WVM2006-12: Ccl Notes May 1st; AGENDA 8th; Calendar to 18th
by Carolanne Reynolds, Editor
As we get older, time goes faster -- but this is getting ridiculous.
As I wrote some years ago (if I can remember the haiku exactly but this wd be close):

                        the days become hours
                                months melt like weeks
                                        and soon the years disappear
As William Saroyan said: "In the time of your life, live!"
Time is precious and hope you are enjoying this glorious spring that's really like early summer (in the 70s on Thursday!  -- I'm an old-fashioned Fahrenheit gal).  The intoxicating scent of lilacs is in the air.
Unusual photos of rainbows: http://www.missouriskies.org/rainbow/february_rainbow_2006.html
Sorry two well-known West Vancouverites passed on recently.  First, was caught by surprise b/c I'd just seen one of Art Jones's interviews on Shaw not long ago, and he looked as well-groomed and smooth as ever.  Then, Ken Griffiths who was so welcoming and kind when learning I'd been appointed Council liaison to the WV SPCA to wch he devoted a great deal of time.
CULTURE WATCH:  See Norman Foster's "Office Hours" at our own KMC for some laughter (till May 6).  Then the three hours of Faust with a soprano from NV and a geometric set.
May 8th Ccl Mtg has Five-Year Financial Plan, three readings of Budget 2006 w/ amendments possible at Second Reading so make your views known to Ccl about the largest tax increase in years; cost of new Cmnty Ctr already up $5m from last year's estimate so making cuts! (agenda at end, again strange the Apr 24th minutes not yet available, will be 'on-table'; as I write this the DWV website is partly down and I can't access some parts);
SECTIONS:  EVELYN DRIVE as of May 4th; Calendar to May 18th; UPDATES (Fire Chief's departure, Eagleridge Watch -- amazing info,  EMAIL ATTACHMENT TO LETTER, that tunnel not costed!!!); Ccl Mtg Notes May 1st (Budget information/submissions and Youth Ccl); Ccl Agenda May 8th; Quotations.

=== EVELYN DRIVE "Study Area" as o= f May 4th ==============

Getting curiouser and curiouser.
Why was the cmte mtg on May 4th not on the DWV website calendar?
Why was it reported to the cmte that the public, as a result of the Open House, favoured Option E, highest density, when over half of the forms (about 85 of the ~150) were faxed/received after the Open House, some -- almost clones -- from an untraceable fax number received somewhat sequentially (and, no real surprise, favoured Option E)?
Where were the 500+ residents against density when the previous zoning change came to Ccl (maybe they'll come to speak when they see the amendment to the OCP)?
The good news is that several queried the anomalies in the feedback forms received, some diligent members of the cmte managed to view the originals, and proved a large number questionable and ought not to be counted.
(There may be a letter to Council from cmte mbrs detailing this, as well as additional information on the DWV website as part of the Evelyn Drive webpage.)
Why on earth wd any professional and/or staff take these feedback forms at face value or seriously in the first place?  Surely they're experienced in such matters and not so easily fooled/misled -- one wd not want to think biased or motivated.
So the bad news from the point of view of the process is that the feedback was flawed, the (semi-)good news is that the results were discredited and cannot be used.
What was the use of the Open House?
One then wonders about the $160K cost of this study to taxpayers so far.
(I hasten to say that none of the volunteer members receives any compensation except for the sandwiches/nibblies at the mtg.)
As you may recall, I was incensed at the Open House in April to see Option A, retaining present single-family zoning, showing that wd represent a loss.  RIDICULOUS!  All over the municipality and even a couple of lots near me, speculators buy a house, demolish it, and put a new one there.  And they're making money.  Absolutely no doubt.  So with those Ev Dr homes, many only .17 to .18FAR, replaced by those at the higher limit now of .35FAR, of course there'll be a profit.
(It's not relevant but some of the properties were purchased at 2003 prices and you know how much your assessment has gone up so far!  Anyway, this is a study about what the cmnty wants to see in the Evelyn Drive Area -- some housing options according to the OCP -- not about risk.)
Not only that.
The new financial analysis given to the Cmte May 4th showed a loss for Option B as well
For the record, Option A is 57 units (since the rest of the 65 are not available for devt), B is 255, C is 350, D is 428, E is 511.
C is purported to be a profit of 6.3%.  (Wanna buy a bridge?)
Besides, Option D or E are not possible at this time.
BTW, during discussion at an earlier mtg, it was thought A and E were goalposts, extremes, that few wd take as realistic or acceptable.
Good to learn there will be a survey to see if any significant plants or trees, and there'll be a heritage evaluation including of one of the houses there where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had tea during their visit to WV (1939, I think).
What provisions for traffic are being made with this concentration if high density?
What are the sizes of the units?  the coverage? Makes a big difference!
What do you want to see in the rejuvenated Evelyn Drive area?
If any multi-family, what about rental units for the many older WV residents who want to downsize -- this usage may come later once Ccl has settled on the FAR?
What kind of report or recommendation on what basis is going to go to Ccl when there are flawed factors?
How do we keep WV's character, or better still, enhance it?
Thank gosh for small mercies -- another mtg is planned for around June 1st.

