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Candidate Brent Schaffrick

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Edmcowboy11 View Post
    I too would like to know your definition of major issues that citizens of Edmonton would vote on.

    On another note, what is your stance on the LRT to millwoods and LRT around the city?

    For most residents I have talked with, a major issue is any issue that will end up costing the city enough money that we will need a tax increase larger than the rate of inflation, or affects a public service or utility in a non routine manner (ie, the selling off of Epcor or the Muni).

    In General I am completely in favor of the LRT. I wish it had been made larger in the past when it was first built, but I am happy that the City has been working hard on expanding it the past few years. The current plan is to run out to NAIT next, then our Millwoods route is scheduled after that. The problem with the LRT expansion is that the dollar amount to expand it necessitates higher government involvement.



    If we can get the money to expand the LRT, the result should be less vehicle traffic on the roads, which means less wear and tear on the roads, and less air pollution from vehicles.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Brent Schaffrick View Post
      City council has been able to pass bylaws limiting the amount of money each candidate for council may spend on his/her own behalf during election periods. I see no reason these bylaws cannot be extended to include plebiscites.
      And there are no members of the public vowing to raise $500,000 for a certain mayoral candidate? Those laws are weak and tough to enforce.

      Originally posted by Brent Schaffrick View Post
      All I am getting from reading this is that you do not approve of my desire to consult the residents of Ward 11. So, yes, I believe that as a group, the residents of Ward 11 have more combined brainpower than I do as an individual.
      Far from it, I agree you should be talking to the community and the residents of Ward 11.

      But most of the the community and the residents don't have the time or the expertise to be knowledgeable enough to have informed opinions or make informed decisions.

      That's what I expect the council members to do. Have the time, have the expertise or hire or consult with those that do.

      I do have a couple questions for you.

      1) Do you see the LRT expansions as a priority for the City, and if you do, what are you willing to sacrifice to make them a reality?

      2) Do you expect to have a plebiscite for the LRT expansion?

      Comment


      • #18
        This has been a really busy week for me. I would like to thank my good friend Steve Borer for helping me put up signs on the weekend!

        I did an interview with CTV, another with Shaw, and attended the U of A Next Gen, but noone from Ward 11 was there.

        I was just emailed an interesting document about Epcor, if it is true, I am pretty choked. I have always said selling off our utilities is bad, but this is just complete BS. Anyways, gonna sleep on it and think about it, will likely post the document on my site tomorrow.

        Also, I am planning on being at the Farmer's Market again tomorrow (or later today depending how you view time) from 5 till 8 again.

        I will try to get back to answering posts once the weekend hits and things calm down for a few days.

        Later all,
        Brent Schaffrick

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by JOA View Post
          ^Two hours notice is a little slim.

          Regarding your earlier statement indicating that you believe the annual budget to be sufficiently major to call for a public vote, what percentage of voters would you expect at a minimum to validate the budget? How would voting work - would you apply a single binary question to the budget? What would happen if voter turnout did not meet your validating minimum?
          Noone came out to talk to me at the Farmer's Market this week either, and I gave a full day's notice. I will be there next Thursday as well, then the Farmer's Market is closed until next spring.

          I have been considering your question for a while, and have looked into examples other countries use. If I ask a queston, or series of questions to my constituents, I will accept the responses as binding on my voting in Council as long as I receive a 3% return. We have 64,000 citizens in our Ward, 3% of that is just under 2000. If I get less than that, I will take them into account, but may choose to exercise my own judgement.

          What I would like to do is a preemptive crowdsourcing poll, similar to what CCP did for their game Eve, in order to determine what exactly our Citizens value the most.

          Follow this link to understand: http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard...readID=1362966

          I would like to list all of the major expenditure areas, then use the poll results to determine my voting on issues. I would then report the results to my Constituency.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by kcantor View Post
            Originally posted by Brent Schaffrick View Post
            ...
            First, I disagree with the current City Council's decision to not hold a plebiscite on the fate of the Municipal Airport. I believe that one of the major goals of all democratic governments should be to maximize the amount of public participation.
            ...
            There are four conditions that must be held in order for the crowd to come up with the optimal solution. The crowd must be diverse, independent, decentralized, and aggregation must be possible. That is, the more diversity, the more uniquely different perspectives, the more likely the correct answer will be presented. However, independence between members of the crowd is necessary, or the crowd is likely to move from the optimal solution to a non-optimal compromise solution. Also, if the crowd is getting all their information from one centralized source, instead of being able to specialize and draw on their own local expertise, the answer is less likely to be the best choice. Finally, there must be a way to aggregate, or sort the crowds answers.
            ...
            even if one were to agree with your premise regarding the wisdom of crowds, the four conditions you note would not have been with a plebiscite even if the legal requirements for a petition calling for one had been met.

