The telltale signs of stress are starting to show as the City aims for a zero percent tax increase
On the few occasions this year that Allen Garr has seen fit to criticize Vision Vancouver, or their hand-picked City Manager, we've always credited him for it. After all, we did list him as Vancouver's most knowledgeable City Hall scribe in our annual report card. In his most recent column, now online and to be published on Friday, Garr is putting that knowledge to good use.
Garr takes issue with a so-called "freebie" for drivers receiving their first parking ticket, and what it "costs" the city in terms of uncollected revenue. Why, Garr asks, is a council so devoted to getting people out of their cars giving drivers this kind of break? It is a little ironic, I suppose, but in their defense Vision didn't start that policy.
Frances Bula has also been busy on her blog, sharing a letter from a City staffer's spouse that is truly heartbreaking. It really makes you understand where the real impact on job uncertainty is – in the homesteads of affected workers. Vision and Ms. Ballem must share the blame for causing this stress with their media spin job on layoffs that was intended to make them look like tough fiscal managers. I'll let our readers decide how it really made them look.
Over at the Park Board it was a tough night with the board splitting 4-3 for the first time ever. The Vision majority on the board sided with the largest cutback to the Park Board budget in history, and the closure of iconic facilities like the Bloedel Conservatory and the Children's Petting Zoo.
I heard Mike Smyth mocking the closure of the kid's zoo on CKNW this morning, which is too bad. It may seem like a frivolous attraction to some, but for anyone with small kids, you know how much the little ones appreciate that first hand contact with animals. It's a sad day for Stanley Park that we've had to spike this facility.