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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Co-operative Housing in Greater Victoria

Today we want to share with you an editorial on the issue of co-operative housing from a passionate community advocate, Patty Shaw who is also profiled in the Sunday edition of the Times Colonist. We here at Victorian Analysis have no personal experience with co-op housing but wanted to learn more after observing the City of Victoria Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing and also hearing Ms. Shaw speak to Saanich Council earlier this month.

If you have an interesting policy issue that you would like to share with your community through our site, please get in touch!


 

Continue reading Co-operative Housing in Greater Victoria

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July 16 GPC Summary & Observations

The meeting started off well on Thursday (agenda here), but it then got frustrating and tiresome once Council (in their Governance & Priorities format) started sliding off topic and speaking around issues instead of to the immediate items at the table. Mind you, their doing so was also fascinating in the sense that it made me reflect on why I was reacting to them the way I did and why it was that I was getting frustrated and confused instead of just tweeting everything.

I realized that it has to do with process.  Continue reading July 16 GPC Summary & Observations

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What to Expect of the Housing Affordability Task Force

This is a post that has been in the works for a while now.

I attended the final meeting of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Task Force back on June 30th (agenda here). It was quite interesting for many reasons – not only for how complex the issues of housing and housing affordability are with multiple actors and multiple stakeholders with multiple priorities but also for how the people gathered around the HATF table were behaving & interacting with each other.  Continue reading What to Expect of the Housing Affordability Task Force

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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

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A dedicated observer of local government in Greater Victoria