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Biggest Blunders By Your Councilman During the Past Four Years.

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  • #31
    We had years of demanding a take no risk leadership approach to running the City as we tried to cope with the aftermath of the 1970s boom. Poor Bill Smith had his hands tied behind his back by voters and the anti-tax media.

    I can see that attitude creeping back into the public mindset. Basically, we want diversification, we want infrastructure improvements, we want a lot of things - but when the economy slows we adopt a very hostile approach to city councillors, MLAs, etc. for any failures. Slap anyone's wrist when they try to do anything at all unconventional and you quickly get a "no one move and no one gets hurt" result. Here come the '90s!!!!

    Remember those 1990s; with all the bad publicity City Council received for any little tax increase no matter how small. We demanded that the City run itself on a shoestring budget. We ended up with a legacy of poorly maintained infrastructure that only later non got called ' "an infrastructure deficit" that had to be done away with'. That was only when we saw beyond a shadow of a doubt that the economy was on the upswing big time. Only then did we decide to do away with this "deficit (that a few outcasts had long argued was hurting our future). Only when the price of doing away with this infrastructure deficit had doubled or trebled did we think it safe to change course and open the spending and borrowing taps. That was basically coincidental with oil prices moving up and up and our view of the city's potential suddenly went from melancholy to exciting. Only then did we decide it was time for a Mandel, smart debt, etc. - saying Smith had had no vision or some such nonsense.

    That said, few people have a "buy low, sell high" mindset. Instead, they only see what everyone else tells them to see. A low price means something isn't worth much. A high and rising price means that 'it must be good'. Loosely this concept can be applied to the Edmonton of the 1980s and 90s, and it is coming back fast. A low price? It can't be very good. That attitude towards all things Edmonton can return. Good old "Deadmonton".

    So the focus here isn't just coincidentally a focus on the things the City Council has done poorly - and this thread wasn't to praise Council for the things they did well. We've had a Council that has done things, actually done things, and in doing so has made some mistakes along the way. We could soon have a Council that thinks to itself: 'we're not going to make the mistakes of the past, of the last council, as they got turfed for their errors. This city doesn't have much potential )it's obvious because the price appears low, right) so we're going to be hyper vigilant on every dollar spent and every task performed - basically no one move, until all conceivable negative possibilities have been fleshed out - so no one, meaning is, gets hurt - like the last guys in these seats.'





    Time for a Glaser quote (seems to copy in all wonky so best to go to the link);


    "PrOFessiOnaLisM is nOT enOUgh or The gOOd is The eneMY OF The greaT. early in my career i wanted to be professional, that was my complete aspiration in
    my early life because professionals seemed to know everything - not to mention they got paid for it. Later i discovered after working for a while that professionalism itself was a limitation. after all, what professionalism means in most cases is diminishing risks. so if you want to get your car fixed you go to a mechanic who knows how to deal with transmission problems in the same way each time. i suppose if you needed brain surgery you wouldn’t want the doctor to fool around and invent a new way of connecting your nerve endings. Please do it in the way that has worked in the past. Unfortunately in our field, in the so-called creative – i hate that word because it is misused so often. i also hate the fact that it is used as a noun. Can you imagine calling someone a creative?
    anyhow, when you are doing something in a recurring way to diminish risk or doing it in the same way as you have done it before, it is clear why professionalism is not enough. after all, what is required in our eld, more than anything else, is the continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for
    that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success. so professionalism as a lifetime aspiration is a limited goal."

    https://www.miltonglaser.com/files/E...hings-8400.pdf
    Last edited by KC; 17-09-2017, 01:39 AM.

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    • #32
      ^

      i'm not sure the electorate is frustrated by new infrastructure - or even the resulting tax increases - per se even when there are delivery issues.

      i think the electorate gets frustrated when it is seeing both of the above and still isn't seeing any improvement in the maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure. it's not thinking about the walterdale bridge so much as it's thinking about the walterdale bridge while looking at the low level bridge. it's not the new dog park downtown, it's thinking about the new dog park walking past tree grates with nothing but weeds growing them or medians with 3' weeds growing out of the concrete. it's looking at the sod in the new public utility lot connector knowing that in two years later it will be a stretch of dandelions.
      "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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      • #33
        Dandilions are municipalities all over showing they care about the environment.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by SP59 View Post
          Dandilions are municipalities all over showing they care about the environment.
          please feel free to substitute "thistles" for dandelions if it makes my point easier for you understand.

          besides, the dandelions don't really show municipalities care about the environment, it shows they aren't prepared to do enough watering and cutting and sod maintenance to keep them to a minimum instead of allowing them to take over.
          Last edited by kcantor; 17-09-2017, 08:54 AM.
          "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

          Comment


          • #35
            I think kcantor is hitting a key issue on the head. It is not this council that hasn't looked at new ideas and even supported them, but it is the execution of said ideas that is the key lament.

