surprises. The big item was a request from the Loaves & Fishes food bank for support buying a new, more efficient warehouse. The council debated the merits of charities owning buildings, judged it a good idea, but questioned sharply the rush to close this one good deal. Councillor Hong preferred the idea of an ongoing grant but the majority  passed a resolution to give a lump sum of about a 1/4 million. 

Councillor Hong suggested that a new distribution truck could be donated by a local dealership. Everyone pitched in ideas pot luck style. Weary taxpayers should be pleased with this Council as they were also being fiscally responsible. Billy Yoachim led the charge by asking about moving the money for the food bank from another budget line, rather than spending  any new money. Kipp asked about seeing all the years big requests at once rather than piecemeal. Fuller, Bestwick and Kipp had a conversation about getting the money from the housing fund. Kipp asks if we should raise the ten year old levy on developments, currently sitting at a $1000 dollars per door.  

 Also there was talk of other Real Estate deals. The convention center's fate, strata housing, corporate sponsorships and the best way to earthquake proof the Cranberry Boys and Girls Club. In all cases, the new Councillors seemed concerned with not wasting money and ready to send for more information. Already there was concern about a shortage of information. The second main theme I noticed in the meeting was surprises! Councillors Bestwick, Thorpe and Fuller seemed surprised at Mayor Mckay's proposal for a more involved Acting Mayor system. Mayor Mckay for his part seemed surprised at all the scepticism. Defeated. The new horseshoe table worked well but was obviously not field tested before the big day. Councillor Bestwick was having trouble under the spot lights. he was shielding his eyes and complained that he couldn't see the display screen or the presenters very well. Also a surprise was the absence of a new Council member Wendy Pratt. No surprise the meeting went discreetly in camera before the night was over. 

Everyone went to the School Board reception across the hall as a City Council after party. Yay! after parties! The next meeting will have a planning flavour as they are reviewing Official Community Plans and such. 

allvoices

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