To find the info on the DWV website, here's the convoluted route:
Home >>&n= bsp; Planning & Development >>  Community Planning >>  Current Initiatives >>  Evelyn Drive Area Planning Study
PURPOSE: To guide the preparation of alternative development scenarios for the Evelyn Drive Area Planning Study and ensure issues are addressed.
The Evelyn Drive Area encompasses 20.9 acres (shown on map).  At present there are 65 lots with 62 single family homes.
The Official Community Plan identifies the area as a study area, calling for a comprehensive plan that addresses traffic issues, access, visual impacts, views, topographical constraints, appropriate housing forms, and that includes a description of community benefits.
Staff contact: Geri Boyle (gboyle@westvancouver.ca), 925 5968

>>>  CALENDAR to May 18th  <<<
        + Youth Week events in Calendar were in the last issue
        +++ FERRY BUILDING GALLERY EXHIBIT -  "INHERITANCE" [Apr 18 to May 7] +++
----MEETINGS------pls note some changes/additions from previous list-----------------

===  Monday, May 1st ~ Cmte of Whole CANCELLED; instead Youth Ccl Mtg in Ccl Chambers
***  NB: SPECIAL CCL MTG AT 5pm FOR BUDGET INPUT before the Youth Ccl Mtg  ***[see notes below]

===  Tuesday, May 2nd
~ 3:45 - 5:45 ~ YAC
~ 4:30 - 6:30 ~ EAC

===  Thursday, May 4th
~ 5 - 9pm ~ Community Open House at Ambleside Youth Centre
~ 5:30 - 8:30 ~ Evelyn Drive Guidance Cmte mtg in Ch of Commerce boardroom (not on DWV Calendar)

===  Saturday, May 6th
~ 10am - 4pm ~ Beat the Heat! Basketball Tournament at Gleneagles Cmnty Ctr
~ 7:30 - midnight ~ Battle of the Bands/Youth Fashion Showcase at the Ice Arena
~ at Eagleridge ~
Join us for another informative and entertaining "Saturday at the Bluffs". Bring your family, friends, and neighbours.  Get informed, take a walk, and enjoy the entertainment (bring your own instruments and voices too)!
===  Sunday, May 7th
~ 10am - 1pm ~ BC Special Olympics Walkathon (Ambleside)
~ 2 - 5pm ~ Canuck Place "Hike for Hospice" (Ambleside)
~ 2:30pm ~ Pacific Baroque Orchestra at WV United Church (21st & Marine)
The Young Romantics: A Tribute to Youthful Genius; Rossini, Mendelssohn, and Giuliani with Alexander Dunn, guitar soloist.  Tickets are available at the door or by phone (604-215-0406); $28; $23 (Senior); $12 (student); 19 and under, free
~ 7:30pm ~ Jubilate! Chamber Choir at WV Presbyterian Church (2893 Marine) -- Shakespeare Sings, features choral music of Shakespeare's time, plus settings of his poetry; Christopher Gaze is special guest.