            Bike lanes, LRT, bridges, etc...all execution issues.

            So, I guess the question is...how are you holding your councillor (and administration) to account for these execution issues? The answer is...you're not. Can you? ...that's the real question. Are there real mechanisms in place to do so?

            So, instead of just starting a gripe list, and everyone knows you can grip about things...how can we enforce accountability outside a 4 year vote cycle?
            President and CEO - Airshow.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by kcantor View Post
              Originally posted by SP59 View Post
              Dandilions are municipalities all over showing they care about the environment.
              please feel free to substitute "thistles" for dandelions if it makes my point easier for you understand.

              besides, the dandelions don't really show municipalities care about the environment, it shows they aren't prepared to do enough watering and cutting and sod maintenance to keep them to a minimum instead of allowing them to take over.

              All that would be caring too much!

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              • #37
                Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                I think kcantor is hitting a key issue on the head. It is not this council that hasn't looked at new ideas and even supported them, but it is the execution of said ideas that is the key lament.

                Bike lanes, LRT, bridges, etc...all execution issues.

                So, I guess the question is...how are you holding your councillor (and administration) to account for these execution issues? The answer is...you're not. Can you? ...that's the real question. Are there real mechanisms in place to do so?

                So, instead of just starting a gripe list, and everyone knows you can grip about things...how can we enforce accountability outside a 4 year vote cycle?
                that's only part of it RichardS...

                it's the continuing to accumulate infrastructure debt at the same time as the new projects are being undertaken that is the biggest frustration.

                it would be easier to accept that sometimes $%^& happens when it comes to executing new things if $%^& wasn't continuing to happen on regular standard everyday things where it shouldn't.

                it's that everyday $%^& that brings the level of expertise and accountability in to question, not necessarily the new stuff.
                "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

                Comment


                • #38
                  It seems to me we pay way more taxes then we ever did but we get less service. At one time you could phone any city department and resolve issues. Now you have to go through this 3rd party 311 number and hope your concern gets to the right party. You could phone the utility company and they would send someone out. Now you have to phone your own plumber/electrician on your own dime. You go on line to fill out police reports and more than likely never see a cop at your door if you've been robbed. There are all kinds of scenarios where the city have absconded on what was once their responsibility but is now in the hands of it's citizens. Or the C of E forever putting fees or bogus charges on it's services. It's another form of taxation but they try to morph it into some other money grab. It's still money taken out of the taxpayers pocked not matter how they word it.
                  Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                    I think kcantor is hitting a key issue on the head. It is not this council that hasn't looked at new ideas and even supported them, but it is the execution of said ideas that is the key lament.

                    Bike lanes, LRT, bridges, etc...all execution issues.

                    So, I guess the question is...how are you holding your councillor (and administration) to account for these execution issues? The answer is...you're not. Can you? ...that's the real question. Are there real mechanisms in place to do so?

                    So, instead of just starting a gripe list, and everyone knows you can grip about things...how can we enforce accountability outside a 4 year vote cycle?
                    To me a large part of the problem is COE hegemony and an institution that is rotten to the core. So that no matter who we vote in office they are subject to the advice, the submissions, the reports, studies and background of the admin and management core.

                    So what does one do about that?

                    Notwithstanding that there has been several changes in management but with this being more indicative of a deep seated problem.

                    More of a concern is COE is just a microcosm of where the world is headed and into unclear, and vested interest priorities. So that a City of Edmonton doesn't just run a city it traps itself into a mire of studying everything endlessly. Drilling itself into myopic pits on issues, agendas, initiatives that could arguably fall easily outside of a cities domain.

                    So that we have a city perpetually ending homelessness, using libraries as drop ins, funding pro arena, all kinds of ineffective cycling initiatives, uber recycling initiatives, green everything, end pollution, end poverty, end unemployment, end divisiveness, end discord...

