Ahoy, mateys! Council chambers and hobbies apparently don't mix – Jang's model of Balahoo (above)
There is no doubt that long council meetings are grueling for everyone involved. The Clerks who have the patience of a saint, as well as the councillors and the public have to sit through several long speeches where the same points are raised time and again.
When a controversial program like STIR comes along, you're likely going to get an earful from affected communities. As I wrote earlier, I sat as part of a committee that created an early draft of a similar policy to STIR. I knew then that it would require an immense amount of finesse to sell the policy, which argues that the creation of market rental is enough of a benefit to warrant sacrificing other traditional public amenities.
"Finesse" is not a word that jumps to mind when discussing how Vision have stormed ahead with this policy. On Tuesday, city council split along political lines again, with Vision Vancouver voting in favour of a controversial development in the West End that will result in the sacrifice of Maxine's Hideway (leaving a facade), and Anton & Woodsworth opposed.
One West End resident in attendance sensed the decision was a fait accompli, and was astounded at how little interest some members of council showed:
Councillors Louie, Jang, and Meggs were especially silent and busy with their computers much of the two days of hearings, asking only a few questions and challenging members of the public quite vehemently on only certain points. Other councillors posed leading questions in a bid to almost "sell" the project. Two listened carefully and asked questions.
While speakers presented their concerns, one councillor's lack of interest in the proceedings really stood out:
...what was Councillor Kerry Jang doing at the public hearing in the face of a very vocal public that presented information that showed the lack of logic in the rezoning, precisely at 10:10:22 PM on December 10, 2009 (for an extended period of time (15 to 20 minutes), fawning and smiling to himself? At the same time as residents made their impassioned pleas both for and against the rezoning, with a majority of long-time West End residents against, he was surfing the web!
Now, it's not like city councillors are left without internet connections when in council. There is often important last minute research to be done. Councillors might seem engaged in their computers, but it may be relevant to the proceedings.
What was Jang so interested in on his computer that he seemed like he was somewhere else? Our source has an answer.
So, what was Kerry Jang busy with? He was looking around on the ShipYard website (View image), which is dedicated to model ships. Armed with a snapshot (View image) and after a little web investigation, bingo! See the attached close-up and the screenshot of the website (http://www.model-shipyard.com/index-uk.html). They're a match.
The author of the email is right. It does appear that Coun. Kerry Jang was looking up info on a model boat website. But surely it pertained to the meeting? After all, the West End is surrounded by water.
He's into model ships (http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/users/Kerry-Jang/user-index.html), that's why he was smiling to himself. Nonetheless we're not paying him to entertain himself during council HEARINGS. It's insulting and upsetting.
So, it would appear that Jang's mind was elsewhere that evening. Perhaps he imagined himself on the deck of a 19th Century wooden schooner like Balahoo, crashing over waves offshore from Bermuda. Ay, she was a beautiful boat. Jang's loving attention to detail in her recreation reveals that the man has some talent. Here's how he describes his work on the Balahoo:
In order to get the seams between planks, on the second planking I bevelled the edges. Thin spackle was then pushed in and wiped, leaving a slight depression.
I airbrushed the model using Caldercraft’s Admiralty paints thinned with water. Weathering was applied by airbrush, washes, and ground up pastels. I also made an attempt to tie off all lines using the proper knots and seizing.
The seascape is paper-mache waves built over swells made of stacked cardboard and Styrofoam packing.
Last month we gave Coun. Kerry Jang an "F" for his performance to date on council. A passing grade feels a long way off for this Vision councillor right about now.
- Post by Mike