At the end of each year on Council, we decide among ourselves which Council members will sit on which committees and boards for the following year. Two of my long-time duties -- chair of the Coquitlam River Aggregate Advisory Committee and chair of the Evergreen Line Public Art Task Force -- have now ended because both bodies have completed their work, so I am looking forward to some new duties in 2017. Here's what I will be up to:
Metro Vancouver: New for 2017, I will be Mayor Richard Stewart's alternate on the Metro Board. I will also be a member of Metro's Performance and Audit Committee.
Culture Services Advisory Committee: I will continue to sit on the committee for the sixth consecutive year, but will be moving to the vice-chair position, with Councillor Towner taking over the chair.
Multiculturalism Advisory Committee: Continuing for third consecutive year as vice-chair, with Councillor Brent Asmundson continuing as chair.
Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Committee: A new responsibility for me, as I will be chairing the committee, with Councillor Chris Wilson as vice-chair.
Thanks to my Council colleagues for supporting me on the above!
As well, I will be continuing as the Mayor's Designate (City Rep) on the board of the Coquitlam Foundation.
Please click here to see the full list of committee, board, panel, partnership, roundtable, and task-group appointments.
"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton
Monday, November 28, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Every autumn, Council sits through several days of meetings dealing with the city budget for the next year. I must admit that my mind occasionally wanders, which this past month led, not to doodles, but to a poem. Enjoy! ("P&D" = "Planning and Development"; "PRC" = "Parks, Recreation and Culture").
From P and D to PRC
And all things in between,
Our GMs point to future work--
The planned and not foreseen.
Coquitlam looks to jobs ahead,
The projects pushed to max.
As always, though, the big concern
Is final hit on tax.
To balance wants with actu'l needs--
Which voters' have to pay--
'Tis thus a job of great import
On which we work this day.
So talk away and please don't stop
Til figures do display.
Then decide, we must, on budget plan
That won't cause much dismay!
That won't cause much dismay!
Dedicated to Sheena MacLeod, retiring GM of Finance
And, yes, we finally wrapped up our budget deliberations this past Tuesday. I am hopeful the result "won't cause much dismay."
Posted by Terry O'Neill at 11:38 AM
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
With the worrisome turn of events in the U.S., it was great to see a recent newspaper story describing Prime Minister Trudeau's defence of open, cross-border trading between nations.
If only the president-elect of our neighbour to the south had the same sentiments as does Trudeau -- and, for that matter, as did the 29th President of the U.S., Warren G. Harding, whose words in celebration of the unique relationship between Canada and the U.S. are engraved on a monument in Stanley Park (near Malkin Bowl).
I stumbled upon the monument this past weekend and transcribed Harding's words, which were among his last public pronouncements, as he died the following week in San Francisco. Here is what he told an estimated 50,000 of Vancouverites in 1923:
"What an object lesson of peace is shown today by our two countries to all the world. No grim-faced fortifications mark our frontiers, no huge battleships patrol our dividing waters, no steal-thy spies lurk in our tranquil border hamlets. Only a scrap of paper, recording hardly more than a simple understanding, safeguards lives and properties on the Great Lakes, and only humble mileposts mark the inviolable boundary line for thousands of miles through farm and forest.
"Our protection is in our fraternity, our armour is our faith. The tie that binds more firmly year by year is ever-increasing acquaintance and comradeship through interchange of citizens and the compact, not of perishable parchment, but of fair and honorable dealing which, God grant, shall continue for all time."
To learn more about Harding's visit to Vancouver and his speech, please see:http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/archives_harding.htm. And here's a link to the story about Trudeau's defence of open trade:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/…/trudeau-ap…/article32947380
This past Monday, I was part of a solid majority* of Coquitlam Council members who voted in favour of a series of recommendations from our Parks, Recreation and Culture Department that, foremost among many measures, will see the amalgamation of Coquitlam curling with the Port Moody club. Here is part of the speech I made in explanation of my decision:
|A large audience that attended Council on Monday.|
As well, the volume of communication certainly underlines the importance of the decision we will make tonight – a decision that must be made not just for the benefit of curlers and skaters but also for the benefit of the wider community to whom council is ultimately responsible.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the curling-amalgamation plan has developed into the Number-One issue of the year. This certainly speaks to the high level of well-being we have in this community. We are extremely fortunate to live in a place where the sort of problems that ravage so many other parts of the world simply don’t exist. This gives us the luxury to spend time and effort on things like our sport and recreation policies.
This is not to diminish the passion and interest that the curling community has shown over the past several weeks, but I mention this in order to more properly frame the issue—an issue which is ultimately about how best and how fairly to allocate resources among a prosperous populace.
It was the great Irish statesman and orator Edmund Burke (after whom Burke Mountain is named) who said, “All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.” I think he’s correct. And, in the final analysis, the decision, on how to allocate ice-rink resources by facilitating the merger of Coquitlam curling with Port Moody curling, centres on this concept of compromise.
It’s important to note that this concept carries within its meaning the idea of cooperation, and of give-and-take. Of course, we don’t compromise our principles. They are resolute. But we should always be prepared to re-evaluate our policies and practices in the light of new information and changing circumstances.
And, as I’m confident that those of us who have been involved in successful negotiations have learned, a spirit of generosity or even magnanimity can be key to success.
And so, with all this in mind, I will cast my vote tonight for what I think will be best for curling and hockey, to ensure that they remain strong and vital activities in our community -- and that curling, especially, has the critical mass needed to propel it well into the future. I will also cast my vote for what I think is best for all our city’s residents, to whom we on council are responsible, and from whom we receive the charge to make the best use of their hard-earned tax dollars.My vote will also show that I support co-operation between communities, economical use of scarce resources, and fiscal prudence, while at the same time setting a path that, I am confident, will help build a better Coquitlam.
*Council considered four motions; votes on some were 7-2 in favour, and on others were 8-1 in favour.