Friday, April 15, 2016

Nanaimo City Council Meeting - April 18/16




Regular City Council
Mon., Apr. 18/16
7:00 PM
SHAW Auditorium





Some Agenda Highlights:
  • Poet Laureate, Ms Naomi Beth Wakan to read a poem as part of the 2016 Mayor's City Poetry Challenge
  • Port Theatre Society Community Performing Arts Centre Project, delegations from Mr. Bruce Halliday GM Port Theatre, Dr. David Witty VIU, Mr. Tim McGrath, Ms Patricia Grand, Mr. Kim Smythe
  • Council Spending and Amenities Policy - Acting Mayor Compensation, council will revisit the issue of compensation for the Acting Mayor's stipend
  • DVP 355 Nicol Street
  • DVP 6430 Portsmouth Rd.
  • Rezoning Application 3150 Mexicana Rd.
  • Rezoning Application 1099 Bruce Ave.
  • Regional Parks and Trails Service Area Amendment Bylaw
  • Proposed Council Portfolios Policy
  • Garner Crescent & Emery Way Utility Upgrades Tender, delegations from Mr. Fred Taylor, Mrs. Rosemary Taylor
  • Millstone Sanitary Trunk Sewer Upgrades Tender
  • After hours support and security services contract award
  • Bylaws (to provide authorization to collect a parcel tax) be adopted: delegations from Ms Denise Bryce, Mr. Tim McGrath 

 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.


As this is a new council with 5 new members it is important to note that the following decisions were not made by this council. I will leave it posted for a time as a reminder of the type of spending that council is capable of when the electorate isn't paying attention. 
If this new council makes questionable spending decisions as we go forward (and I am sure they will) It would be my intent to document them here and replace the following list with a 'new' list. Hopefully, it will be a very short list.

FIRST THING TO MAKE THE LIST:

In spite of promises to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, the first thing this council has done is approve a 6% increase in wages for CUPE employees over the next 3 years. This is well above the settlements the province is signing with other unions.

SECOND THING TO MAKE THE LIST:

On Feb. 2/15  a resolution of Council was passed with a 7:1 vote which was giving staff instructions with regards the Colliery Dams. This motion was ignored by City staff and this Council has shown no desire to see their wishes were carried out by City staff. As a precedent this is likely as disturbing as any fiscal decisions made by council. It goes to the heart of our whole democratic system.

ANOTHER THING TO MAKE THE LIST: ( 4-man fire engines)

Before a core review has been done, and before a new emergency response plan is put in place, Council authorized the use of 4 - man fire engines. This is in spite of their own resolution to do nothing to change service levels until after the core review is complete.

ANOTHER THING TO MAKE THE LIST; (automated garbage trucks)

Again, before a core review, council has authorized the implementation of automated garbage trucks in the city. The first ones will cover 1/3 of Nanaimo. This is in spite of the fact that a core review could bring forth recommendations of alternatives.

Some Previous 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??

Three 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! 





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