Before we go any further into the year, I wanted to say how grateful I am to the folks that have been writing up a media storm about municipal issues. City hall is one place that is for all citizens, and everyone has a right to know what the city is doing, and how it impacts you. Writers like Jen St. Denis, Christopher Cheung, Melody Ma, Justin McElroy, Frances Bula, Kerry Gold, Dan Fumano,Daphne Bramham, The Cambie Report and many informed others have been discussing municipal issues so that they are accessible to everyone. And with that knowledge comes how to have your voice and ideas heard at city hall.
In the City of Vancouver there is a new council following ten years of a council dominated by people under the “Vision” slate. A decade is a long time, and of course there were thoughts that the city would substantially change when that majority was robustly ousted in the last election. The Vision party was also part of the Americanization of City Hall process, where long serving current City Manager Judy Rogers was abruptly fired, and a new city manager, who would follow the new Vision political party direction, Dr. Penny Ballem brought in. This is how it works in many United States cities, where the city manager position is politicized.
In the past, “Vancouver experienced great success with their city manager model, where the position provided a constant hand on the wheel at city hall, despite political changes. This has meant that policy previously approved by other councils could be directed and implemented.”
As Dan Fumano writes in the Vancouver Sun the new City of Vancouver council is working in a different way. Together.Read more »