I was just uptown and thinking about the talk of recent in Saint John about the growth and prosperity about to hit the city. I don’t really want to be a neigh-say-er but I just can’t imagine Saint John ever living up to its potential. The mentality of the people is one of the biggest drawbacks. It is the greatness of the “littlest city” syndrome the keeps the rose colored glasses, from seeing the realities the global economy is going to be in recession very shortly and I feel that the current growth can sustain and are set the repeat the last boom “Urban Renewal” / “Super Block” / Millidgeville / Shopping Centres projects from the 1960’s – early 80’s.
I decided to sit and watch the new council, and once again I am truly appalled how the new council is directing itself back into the dark ages. If any group of people could burst Saint John’s economic bubble it would be this group.
Item 10.2 was the request to start the progress by approving a letter of understanding from the City about the proposed Irving Oil offices on Long Wharf. This is a project that has a time line that in reality by the time the Port Act procedures (3-4 months with public consultation), assessment and land negotiations (2-3 months), design and planning (3-4 months), and the city’s rezoning procedures (1-2 months). This delay to delay for a period of almost two months, with persistent criticism from groups like the ILA is just a repeat of the KC Irving Statue fiasco of early 90’s. In the end it will probably not happen.
Then if that was not appalling enough the disregard by the Mayor himself for the rules of procedure just to grandstand is going to make this session of council one of the least productive in this city’s entire 223 year history. The fact that the last meeting of council took a whole week to complete is truly inexcusable. No where else in the province are there sessions as long and less productive as I have seen by the first few meetings of this council.
On Wednesday I went to the “Harbour Station Community Fair” with some friends. I really enjoyed the bupper cars but really fairs are still not my thing. I did manage to take some cool streaky cameraphone pic of the evening lights at the rides.
There were alot of the standard typical rides there:
and about 15 other rides.
So, at this point I can’t be persuaded on a candidate because I already voted. I do believe in open transparency in politics, and since lynch mobs are so 1800’s I’m going to revile my votes.
Mayor of Saint John: Michael Richardson
At-Large: Danny Jardine and Chris Titus
Ward 4: Kevin Goggan and Ralph Landers
With the recent water bans an the lack of news coverage in the wee hours of the evening I was pondering if there was a better way for the City of Saint John to post urgent notices. And I had thought of using the technology of today, and an approach of making it easier to opt-in to these methods.
Part 1: Electronic Internet
Provide an RSS feed with no longer than a text message sized message detailing the urgent message. This would allow people the opportunity to place a box on the most common web portals that 60% of people use as home pages.
Secondly allow people to register their e-mail addresses to an urgent message list. This would allow people to get it by e-mail or text message as people can put in firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and have it sent to your cell (great for parking bans.)
Step 2: Phone
Have an Advisory line like the parking one and have a cheep automated text to voice system to read the RSS feed messages.
I still think that most of you don’t have a brain in your head sometimes. But, we will see. Come the next election I hope that there will be enough good candidate running in every ward so that we don’t end up like Miramichi.
Doesn’t anyone remember why in 1980 the ward 198 years of a ward system was brought to an end? Because the council was too focused on the day-2-day of the city rather than setting policy and advancing the city forward. We were doing that, this is going to be another nail in the coffin of Saint John. This is going to strip away the progress foreseen in the last 4 years.
The next council is more likely than not going to pit one against the other for; who gets a rink, I want my sidewalks plowed. And attention is diverted away from the future and placed on the present.
I have just had my say, in the advance polls this afternoon. Hopefully at least 40% +1 will agree with me and turn down the ward system, as proposed by council. The idea of having 2 per-ward and have no power to regect someone if they are the only two runing is so undemocartic. In my opinion this will hurt the city and only benifits the easyness of entry for for people to run for council.
I was just reading my e-mail and I received one about the effort against the plans to convert UNB Saint John into a polytechnic university or do a merger with NBCC Saint John. The e-mail linked another site http://livingininterestingtimes.wordpress.com/ and I thought I would just post about it here. On one hand I think that losing a full university such as UNB Saint John could be a bad thing, but the polytechnic university concept might be interesting, there doesn’t seem to be a University in the area like the caliber that some polytechnics like Ryerson have.