***  AT THE CCL MTG May 8th, Ccl will give three readings to BUDGET 2006  ***

===  Tuesday, May 9th
~ 4:30 - 6:30pm ~ DAC (Special Meeting)
~ 6 - 8pm ~ HAC
~ 7 - 9pm ~ CSAC

Meanwhile, over at the FERRY BUILDING GALLERY:
~ 11am ~ Start of Art Sale for Fundraiser for Friends of the Gallery (and hours May 10/11 also 11am to 7pm)
~ 7 - 9pm ~ FBG Opening Reception: Spring Runoff, paintings in luscious oils and glazing by Carole Arnston
===  Wednesday, May 10th
~ 6 - 9pm ~ PEAC
But first:
~ 7:30am ~ Chamber of Commerce Breakfast with Mayor Goldsmith-Jones talking about the Winter Olympics in Turin
2006 Olympic Experience -- Sponsored by: The Whistler Mountaineer
Join us and our guest speaker, Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, as she relates her experiences, observations, and memories of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. She will also provide her insight and offer some advice as to what we might want to consider when developing our own 2010 Olympic offerings for West Vancouver.
Be sure to attend for a chance to win a trip for two on the Whistler Mountaineer.
Location: Hollyburn Country Club -- Time: 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM.
$20 for members, $30 for non-members (GST included); Call 926 6614 to reserve (by noon Monday May 8th)

===  Friday, May 12th

Informal Concert at Hodson Manor
Katelyn Clark, harpsichord:
Harpsichord Music from the Seventeenth Century
The programme will include works by Froberger, Frescobaldi, Picchi, Byrd, Bull, Couperin and Jacquet de la Guerre.
Harpsichordist Katelyn Clark, originally from Victoria, BC, studied with Doreen Oke in Vancouver and with Bob van Asperen in Amsterdam. She is currently enrolled in a Doctoral Programme in Harpsichord Performance at McGill University in Montr=E9al, studying with Hank Knox.
Friday, May 12, 2006  Concert at 8:00 pm | No Pre-Concert Introduction
Hodson Manor   1254 West 7th Avenue
Tickets at $10 (students, seniors & members $8) only at the door on the evening of the concert.
Please see our web site for more details: www.earlymusic.bc.ca/ssn-informal.htm or call (604)732-1610.

SEHAB -- You're Invited
The severe decline in coho returns to many south coast streams in 2005 and predicted poor coho survivals in 2006 are of great concern to stewards restoring salmon-bearing streams and to people who fish--anglers (who fish in both rivers and tidal waters), commercial fishermen and First Nations fishermen. Therefore, SEHAB is hosting a forum on coho issues on Friday, May 12 in North Vancouver at The Holiday Inn, 700 Lillooet Road. The forum begins at 7:30 P.M.
There will be panel presentations, followed by Q and A.
Salmon, Bert Ionson - Acting Regional Resource Management Coordinator, will speak on DFO's coho management actions.
Dr. Ron Tanasichuk, Pacific Biological Station
Dr. Tanasichuk will discuss his work on euphausiid shrimp, their influence on survival of coho, chum and sockeye salmon and the ability to predict salmon runs according to the abundance of one species of euphausiid shrimp.
Reid Schrul, - Capilano Salmon Hatchery.
Reid will talk about the 2005 coho return to Capilano and how the facility would cope if it appeared that the hatchery was not going to reach its brood target of approx. 3,000.
Jack Minard - Tsolum River Enhancement Society
Jack will provide the perspective of a person in the PIP. Faced with a steep decline in the coho return to Tsolum River, the Enhancement Society, which does not work with coho at present, wonders if it should work with coho.
Sandie Hollick Kenyon DFO Community Advisor Will talk of watershed planning required for coho enhancement for PIP projects. How small [facilities] can work within the big picture.

