Thursday, January 08, 2015

COW Meeting Nanaimo - January 12 2015

Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, Jan.12 , 2015
4:30 PM Shaw Auditorium
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

  • Zero Waste Challenge Video
  • Early Approval of 2015 Projects (needing approval before adoption of budget)
  • Council to support Port Theatre application and include funding in budget
  • Allocate $70,000 for Tilicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship 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.

    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.


    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.

    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! 



    1. The Social Planning Advisory Committee’s Report recommends that Council allocate the Social Development Grant for 2015 in amount of $70,000 to the Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre’s Youth Safe House Program in order to double the number of beds from 4 to 8.

      The Friendship Centre’s website advises that it strives to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people living in an urban environment and that it has been providing services in the community since 1965.

      SPAC’s Report to Council also advises: “It should be noted that the Youth Safe House is open to all youth in the community, aboriginal and non-aboriginal.” - This is interesting, as it sounds like there actually may not be enough aboriginal clients for this Program.

    2. On the agenda Monday is the Port Theatre.

      I see where staff is recommending council support the expansion to the feds for money, and is going to solidify the $4.6-million to the society, which ex-councillor Pattje motioned to give them without knowing where the money would come from.


      Remember he was the only councillor voting against giving the Port Theatre $4.6-million and right after the election, in the Daily News he stated:

      "There is no money for the Port Theatre, we don't know where it's going to come from, other than continued taxation and increasing taxes," McKay added. "So we need to probably go out (to) the community and say you're going to have to go out there and raise (it), just like when the building was originally built, you may have to go out there and raise the city's portion of this contribution."


      Has he just become a pawn in the system he vowed to break???

      Mr. McKay is not off to even an average start as a mayor.

    3. Mayor McKay has already backed-down on the Dams, the Theatre and any investigation into the LeaderCast debacle.

      I am seeing much of the same as Mr. Ruttan, actually worse as it's only the first 6 weeks of Mayor McKay's four years!

      How could McKay FORGET any of his promises!!!! He seems to have no scruples.


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