            you are presuming that those that might vote are in fact more diverse than the representative they have democratically elected to council to represent them whiloe looking at our actual council members, it might be easier to make the case that they are a more diverse group in their representation than voters as a whole.

            you are presuming that councillors either individually or as a group are not as independent as voters either individually or as a group.

            you are presuming that after all of the public hearings and support and years of actually researching and reading all of the information and reports availabe to them that our council members were less reliant on single source information than those that signed plebiscites in the midst of a $500,000 advertising and promotion campaign from a vested party.

            you are ignoring the fact that council voting is aggregated instantly and electronically.

            finally, you fail to define the numbers required to constitute a crowd. based on the old saw that "two is company, three is a crowd", 13 council members could comfortable be considered a crowd. so even by your own theory - if it is credible - our crowd of councillors already arrived at the correct and wise decision not once but twice and for hundreds of thousands of tax-payer dollars less than the cost of a plebiscite.

            so to comply with the forum requirement to pose questions, would you agree that 13 is a crowd? or would you agree with the legal requirements of a crowd as being that number defined by the municipal government act and to which those 13 were legally obligated to respect? and if it is some amorphous number in between, how would we ever be able to govern without being second guessed to a stand still by some number of people that might be considered a crowd - or might not?
            I understand your line of reasoning. I simply disagree with it. You are looking for reasons to have something fail. I believe in the old saying "What ye seek, so shall ye find." I believe that if I tell my citizens up front that I will be looking for their input, and I will vote based on their desires, then the citizens will choose to assist me.

            As for City Council Meetings, I remember from my Statistics classes that you really need a minimum or 24 to 30 differing numbers in order to make statistically significant conclusions from the result, and the more you have the better.

            13 Council members might, in some cases, be diverse enough. The problem with City Council is we all sit and talk together, and that removes our independence. When you discuss things with friends, you normally come to a consensus (though sometimes you agree to disagree), which is often not the best solution.

            This is probably not what you want to hear. You want a solution that is completely perfect in all ways, for everyone. I am happy with a solution that involves the input of everyone. We can work towards being better, but we have to start somewhere. I choose to start here and now.

            Comment


            • #21
              Updated my website again this evening. Added a few new sections on Accountability and Taxation. Need to work on my explanation of taxation policy some more, and add a link to the Cities LRT page.

              I built my webpage in flash, so it would be convenient for me to update. I have received an email from someone that would like to be able to read my page from their iPad. Anyone out there know how I can make my page text only compatible? The only solution I see is to set up an entrance page with a choice to go to either my normal page or a text only version, but that seems inelegant.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Channing View Post
                Originally posted by Brent Schaffrick View Post
                City council has been able to pass bylaws limiting the amount of money each candidate for council may spend on his/her own behalf during election periods. I see no reason these bylaws cannot be extended to include plebiscites.
                And there are no members of the public vowing to raise $500,000 for a certain mayoral candidate? Those laws are weak and tough to enforce.

                Originally posted by Brent Schaffrick View Post
                All I am getting from reading this is that you do not approve of my desire to consult the residents of Ward 11. So, yes, I believe that as a group, the residents of Ward 11 have more combined brainpower than I do as an individual.
                Far from it, I agree you should be talking to the community and the residents of Ward 11.

                But most of the the community and the residents don't have the time or the expertise to be knowledgeable enough to have informed opinions or make informed decisions.

                That's what I expect the council members to do. Have the time, have the expertise or hire or consult with those that do.

                I do have a couple questions for you.

                1) Do you see the LRT expansions as a priority for the City, and if you do, what are you willing to sacrifice to make them a reality?

                2) Do you expect to have a plebiscite for the LRT expansion?
                1. Yes, very much so. Unfortunately the funding required is in the Billions of dollars, and we cannot do this at the municipal level. We have to get the funding from other levels of Government.