The Salmon Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board (SEHAB)
SEHAB provides a liaison between Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and communities and volunteers engaged in salmon restoration, stream monitoring and habitat work in urban and rural British Columbia. We understand and appreciate the links between healthy fish stocks, sound harvesting practices, good land use practices, monitoring and enforcement, and the need for cooperation among the various stakeholders in government, industry, First Nations and community. SEHAB is a volunteer organization that provides a forum for volunteers to provide advice to the Federal and Provincial government focusing on:
=B7       Strategies to manage salmon stocks with conservation as a first priority.
=B7       Comprehensive and effective habitat protection and restoration policies.
=B7       Improved public understanding and education of the important environmental, social and economic benefits of BC's salmon resource.
=B7       Encouraging adequate resources are allocated to recovering, restoring and maintaining habitat.
Our board has representatives from around the province of British Columbia. We meet three times per year, to bring forward the concerns and successes of groups in our respective areas. We also conduct business Province-wide between our regularly scheduled meetings. Please visit our website at www.sehab.org for further information.

===  Saturday, May 13th
~ 9am - 1pm ~ Gleneagles Cmnty Ctr Garage Sale

===  Monday, May 15th -- CCL CMTE OF THE WHOLE MTG  ===

===  Tuesday, May 16th
~ 3:45 - 5:15pm ~ YAC

===  Wednesday, May 17th
~ 5:30 ~ FAC
~ 7pm ~ Board of Variance
~ 7pm ~ Library Board (Peters Room in Library)

===  Thursday, May 18th
~ 5:30pm ~ North Shore Family Court & Youth Justice Cmte at CNV M Hall, Conf Rm A
~ 7:30 - 9:30pm ~ West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society Public Meeting   
                St. Stephen's Anglican Church, 855 -22nd Street
        o  DFO Community Adviser - Rob Bell-Irving
        o  DWV Issues - Steve Jenkins, DWV
        o  Hatchery Report - Elizabeth Hardy
        o  Nelson / Eagle / Wood Creeks - Elizabeth Hardy
        o  Rodgers Creek - (HH),
        o  McDonald Creek - Ken Bryden
        o  Brothers Creek and Tributaries - Michael Ritter
        o  Claymore / Willow / Cypress Creeks - Barrie Adams
        o  North Shore Wetland Partners - Fiona Wright
        o  West Vancouver Shoreline Preservation Society - Ray Richards
        the WVS Directors seek your input for this year's needs and priorities.
        o  WVS Annual General Meeting September 21, 2006
        o  Bring your community events, times, and dates to the meeting.

=== UPDATES =========== ====

West Vancouver Fire Chief Making the Move to North Vancouver
The District of North Vancouver has announced the appointment of a new Fire Chief, Doug Trussler who will replace Chief Gary Calder who has retired after 34 years of service.  Doug Trussler is making the move to North Vancouver from neighbouring West Vancouver where he served as Fire Chief for the past four years.
Trussler's first assignment within the District of North Vancouver will be to work with West Vancouver to identify opportunities for the Fire Departments of both Districts to achieve efficiencies where it makes sense, and to develop an implementation plan to achieve those efficiencies.  "We are pleased to be able to put Doug's experience in West Vancouver together with his new role as Fire Chief in North Vancouver, to explore cost management opportunities while ensuring outstanding service to the community," says Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones.
CAO David Stuart is pleased to announce that during the estimated three month review process, Jeff Oates, currently Deputy Chief of Operations, will be acting in the capacity of Fire Chief for West Vancouver.

