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Opening Doors

I finally had a little time to condense down a bunch of thoughts and notes about the Opening Doors report that was delivered to the Provincial Government last year. I read the report when it came out last summer, and noted how it landed in an overstuffed news cycle to be almost ignored by anyone who wasn’t already a housing wonk. I might have winged a bit on line at the time, but I was not overall as critical as some of my neighbours across Tenth Ave.

Council – Jan 10 2022!

A New Year, the same old Council Meeting report blog, starting with the same old “sorry I’m late, but things are busy!” lame excuse. Our January 10 meeting had a fairly light agenda, but started with a big presentation from staff:

Assessment stress

The first week of January is when the BC Assessment Authority releases their annual report on property values, including your personal assessment and regional trend data. More often than not, this is followed by some hyperventilation on line and in the media: How the hell does this keep happening? How unaffordable can housing get? What can be done? I’ll avoid those topics* and let the media and pundits answer those in the way that serves their interests best. I just want to talk about New West, assessments, and taxes, since Council is going to be talking annual property tax increases on Monday.

Ask Pat: Electric Update

Not sure if this has been asked before but I was wondering Why New West has municipal/private electric vs Bc Hydro like our surrounding cities? Speaking with friends from other municipality, it seems New West has a higher cost per household? What are the pros and cons of having New West Electric? Thank you!

Ask Pat: Bike Storage

Bike storage at home is another area where multi-family needs a different approach than the single family detached home. Bike rooms in the traditional sense are a basement room with a few racks, mostly filled with dust-accumulating Canadian Tire specials with two flat tires, hard to access, not particularly secure, and really inconvenient to use. Meanwhile, apartments are not built large enough to store a couple of bikes, and random Strata or Rental rules inexplicably restrict bicycles in hallways and elevators.

Must Read

Caveat lector

This is a blog. A dying media, but indulge me. I this in 2010 when blogging was something people did. I started writing about things going on in New Westminster and my volunteer work with the New West Environmental Partners under the title “GreenNewWest”. I then realized this was probably confusing to people because I […]

Community

This Happened (v3)

I think I found the right title for my “community” posts, because this is really just a run-down of things that happened that I happened to be near as opposed to things that happened because of my or things I made happen, though some of those may slip in. Passive voice -its not all about me! Since this is the third in my recent resurgence of this topic, I’m starting at 3. Don’t @ me.

Community, Jan 24, 2020

OK, so maybe I already missed the mark on my soft promise of weekly updates on my council-related community activities, but let’s call them almost-weekly, and if we can keep ahead of fortnightly (although I love the term), and we can call this a success. It is going to depend on how many things I […]

Community – Jan 12, 2020

“Council work” includes a bunch of reading of reports, reading for independent research, and countless e-mails and conversations on the street with residents, business owners, and others. Lots of times, you wake up in the morning thinking about it, and go to sleep at night thinking about it. You sit in the pub and chat about recycling, friends corner you at the curling rink and ask you about dog parks, the barber fills you in with the latest happenings during your trim. I’m a social guy, and I love to talk, so I don’t want that to come across as a complaint, but his makes it hard to “count the hours” of the job. Is it full time or part time? The only answer is that it is a job that expands to the time available to it.