                2. So far, from all of the people I have talked to, not a single one has said they are against LRT expansion. I know there must be a few, likely people that live along the route and are worried about the noise, but I have not talked to any yet. So no, if I cannot find more than 10 people from the hundreds I have talked to that are against an issue, then holding a plebiscite would be a waste of money.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Brent Schaffrick View Post
                  Originally posted by kcantor View Post
                  Originally posted by Brent Schaffrick View Post
                  ...
                  First, I disagree with the current City Council's decision to not hold a plebiscite on the fate of the Municipal Airport. I believe that one of the major goals of all democratic governments should be to maximize the amount of public participation.
                  ...
                  There are four conditions that must be held in order for the crowd to come up with the optimal solution. The crowd must be diverse, independent, decentralized, and aggregation must be possible. That is, the more diversity, the more uniquely different perspectives, the more likely the correct answer will be presented. However, independence between members of the crowd is necessary, or the crowd is likely to move from the optimal solution to a non-optimal compromise solution. Also, if the crowd is getting all their information from one centralized source, instead of being able to specialize and draw on their own local expertise, the answer is less likely to be the best choice. Finally, there must be a way to aggregate, or sort the crowds answers.
                  ...
                  even if one were to agree with your premise regarding the wisdom of crowds, the four conditions you note would not have been with a plebiscite even if the legal requirements for a petition calling for one had been met.

                  you are presuming that those that might vote are in fact more diverse than the representative they have democratically elected to council to represent them whiloe looking at our actual council members, it might be easier to make the case that they are a more diverse group in their representation than voters as a whole.

                  you are presuming that councillors either individually or as a group are not as independent as voters either individually or as a group.

                  you are presuming that after all of the public hearings and support and years of actually researching and reading all of the information and reports availabe to them that our council members were less reliant on single source information than those that signed plebiscites in the midst of a $500,000 advertising and promotion campaign from a vested party.

                  you are ignoring the fact that council voting is aggregated instantly and electronically.

                  finally, you fail to define the numbers required to constitute a crowd. based on the old saw that "two is company, three is a crowd", 13 council members could comfortable be considered a crowd. so even by your own theory - if it is credible - our crowd of councillors already arrived at the correct and wise decision not once but twice and for hundreds of thousands of tax-payer dollars less than the cost of a plebiscite.

                  so to comply with the forum requirement to pose questions, would you agree that 13 is a crowd? or would you agree with the legal requirements of a crowd as being that number defined by the municipal government act and to which those 13 were legally obligated to respect? and if it is some amorphous number in between, how would we ever be able to govern without being second guessed to a stand still by some number of people that might be considered a crowd - or might not?
                  I understand your line of reasoning. I simply disagree with it. You are looking for reasons to have something fail. I believe in the old saying "What ye seek, so shall ye find." I believe that if I tell my citizens up front that I will be looking for their input, and I will vote based on their desires, then the citizens will choose to assist me.

                  As for City Council Meetings, I remember from my Statistics classes that you really need a minimum or 24 to 30 differing numbers in order to make statistically significant conclusions from the result, and the more you have the better.

                  13 Council members might, in some cases, be diverse enough. The problem with City Council is we all sit and talk together, and that removes our independence. When you discuss things with friends, you normally come to a consensus (though sometimes you agree to disagree), which is often not the best solution.

                  This is probably not what you want to hear. You want a solution that is completely perfect in all ways, for everyone. I am happy with a solution that involves the input of everyone. We can work towards being better, but we have to start somewhere. I choose to start here and now.
                  then we wil certainly have to agree to disagree... for it's not me that is looking for reasons to think that something that works quite well now is a failure that needs replacing with something that fails virtually everywhere else it has been implemented (i.e. california). as far as i am concerned, what is in place now has demonstrated quite strongly how effectively and how democratically it does work on our - including your - behalf between as well as during elections.
                  "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    The Alberta Aviation Museum Association, in 2006 a small community museum now the 3rd largest aviation collection in Canada, is a feature tourism attraction in North Edmonton currently serves (5) veterans organizations, (3) Heritage organizations, (2) Youth organizations as well as a series of (6) modern aviation volunteer organizations such as the Civil Air Search And Rescue Association. The Museum also has the most advanced K-12 aviation education programming and is currently an operationally self sufficient not for profit operation that receives no operational funding from any level of government.



                    This is a facility that currently receives over 150,000 individual uses per year and attracts visitors from around the world.


                    What do you, as a candidate commit to specifically doing to insure the ongoing success and expansion of the Alberta Aviation Museum with the closure of the City Centre Airport and the damage it will cause to the facility?



                    I have been directed to ask on behalf of the boards of this facility.



                    Thomas Hinderks
                    Executive Director
                    Alberta Aviation Museum

                    Comment

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