--- EAGLERIDGE WATCH  ------------
From  the Coalition:
As you know, many of our neighbours are sharing tents and sleep disorders; working to save Eagleridge Bluffs and the Larson Creek Wetlands from the looming highway disaster.  While the media seems to think they have enough food to last a lifetime, the reality is a little different.  Donations of food to those who are brave enough to tough it out on the Bluffs, (Highway exit #2) would be greatly appreciated.
Please note: If you do choose to donate food try to pick items that are not dessert types; ie. breads, cookies and fruits.
Of course, if you would like to join the campers, contact: P_Barnes@Shaw.ca .
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 12:05:01 -0400 (EDT)
More From: info@eagleridgebluffs.ca
Subject: EAGLERIDGE BLUFFS - Join us in the Wild
Thank you to a growing group of campers and daily supporters! You should be proud of being part of one of the most important citizen's actions in the history of British Columbia! Our resolve to continue the occupation at tent city until the BC Government halts the devastation and chooses an alternative route is stronger than ever.
Supporters of The Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs at Horseshoe Bay have been subjected to unprecedented scare tactics by the provincial government regarding personal liability. Don't be intimidated, there is no reason to feel uneasy about visiting the bluffs. It is now, at this crucial time that WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT more than ever.
"Late Friday, April 28, 2006, the contractor (Peter Kiewit Sons Co. Ltd.) and the concessionaire (Sea-to-Sky Highway Investment Limited Partnership) filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Dennis Perry, Bruce McArthur, John Doe and Jane Doe as the first step in seeking an injunction order to restrain protest activity in the vicinity of Eagleridge Bluffs.  Our lawyers have been advised that the companies wish to appear before a judge on Monday.
Nobody, other than perhaps Dennis Perry and Bruce McArthur, currently faces potential personal financial exposure as a result of this lawsuit.  Furthermore, nobody faces the possibility of arrest unless, and until, the court issues an injunction order and the order is defied.  We will have plenty of advance notice before that order is made.  Please note that peaceful protest is not only a lawful activity, expressive protest activity is a constitutionally protected right in a democracy like ours.  Often, it is the only means available to a group like ours when the government has tuned us out.  We can feel free to continue to peacefully demonstrate our displeasure with the government's decision until we receive a lawful order to stop doing so."
As most of you are aware, Jane Jacobs, one of the greatest urban and transportation thinkers in the history of the world recently passed away at age 89. Her book "the Death and Life of Great American Cities" (1961) is the seminal book of its kind. Her last public statement was that the Bluffs and Wetlands be saved. Her son, Ned Jacobs presented a tribute to her yesterday at the Bluffs.
"Please Remember Jane by reading her books and acting on her ideas. I have joined the tenters on the Bluffs. There could be no better memorial for Jane than to join supporters at Eagleridge Bluffs."  -- Ned Jacobs
Date: Thu, 4 May 2006 21:39:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Eagleridge Bluffs Coalition <info@eagleridgebluffs.ca>
BC SUPREME COURT, 800 SMYTHE ST. (between Hornby and Howe), 9:45 AM
(Car pool from Gleneagles Community Centre, 8:45am)
Thank you to the many people that came out to court today. We had such a large turnout that the proceedings were moved to a larger courtroom! Please lend your support tomorrow. We understand that everyone has busy schedules, so even if you can only come out for an hour or two, it really helps!
As you are aware, we are fighting Peter Kiewit & Sons' application for an injunction to keep us out of Eagleridge Bluffs. We have launched our own injunction against Peter Kiewit, as well as filed a lawsuit against the provincial government's many infractions of the Environmental Assessment Certificate.
See below for details.
This morning the Eagleridge Bluffs and Wetlands Preservation Society filed a petition in the BCSC seeking Judicial Review of the actions of the Provincial authorities who are suppose to be overseeing the mitigation aspects at Eagleridge Bluffs and the Wetlands. This law suit is against the Province of British Columbia, the Ministry of Transportation, the Minister of Transportation, the Ministry of the Environment, the Minister of the Environment, Sea to Sky Highway Investment Limited Partnership and Peter Kiewit Sons Co.
A declaration that the Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) does not comply with the legal requirements of the Provincial Environmental Legislation or with the Conditions of the Certificate, is sought. Other relief is claimed including an injunction to keep the contractor from doing any work in DB1. The EAC issued covers the Project from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler.  The work is divided into Sections. DB1 is for Horseshoe Bay to Sunset Beach.
At the moment, no relief is sought against the Federal Authorities including Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans.
As you know the matter of the EAC was previously before the Federal Court in 2005 at the instigation of West Vancouver.
The Court allowed the EAC to be issued but in strong language assured West Vancouver and the public that the Commitments post issuance of the EAC would have to be adhered to by both the Provincial and Federal Authorities.
Unfortunately this has not happened and the following has occurred:
1.    Limited or no public input post the preliminary design phase;
2.    No Environmental Management Plan (EMP) has been issued for the section of the contract known as DB1 from Horseshoe Bay to Sunset Beach;
3.    The Contractor is working illegally - they say that they are working pursuant to a phased EMP but it is clear, either because of the documents in the case, or the nature of the two sensitive ecosystems - Eagleridge Bluffs and the Wetlands of Larsen Creek, that no phasing of an EMP is appropriate;
4.    No studies have been completed and mitigation measures are not in place to ensure that the impact on the sensitive ecosystems and the recreational trails is reduced to a non significant level;
5.    The necessary permits, approvals and other authorizations have not been issued prior to work commencing (thus also making the work illegal);   
6.    Construction schedules are dictating what happens in the case, and we suspect pressure is put on RAs to agree, when indeed they have not finished their work or considered the EMP;
7.  The authorities and the contractor have not developed compensation plans, and indeed, for this area, none are really suitable.
Constructions schedules rather than environmental protections seem to be driving this activity.
- END -
About the Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs at Horseshoe Bay:
The Coalition consolidates public support for protecting the ecosystems that will be destroyed with an overland highway route, while working to inform the provincial government that viable alternatives would save irreplaceable natural environments while meeting all criteria for function, longevity, safety and cost. For more information visit: www.eagleridgebluffs.ca
Dennis Perry: 604-818-1224 and Bruce McArthur: 604-921-6910
Please take a moment to read the Globe & Mail article attached below. We've had some very positive media coverage over the last few weeks that challenges BC residents to seriously question the government's ill conceived decision to build an overland highway through Eagleridge Bluffs.
Our Tent City occupation is entering week three and it is imperative that we bolster the work of the Coalition with a continued strong presence at the Bluffs. We need volunteers to take morning, afternoon, evening and night shifts at Eagleridge Bluffs and Black Mountain camps. With your support, we will save Eagleridge Bluffs! Get involved now! Email us at volunteers@eagleridgebluffs.ca


