New Year’s Eve coverage a sign of things to come

Posted by Jonathan Ross

Laments about New Year's Eve celebrations were bound to be negative regardless of what direction the City of Vancouver decided to move towards.

Happy New Year to everyone.  The site experienced some technical difficulties to start the year, but is now back and functional, with a site redesign in the works.

This story referred to in this letter made the rounds on several newscasts, blogs and publications around the city to end the year.  “Vancouver is a no-fun city…Vancouver isn’t world class…Vancouver is not capitalizing on the party spirit left over from the Olympics…City Hall has shown no leadership in getting people excited”…and on it went.

The fact of the matter is that it really didn’t matter what the City of Vancouver decided to do on New Year’s Eve…because it was inevitable that criticism would follow.

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Technical Problems

Posted by Jonathan Ross

Due to unreliable tech support, CivicScene has been down for the past few days.  I am spending time recovering files and archives, and will be back and fully functional tomorrow, January 6th.

Back January 3

Posted by Jonathan Ross

I am taking a holiday break, and as such have lapsed on posts over the holiday.  I will be back with regularly scheduled pontifications on January 3.  Happy New Year to everyone, and be safe.

Vancouver City Pay for electeds completely out of whack with workload, rest of country

Posted by Jonathan Ross

City Hall provides some amazing pay and benefits for staff, but the elected officials don't exactly enjoy the same standard.

A paltry pay increase to the Mayor and Council of Vancouver is long overdue, but as the article points out, our city is woeful when it comes to compensating out local representatives.

City Council is usually described as a half-time job, allowing for Councillors to maintain other employment.  The reality of the situation is a far different story, however.

Between Council meetings, appearances and events, constituent meetings, caucus meetings, reading and briefings and dealing with city staff, it is nearly impossible to be able to maintain any kind of professional normalcy away from City Hall.

I have never ascribed the act of seeking public office as a means to become rich, because aside from being a fallacy, it clearly involves more motivation than financial gain.  That being said, the new figure of $63,610 still seems a long way off from properly compensating Councillors for the 60+ hour weeks they put in for a “half-time” job.

If you’re on the Park Board, you’re even worse off.

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Sun Feb 13, 2011

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In 2010, Vancouver had fewer than half the number of murders than it had in 2009.  There were nine homicides within Vancouver’s city limits, down from 19 killings the previous year.


“Perhaps it was my silk dress or the new perfume I’ve been wearing lately. When I asked Suzanne Anton what her New Year’s resolution was, she replied, “To kiss a pretty girl!” and pecked me on the cheek.”  – Writer Emily Barca describing her encounter with the lone NPA City Councillor on New Year’s Eve.