“The quieter you become, the more you can hear”
— Baba Ram Dass
— Baba Ram Dass
In May, I wrote about Colleen Hardwick’s motion to Vancouver City Council regarding re-calibrating and correcting Vancouver’s Housing Policy.
On May 27th, Council voted unanimously to accept a slightly amended version of the motion, even though Mayor Stewart tried on several occasions to have the motion shelved. The approved motion required City staff to answer a number of important questions and required that they provide significant amounts of data required for Councilors and the general public to amend the current housing strategies. They were required to provide this information by July.
On the last day of July, the Planning Department quietly released a 59-page report signed by General Manager Gil Kelley. It was, to say the least, an unsatisfactory response to Council’s unanimous motion, failing to address a number of important issues. In the middle of August, Councilor Hardwick responded with a detailed 16-page critique of Kelley’s memo, demanding that staff answer the questions as directed by Council.
The conclusion to the Housing Strategy story is yet to be written.
This is one of the latest examples of how City staff appear to act as if they believe themselves superior to our elected officials, reluctant to submit to even light oversight. This is a hangover from the old Vision-driven politicization of City staff and we can only hope that the imminent departure of City Manager Sadhu Johnson improves efficiency and helps create a proper respect for the electorate.
Thanks to CityHallWatch for the heads up.