A simple way to preserve Eagleridge Bluffs  
There's a safer, greener route that the Sea-to-Sky Highway could follow, MARK HUME writes:
MARK HUME -  To hear British Columbia's tough-talking Transportation Minister tell it, there is no reasonable alternative to the plan he is trying to ram through Eagleridge Bluffs in West Vancouver.
Every opportunity he gets, Kevin Falcon verbally slaps down the protesters who for two weeks have camped out on a right-of-way to block a government contractor from cutting down trees and blasting rock.
He has portrayed them as unreasonable, affluent elitists whose only concern is that they don't want a new highway in their pricey backyards. In this movie, he's cast himself as the courageous politician who has made an unpopular decision for the greater good.
Mr. Falcon claims the canyon he wants to blast through Eagleridge Bluffs -- as soon as he sweeps the protesters aside -- is safer and far less expensive than the alternative of a tunnel.
"There is no room for co-operative negotiations, or any negotiations," Mr. Falcon has declared. "We made the right decision. I am not going to move forward with an option that is going to kill 2=88 times more people, have worse environmental outcomes and cost a third of the entire Sea-to-Sky budget for the first kilometre."
One assumes that Mr. Falcon made this same pitch to persuade cabinet, and Premier Gordon Campbell, to back him in what has become an increasingly ugly showdown.
According to Mr. Falcon, the overland route will cost $70-million less than the $200-million tunnel and cause less environmental damage. Safer. Cheaper. Greener. Argument over.
Well, not so fast.
In the years leading up to the $600-million Sea-to-Sky Highway upgrade, the Ministry of Transportation exhaustively studied numerous options. Engineers drew a lot of lines on maps, including plotting two different tunnel routes under Eagleridge Bluffs. Then analysts worked through various scenarios, looking at economics, traffic capacity, project objectives and land-use issues.
They did not come to the same conclusion that Mr. Falcon did.   The Final Designer's Response To Value Analysis Report, dated Jan. 9, 2003, is one the minister might want to look up.
The report studied three options. The "split grade" overland route Mr. Falcon favours, a short one-kilometre one-way tunnel and a long three-kilometre two-way tunnel.   The long tunnel was deemed too costly. The overland route was the cheapest -- but it did not emerge as the obvious best choice.
"Of the . . . alternatives, the short tunnel option was adjudged by the Team to offer better value for money than the surface alignment . . . while the tunnels are approximately 20 per cent more expensive than the surface options, the benefit to highway users is approximately 50 per cent greater," states the report.
"On completion of the Value Analysis Workshop, the Review team recommended that the Design Team adopt the 1 km tunnel alignment."
The short, one-way tunnel is a clever option that would direct northbound traffic into two lanes burrowed under Eagleridge Bluffs. Southbound traffic would use the old highway route. It avoids the unsightly overpass and the great cut through the bluffs that has so angered West Vancouver residents.
It's neat, it's simple and it's only slightly more costly. According to the report, the short tunnel would cost about $140-million -- not $200-million.   That means it would cost almost $10-million more to build a short tunnel, instead of an overland route, not the $70-million Mr. Falcon likes to cite.   Analysts also looked at collision estimates and "user costs," which include such things as travel time and vehicle operating expenses.
"The 1 km Tunnel Couplet is the recommended option . . . since the additional capital of $9.6 M yields: $26.4 M savings in user cost and reduced accident costs."   The report also recommended the short tunnel for "reduced land use and environmental impacts."
So Mr. Falcon's unpopular overland route is initially the cheapest, but it is not the safest, it is not the greenest -- and for individual drivers, it turns out to be the most expensive.
For all that, he's set his government on a rough road that will end up tainting the image of what is supposed to be the world's first sustainable Olympics.
Honk if you think a permanent scar on Eagleridge Bluffs is a good legacy for the 2010 Games.   mhume@globeandmail.com

