Friday, 14 November 2014

ELECTION DAY LOOMING - FINAL THOUGHTS

Saturday , November 15 is of course the last opportunity to vote municipally for 4 years.

It is really important to consider the total package - Mayor AND Council - in your voting. Together they make a team , and there has to be a willingness on the part of all to work together for the betterment of the City. That does not mean they have to always agree, however, the energy must be directed towards achieving common goals, not towards trying to make the other person look bad, or wishing they had never been elected in the first place. It should be a group that focusses on positives, not on whether they "got their way" , or won a particular vote.

So when you make your decision on who to vote for  (if you haven't already) please keep those thoughts in mind.

Some other things to consider:
  - Is this likely the best job the candidate has ever had? The Council acts as the Board of Directors of a multi-million dollar corporation - the members and their abilities and experience should reflect that.
  - Does the candidate have some evidence of community involvement? Being a member of Council is probably the ultimate community service , but you should have "apprenticed" a bit before you become a "community leader".
  - Does the candidate have a real desire to contribute, or is he there "just to fix things"? A single-issue candidate is not what you want to elect. Four years is a long time, and being on Council is an incredibly diverse experience. Once you "fix" your issue , what are you going to do for the remaining 3 1/2 years or whatever?

Those were just some thoughts for your consideration. The main message is really to ensure you get out to vote - do not be complacent, and assume nothing. Your vote counts !

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN

One of the issues in the election is turning out to be the Official Community Plan( OCP ). Unfortunately, there is a huge misunderstanding on the part of some people just what the OCP is, and what its purpose is.

The Local Government Act states an OCP "is a statement of objectives and policies on planning and land use..."

A local government MAY adopt one or more OCP's. The OCP is a guideline, and must include the approximate location, amount, type , and density of residential development to meet anticipated housing needs over a period of at least 5 years as well as the approximate location, amount and type of proposed commercial development land uses

 In our case, the OCP needs some tweaking, but not a wholesale rewrite.

The area that has to be given priority is the Everall Neighbourhood, which is defined as the area north of Thrift between Martin and Oxford. This area is replete with 1970's era wood frame apartment buildings. A significant number of these buildings are owned by single entity owners and are all rentals. This makes them likely candidates for speculators to buy, in the hopes of being able to redevelop them as condos. The speculation is fueled by the recent "spot" OCP and rezoning to allow the Cressey 12 storey project on Vidal, and further exacerbated by the proposal that has been received for the EPCOR site on Oxford. The latter has been put on hold because of the need to undertake a comprehensive OCP review before we even consider it.

No more "spot" OCP amendments!  

So , this upcoming OCP review of the Everall Neighbourhood has already been given to staff, and is now awaiting the election to conclude before it gets underway. Some things to consider through the process include:  how many people do we want to be in the neighbourhood; what density do we want to see; what height of building do you want to see; how are we going to deal with the displacement of the rental housing stock that could result; and how are we going to preserve the trees that are there?   

A final word on Monster Homes .

This is a phenomenon that has to be dealt with by an amendment to the Zoning Bylaws. However, the amendment has to be done with substantial thought and balance. It is not enough to simply say, no more large houses. To do so would devalue peoples' properties unnecessarily. Since generally, our homes are our largest single investment , a knee-jerk amendment could cost people tens, if not hundreds of thousands in terms of value. It is an  amendment that has to be handled sensitively and collaboratively - more like a surgeon's scalpel than a sledge hammer. This is work that has to be started immediately        


       

Thursday, 6 November 2014

MUD SLINGING

IN A MOMENT OF ANGER AND OUTRAGE OVER WHAT I PERCEIVED TO BE  OUTRIGHT MISREPRESENTATION OF MY OPPONENT'S CREDENTIALS  I POSTED A LINK TO A CBC INTERVIEW WITH MY OPPONENT.
THAT WAS A MISTAKE AND I SHOULD NOT HAVE GONE THERE.
I AM RUNNING MY CAMPAIGN AND HE IS RUNNING HIS.  I HAVE NO WISH TO GET DOWN IN THE MUD AND THROW IT AROUND.  WHEN YOU DO THAT YOU ONLY SUCCEED IN GETTING YOUR OWN HANDS DIRTY.
IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT IT HAPPENED. I WILL NOT GO THERE. I HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE INFORMATION GOING TO THE CBC, AND DO NOT WISH TO PURSUE THE MATTER FURTHER.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND UNDERSTANDING.