                    Its OK to just run a city and be focused more on typical agenda of a civic admin.
                    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2017, 11:12 AM.
                    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

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                    • #40
                      ^...........and instead of just administering the city it's a 'we are going to save the world' approach. That kind of mind think is what takes money from the bread and butter issues the city should be fixing. Not to mention the time wasted trying to look like super hero's. Case in point. EPS was musing (at least I hope it was just musing) at some point to open a Terrorist Bureau. WTF. What is the RCMP there for. Does the C of E warrant a Terrorist Bureau. How many times have we heard the powers that be re-assure us that Edmonton is a safe city. Then they start acting like we are a hotbed for terrorism. Not to mention the fact the media was full of welcoming Syrian refugees and other displaced middle easterners. What's the slogan, 'Welcome Refugees to Edmonton, We are a safe city, By the way we have a Terrorist Bureau'. Talk about mixed messages. C of E foot in mouth right there. Like closing all the liquor stores because we have a AA convention in town. Gives out the vibe of we are glad you are here but we don't trust you. EPS should be putting more resources into the drugs and gang wars going on than opening Terrorist Bureaus.
                      Last edited by Gemini; 17-09-2017, 11:50 AM.
                      Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by mseaver View Post
                        Mr Pereira, is of course the party responsible for the development of "LG House" built at 10531 - 135th St. Take a look at it on Google Earth - hard to miss. Built on a 25' section sub-divided from an adjacent lot in the days before the Infill gloves came off. Totally ECLIPSED sunlight that previously shone on the small bungalow owned by the elderly couple immediately north of him.

                        Ho-hum, just another collateral damage infill story.
                        Hard to miss? Street view dates back to 2014 and shows a flat-roof bungalow: https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54889...7i13312!8i6656
                        As does the overhead view: https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54889.../data=!3m1!1e3

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Titanium48 View Post
                          Originally posted by mseaver View Post
                          Mr Pereira, is of course the party responsible for the development of "LG House" built at 10531 - 133rd St. Take a look at it on Google Earth - hard to miss. Built on a 25' section sub-divided from an adjacent lot in the days before the Infill gloves came off. Totally ECLIPSED sunlight that previously shone on the small bungalow owned by the elderly couple immediately north of him.

                          Ho-hum, just another collateral damage infill story.
                          Hard to miss? Street view dates back to 2014 and shows a flat-roof bungalow: https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54889...7i13312!8i6656
                          As does the overhead view: https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54889.../data=!3m1!1e3
                          Thank you for pointing out the error I made. Join the fight against dyslexia. Give generously.

                          The correct address is 10531 - 133rd St. NW (not 135th St as originally posted)

                          Here is a Satellite View of LG House, the skinny home Mr Pereira built.

                          Here is a Street View link showing LG House (10531 - 133rd St. NW.) and the bungalow to the north (left of LGH).

                          For full appreciation when viewing these images from the comfort of your desk, it is important to study a) the height of the building, b) the unbroken continuity from front sidewalk to back alley of the building's north wall, c) the shadow the building casts over the neighboring lot to the north.

                          What is difficult to appreciate without actually being at the site is how CLOSE Pereira's building is to the neighboring house.

                          LG House is a monsterous two story w/ a flat roof built on a miniscule 25' lot. It was dropped like a bomb into the midst of a Glenora city block occupied by modest bungalows w/ pitched roofs on relatively large lots.

                          This development was approved long before the revsions for the Mature Neighborhood Overlay. Back then, Mr Pereira had to make his pitch to the Development Office a couple of times. With the changes council has heartily endorsed in the interval, buildings like this are springing up like noxious weeds throughout the city.
                          Last edited by mseaver; 20-09-2017, 11:08 AM.

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                          • #43
                            How did that house happen? It doesn't look like there's another half lot there, was is severed from an 80' lot or something?

                            Nothing wrong with 2-story houses or flat roofs, but the continuous building shading and overlooking the neighbour's back yard is something that shouldn't be allowed.
                            There can only be one.

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                            • #44
                              Current MNO Regulations: https://www.edmonton.ca/city_governm...veSept2017.pdf
                              Live and love... your neighbourhood.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Highlander II View Post
                                How did that house happen? It doesn't look like there's another half lot there, was is severed from an 80' lot or something?

                                Nothing wrong with 2-story houses or flat roofs, but the continuous building shading and overlooking the neighbour's back yard is something that shouldn't be allowed.
                                Of course that stuff SHOULDN'T be allowed, but the reality is that development officers sign off all the time. Implementation of the Mature Neighborhood Overlay just cut away any remaining pretense that developers were expected to conform or that existing neighbors had any say in what gets built adjacent to them.

                                In the case of LG House, it was built on a 25' parcel subdivided from the lot south of it. Apparently, there was an existing structure on the segment which was an outbuilding (a chicken coop).

                                Following its construction back in 2010, LG House and its builder were fĂȘted by a certain group of hipsters & fashionistas to whom the project had appeal. There are several on-line sites with photos and content about the project. When viewing any of those sites, take note of the idealized photo compositions used to present the front of the home. These carefully obscure the physical relationship between LG House and the property next to the north. Never let style be trumped by hardship inflicted on others.

                                A sampling

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