Elizabeth Murphy: Vision-appointed staff at Vancouver City Hall blocking change voters demanded

Although the Vision Vancouver council majority was wiped out in the last civic election, their staff machine lives on. It is clear from staff’s actions over the last few months that the meaningful and substantial policy changes that the public voted for will not happen as long as current management is retained.

So far, except for minor tinkering, the Vision budget, zoning and policies all remain in place. The upcoming citywide plan looks increasingly like it will be implementing all the Vision policy that is still in effect.

One sure way to put a downer on a social gathering is to point that out. Most people voted for meaningful change, but that is not what we are getting and the public is baffled as to why. “Didn’t we finally vote out those people?” is a common response.

But as to be expected with a mostly new council, councillors are substantially dependent on advice from staff. That advice steers them to effectively the status quo.

Two examples are the approval of the 2019 budget and the motion to reconsider the last-minute RS zoning amendments of the last council during the election.

The 2019 budget was drafted by the previous Vision council. It continues their practice of providing a narrative of how the budget fulfills the council objectives rather than a transparent line-by-line budget as was provided a decade ago.

Rather than delaying and reconsidering the Vision budget in detail to determine if it fits with new priorities, it was approved substantially as proposed with only minor tinkering. Some questions from councillors to staff on program details were framed with accusations of bullying rather than encouraging openness and discussion. Requests for delay to reconsider the budget were met with claims of urgency even though the budget doesn’t need to be approved until the spring.

The Vision policy agenda is …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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