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

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

July 23 PLUC Early Thoughts

I’m thinking it will be a quick Planning and Use committee meeting tomorrow (agenda here). So what do we have?

Continue reading July 23 PLUC Early Thoughts

July 9 PLUC Summary & Observations

It was a big agenda for the planning and land use committee this Thursday but they worked through it (video here). I must say its been interesting watching Mayor Helps evolve in her role as chair, this morning in particular, I quite appreciated how she kept requiring the Corporate Officer (Mr. Woodland) and other members of Council to read out motions and amended motions as they came on the table. Their doing so made the whole thing much easier to follow.

Says the person who is heads down tweeting the whole time!

So what happened this morning? Continue reading July 9 PLUC Summary & Observations

June 25 PLUC Summary & Observations

It was an interesting meeting on Thursday. Because you never know how long these meetings will go for I had a separate appointment booked for 11am yesterday and ended up only getting there right on time (almost missed my bus) because I really wanted to stay and see how the table voted on the Pandora development. So what all went on yesterday?

Here is the agenda for meeting.

Here is the video for the meeting.

Continue reading June 25 PLUC Summary & Observations

June 25 PLUC Early Thoughts

If you look just at the number of pages (375) in the Planning and Land Use Committee agenda, you’d think it will be a big meeting tomorrow. But if you actually take a dive into it, you see that there are only 7 items and none of them seem to represent anything major or new. Which is my way of suggesting that I doubt there will be much conversation tomorrow, perhaps because they’ll be conserving their energies for the in-camera update that will be occurring after the public meeting.

It will be a “mediation update” on the Johnson Street Bridge.  Continue reading June 25 PLUC Early Thoughts

June 11 PLUC Summary & Observations

The meeting was so short (20 minutes) this morning it almost wasn’t worth the bother of waking up early and bussing downtown. I say “almost” because I got in some good chatting afterwards and also got 2 cookies for the price of 1 at Green Cuisine. So what happened? Continue reading June 11 PLUC Summary & Observations

June 11 PLUC Early Thoughts

It looks like it will be a quick PLUC meeting tomorrow as the agenda is quite short. Which is good because the Council meeting is going to be a long one with lots of Public Hearings and that micro-housing issue on the the Council agenda. So what do we have in the morning at the Planning and Land Use Committee?

Continue reading June 11 PLUC Early Thoughts

May 28 PLUC Summary & Observations

Apologies for the delayed post. I had it written on Thursday but my partner made me rewrite it. He said my original was too cynical and that all I did was complain. When I tried to explain to him that my brief treatment of meeting items was reflective of the level of attention seemingly paid by Council, he said “that’s not good enough. I want you to do better”.

So I took today to think.

PLUC on Thursday was a frustrating meeting (video here). It also illustrated for me the inherent difficulties and limitations of having the same people sit around the same decision-making table for too long. And I say this for two reasons: 1) When you’re at the table for a long time you’ve got all the inside information and as a result you’re less likely to do any public summary or recap because, hey, you’ve been dealing with this issue for many years, and; 2) When an issue has been at the table for a long time, the last thing you want to do is really deal with it (or at leasts that’s the impression I get) so you assume it’s being dealt with.

Which is to say that both staff and council seemed rather apathetic on Thursday. I found that discouraging. So what all happened? Continue reading May 28 PLUC Summary & Observations