Communities can celebrate as Vision Vancouver back down on the block party tax
Communities around Vancouver are heaving a sign of relief with the news that Vision Vancouver caved in on the city manager's recommendation to charge $50 to stage block parties. According to a staff report the city would recover an estimated $5500 in costs for staff time by charging the fee. Vision Vancouver are a political party who continually demonstrate that they are allergic to controversy, so it was no surprise to us when news reports came out this morning on the topic that they would collapse like a house of cards.
Vision Vancouver are not a political group with much intestinal fortitude when it comes to committing to tough decisions, and this week has seen an amazing number of policy retreats:
- Allen "The Beekeeper" Garr's appointment as Vancouver's Chief Apiarist was rescinded when someone realized that it's a little hard to be a City Hall commentator and a political operative at the same time. The city is on the hunt for a new beekeeper as a result.
- Rooftop bees were the subject du jour apparently when City Hall quickly retreated on rules that prevented bee hobbyists from starting their own hives in Vancouver.
- And finally, the retreat on the block party tax.
We must give credit to other media for picking up our story from yesterday afternoon, which had otherwise been unreported until CityCaucus.com wrote about this morning's City Services and Budgets meeting and the staff recommendation to slap the fee on community fun. Kudos also to Coun. Suzanne Anton, who looked like the real leader of the opposition that she must be in a council chamber that doesn't welcome her viewpoints.
Coming in late this afternoon, CityCaucus.com were told by city staff that Penny Ballem is furious at being "hung out to dry" on the block party flip-flop. We understand that Ballem is angry in particular with Mayor Robertson, who had already been briefed on the matter and was in support of the decision to tax block parties.
Thanks, readers, for your many comments and alerting your communities about this stupid decision. It's another victory for the little people!