Bulletin re Nov. 17 committee meeting

Nov. 17 update to Nov. 15 bulletin: All of the councillors indicated that the Garden City Lands issue should not have been put on the committee’s agenda for a decision until newly elected councillors have replaced councillors who have completed their service, and the committee made that official with a vote. The most significant news at the meeting was a letter from MPs John Cummins and Alice Wong that included this sentence: “Accordingly, with the support of our constituents, it is our intention to work with the Minister responsible for Canada Lands to return the Garden City lands to the Crown so that plans may be made to secure the lands in perpetuity for the benefit of our constituents.”

Nov. 15 bulletin: At 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17, 2008, Richmond Council will meet as the General Purposes Committee in the Anderson Room at City Hall. The agenda, released on Friday evening, shows that the committee will vote on major Garden City Lands issues on Monday. Here is the related staff report.  You can be a public “delegation” making a short presentation of up to five minutes if the chair, who will be Mayor Brodie, permits it. Even if you don’t wish to speak, come to the meeting to show interest and support those who do speak to save the Garden City Lands.

Since the agenda and staff report were posted in an obscure place on the city website on the evening before the election, there was no opportunity for the step to be publicized to affect how the public would vote. What is particularly wrong about it is that it will be the old council that votes, not the one elected on Nov. 17. I’m writing this before the polls close. No matter who gets voted in, they will not vote on this matter because the old council will be in place for the committee meeting and the following Monday’s council meeting. In other words, this is happening at the one time when the old council can do what it wants without fearing a public backlash affecting re-election.

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