Saanich Meeting Agenda October 5, 2015

The purpose of this post is to demonstrate how easy it is to provide an agenda that is easy to read and easy to locate your particular item of interest. I have taken the PDF agenda available from the District of Saanich website and broken it down into component sections.  Continue reading Saanich Meeting Agenda October 5, 2015

A Deeper Look at St Andrews School Site

As your trusty municipal blogger, I naturally attended the August 27th Public Hearing (City agenda here) for the proposed Bosa Blue Sky redevelopment and rezoning of the long-since closed St Andrews School site on Pandora and Vancouver (also bordered by Mason Street). In total, apparently 48 people spoke and I was told by those who kept count that 26 were opposed to the development and 22 were in favour (video here and written minutes here).

Which is to say that there was representation from both sides but the process is not done yet and nobody seems too sure about whether this proposed project (latest staff report here) will be approved or not. At least 40 more folks are already signed up to speak at the continuation of the Public Hearing when it occurs on the evening of September 17 at Victoria City Hall (new agenda here). Other folks who have not yet signed up to speak are also free to make statements on  this proposal.

I will be one of them. I’m sure it will be another long night. Continue reading A Deeper Look at St Andrews School Site

September 10 Council Summary & Observations

This past Thursday was the first complete Council meeting I observed in a while, due both to Summer break and my inability to stay and observe Council business after the Bosa Blue Sky properties Public Hearing for Pandora got adjourned at 11:30pm on August 27th (post on this coming soon).  So what happened?

The agenda was full and the events (video) fairly interesting.

Continue reading September 10 Council Summary & Observations

September 10 PLUC Summary & Observations

It was a brief meeting this morning (agenda here and final motions here). Councillors Coleman & Thornton-Joe were absent and the only real thought I had observing the rest of them, is that the meeting (like so many others) played out like game of Ping Pong. The context is always somewhat competitive and usually only partially thought out because hey, you have to move quickly to hit the small ball and win. Isn’t that what running a city is all about?

I digress. So what happened this morning (video here)?

Continue reading September 10 PLUC Summary & Observations

Victoria BC Federal Election Primer

To help out in advance of the upcoming Federal Election on October 19th (Elections Canada website here) I created this page to provide links to federal candidates for the Victoria BC Electoral District as well as a growing list of scheduled public All Candidate Events. Continue reading Victoria BC Federal Election Primer

September 3 GPC Summary & Observations

I expected that it would be a short meeting this morning, and I was correct (video here) but what still managed to surprise me was how Council spent their time during this committee meeting. As usual, the meeting started (agenda here) with Mayor Helps presenting her suggestions for the consent agenda (items to be passed but not discussed) and Councillor Isitt pulling most of them off.

Which is good because, why put something on the agenda if it isn’t meant to be discussed? Regarding the consent agenda and undiscussed acceptance of costs for sending councillors to UBCM, I couldn’t help noticing how different the costs are for each member of city council  attending this event(largely because of differences mostly in travel & accommodation). For instance if we look at the two requests approved today: Continue reading September 3 GPC Summary & Observations

Some Extra Thoughts on Our Radio Interview

I got an invite from Debbie Wilson of CBC Radio last week when I was busy pounding out tweets from the CRD Eastside and Westside Wastewater Select Committees. She invited me back to CBC’s “On the Island” to talk Council process and meeting accessibility (ICYMI my first slot was back in February when I was just getting started). I readily agreed to the invite and worked hard all weekend thinking about what I wanted to say while on the radio. Continue reading Some Extra Thoughts on Our Radio Interview

A Topaz Park Tent City Primer

As your local resident Council meeting live-tweeter and blogger I’ve observed the entire jumbled City process that has been, hey ok, we’ve got a bunch of folks sleeping in parks that costs us a lot of money to deal with so let’s do something. To assist with this issue moving forward, I have cobbled together relevant blog posts to create an easy reading summary of the issue to date.

Enjoy! Sorry I won’t be there to tweet tomorrowContinue reading A Topaz Park Tent City Primer

July 23 Council Summary & Observations

So I learned a lot about plastic bags and the efforts of the Divest Victoria group while attending the lengthy Council meeting on Thursday (video here agenda here). Why was the meeting so long? Well mostly because a total of 17 people signed up for their respective 5 minutes to address Council and all but 3 of these groups were on the topics of banning plastic bags and socially responsible investing, as driven by the Divest Victoria group.

Annie Bag Monster

This clip (see below) from the especially verbose Councillor Isitt (maybe because he missed Planning and Land Use meeting earlier in the day) neatly encapsulates the general level of municipal operational professionalism at play on Thursday night. Continue reading July 23 Council Summary & Observations

July 23 PLUC Summary & Observations

The meeting this morning, was, shall we say illuminating?

It started late because everyone only began filtering in at 9am and I’m assuming that they were all late because they were coming from this incamera meeting that was held to consider:

  • Labour relations
  • Acquisition/Disposition of land and or improvements
  • A new municipal service

Originally it was just for “Municipal Service” and so I’m guessing the other two bullets were added late. Speaking of Incamera meetings, I’ve been waiting for more than a month for a response to this email I sent in June asking for more clarity on their incamera disclosure process.

*Note – I brought up my email in discussion with staff while at City Hall a few weeks back and was told that a response was drafted & forthcoming.

Why do I mention this? I do so because the city likes to praise themselves for their open data efforts and yet, something as basic as a set standard for where and how to reveal decisions made incamera isn’t yet established. I say this based on a subsequent conversation with Ms. Hamilton where she committed to responding to my original email and suggested that such a process (e.g., standardized ways of revealing incamera information) is still very much in process. Which is odd to me because you wouldn’t typically think that such a system should be so difficult. Especially when you’ve already praised yourselves for having created it back in 2014:

Open Meeting City Standards

See pages 11 – 12 in this document for more information):

So what was supposed to happen this morning in PLUC? Continue reading July 23 PLUC Summary & Observations