Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Are YOU Our Next City Councilor?

As many of you know, my election to the office of Mayor will open up my City Council seat for appointment. In a nutshell, the process is as follows: Vancouver residents apply for the position through December 18. In January, City Council will select "semi-finalists" for interview, and then from that group, select finalists. From that small group, sitting council members will vote on an appoint a new colleague.

By law, any appointed council member must run for the office in the next general election. So that person must campaign for and the office, and run against any challengers, in November 2010.

Then, the winner of that election must run again in the 2011 general election, when that council seat's term expires.

It'll make for a very long campaign "season" for the person selected, but I can say from experience that if you would like to serve your community in this way, all of the effort is worth it.

I (and I'm sure the City Council, too) would be absolutely elated to have hundreds of applications for the vacant council seat.

This is a real opportunity for citizens in our community that have an interest in serving (and working hard) on behalf of our citizens.

If you think this opportunity might be for you, please take a moment to visit the city's website and review the application .

Forward the application to friends, business colleagues, neighbors….anybody who you think may have an interest.

Applications are due by 5pm on Friday, December 18.

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Responsible Management of Your Tax Dollars

Thank you to all of the citizens who came out last night, and who have written and called, to express their feelings about the City Council’s proposed 1% tax increase. As those of you who saw the deliberations know, it was a difficult decision for the council. We were faced with weighing the burdens on our struggling citizens and the burdens on a struggling budget, for services that serve those citizens.

I and some of my fellow councilors voted against the tax increase, because the revenue for the city would be a drop in the bucket. But the message sent by increasing taxes in such tough times would be terrible – it would be like saying, “we know you’re struggling, but we’re going to ask for more taxes anyway.”

When I campaigned to become your Mayor, my first and primary pledge was to examine city spending and make better use of your hard-earned tax dollars. We cannot continue to raise your taxes every time City Hall sees a shortfall – that is an attitude of the past. It is our responsibility, as your elected representatives, to spend your money wisely and in your best interests.

There will be some difficult decisions in coming months, as we reinforce and clarify our city’s priorities. But you have made yourselves heard and your wishes are clear: just as you, in home and business, are being forced to do much more with much less, so must your government.

Thanks once again to all of you who made yourselves heard, in person and in letters and phone calls. We need your input and participation on this and all matters. I and many of your council members make a solid and concerted effort to get out into the community and talk with and listen to you. But we need you to reach out, too—so thank you for doing so, and for helping us make informed decisions.

To shift gears a bit now, I am very excited to announce a couple of upcoming events on New Year’s Eve and January 20. More on these to come very soon … but let me just say right here, that if you don’t have plans yet for New Year’s Eve, you do now! Stay tuned …