Friday, April 17, 2015

Nanaimo City Council Meeting April 20/15

City Council Meeting
Monday, Apr. 20, 2015
7:00 PM Shaw Auditorium
Vancouver Is. Conference Centre

  • RCMP Superintendent Mark Fisher presentation - 2015/16 Annual Policing Priorities
  • 2015 - 2019 Financial Plan and Property Tax Rates Bylaw - 1, 2 and 3rd reading
  • DVP 2310 Northfield Road
  • DVP 440 Selby Street
  • DVP 6330 McRobb Avenue
  • DVP 20 Barsby Avenue
  • DVP 135 Nicol Street
  • DVP 5905 Metral Drive
  • DVP 5473 Mildmay Road
  • Rezoning Application 4951 Denford Place
  • Road closure Albion St. adjacent 456 Bruce Ave.
  • Georgia Park Improvements Associated with Hilton Hotel Project 10 Front St.
  • Sturctural Removal Order - 2023 Kelsie Road
  • 16 Needham Street - demolish or bring up to standard
  • Unresolved Building deficiencies 155 Acacia, 204 Garner, 2641 Labieux, 927 Sarum Rise Way and 6 Treasure Trail
  • Proposed changes to cultural funding programs
  • Commercial vehicle licensing regulation amendment bylaw
  • Property Maintenance Bylaw: 16 Needham, 633 Milton, 711 Pine, 445 Hillcrest, 755 Albert and 488 Stirling.

     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.


    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.

    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. submitted by Janet Irvine -

      Jim: This is further to your heading, “SECOND THING TO MAKE THE LIST”, and your reference to the February 2, 2015 resolution of Nanaimo council regarding Colliery Dams file. (I was a delegate at that council meeting.)

      In response to the City’s letter of February 6, 2015, the Comptroller of Water Rights wrote to the City on February 25, 2015, to advise that:

      “Unfortunately it is not clear to us from Council’s motion of February 2, 2015 what the City intends to do to address the potential safety hazards identified by City engineering consultants, Golder Associates (Golder), with respect to Middle and Lower Dams.”

    2. I don't see what the Comptroller of Water Rights has to do with city staff following a resolution of council. One of the first things that should have been done was to consult with the stakeholders, which was to include the public.

      I do believe city hall and city council will find there are some well informed members of the public, who have much to bring to this discussion.


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