Following is retired City of North Van’s Councillor Guy Heywood’s last post from his blog.
Full post link is available here: http://www.guyheywood.ca/
Quoting in part:
Last Post, Last Word
This is my last post on my correspondence with Mr. Tollstam on the subjects of policing costs, secrecy, the public interest and bureaucracy etc.
It is also my last post on this blog since, like many of us who live in North Vancouver, there comes a time to just move on. I don’t like conflict and negativity. This correspondence and the blog has gone as far as it needs to.
If any of what I have talked about over the last couple of years has made sense, there is a pretty clear direction as to the work that needs to be done to make local government in North Vancouver as good as the quality of life and the people who live here. There are enough people with the time and resources to do it without my involvement for awhile.
Furthermore, that project will be a very positive one. A big part of it will entail thinking about what we as a North Vancouver community could do with all the time and money that is currently trapped in our duplicated governments and the needless dysfunction that comes from their natural pursuit of their own interests.
I know that some people would like to make reducing taxes the first priority and I am very certain that the risk of seeing them increase at the rate that they have in the past will be materially reduced.
However, our taxes are not (yet) that far out of synch with the rest of the region. My main issue is with the way they are spent.
I think the first tangible monetary benefit could be the construction of a new Harry Jerome community recreation centre, sitting as it does in the middle of North Vancouver and used pretty much 50/50 by City and District residents. The magnitude of the savings that could be gleaned from a gentle merging of the two bureaucracies would easily pay for that over a 25+ year amortization period with no new taxes!
Even more exciting is the savings in terms of time and energy currently spent on all the ‘work arounds’, joint reviews, negotiating and coordinating that has to be done to offset the natural competition between two bureaucracies and deliver services in spite of the City/District divide.
Those savings could be spent developing a true ‘North Vancouver’ brand. One that inspired and reinforced our sense of the wonderful place that is North Vancouver. A ‘true North Vancouver’ brand would look nothing like the District’s never-ending quest for “Identity” (the title of it’s Official Community Plan). Nor would it resemble the City’s resolute effort to shape community inside its awkward boundary with self promotional programs like the recently unveiled “CNV4ME”.
Instead of CNV4ME, I would rather talk about “North Vancouver for all of us!”
I feel better all ready….
ps. I will leave this up only a few days. What follows is my response to Ken’s second letter. It may read as a bit harsh but I believe the points are valid. I also think this is really an issue of structure rather than personalities. It is understandable that a 35+ year employee of a bureaucracy is going to defend it perhaps beyond being reasonable, but he should use information that is correct and not misleading in his arguments.