*** ATTACHMENT TO LETTER from Liz Byrd; May 8th Ccl Agenda (7.1.12) ***

From: Ken Dextras [mailto:kendex@dextras.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:25 PM
To: vpalmer@direct.ca  Cc: pmcmartin@png.canwest.com; denper@shaw.ca
Subject: [Eagleridge] Bluffs

Dear Vaughn:
I refer to my fax to you of Dec.15/05 and to our subsequent discussions.  I read your article in the Sun today and I thought I should write to you to clear up some very serious misconceptions on the above subject. As you know, I was directly involved in the bidding of Sea to Sky as a subcontractor to the three major general contractors: [Kiewit], Flatiron, and Aecon. I can tell you that the third-lane option was openly discussed by all concerned including the Ministry. I can also tell you that all three generals were quite willing to submit a separate alternative price for both the [third-]lane and tunnel options but for some unknown reason, the Ministry never formally requested it as part of the tender submission! Why this was handled this way is still a complete mystery. Asking for alternative pricing is a very common practice in the tendering of heavy civil projects of this kind. This is especially true when the Ministry is paying each bidder $1.5 million for preparing and submitting their respective tenders!
I see that Minister Falcon has told you that the [third-]lane option was evaluated at approximately $200 million. This has to be based on some sort of internal "ball park" estimate which is almost certainly way off base. Sound familiar? After the tenders closed, I was told by the generals that they had performed a rough estimate of this option on their own and the cost for same should come in at $80 to $100 million. In other words: even less expensive than the Ministry's own preferred overland option of $130 million.
The bottom line of all the above is that making hard decisions based on soft "ball park" numbers is inappropriate to say the least. Hard decisions require hard numbers and the only way to do that is to get firm, design-build, bonded, and insured pricing from the contractors.  Anything short of that is just glorified guess work that's unreliable.  The question now becomes: is it too late to do the right thing ? I don't think it is. Additions and deletions are a very common aspect of contracting. In order to properly evaluate these options, I would recommend a 60-day cooling off period during which time all three generals should be invited to submit their respective option pricing.

Once this is completed, then and only then can a rational additions/deletions decision be made. The overall schedule of the entire project isn't that critical that this small 4.7 km section (out of 95 kms) can't wait 60 days. By the way, the same logic applies at Porteau Cove where 28 kms are effectively being ignored leaving us with a permanent [two-]lane bottleneck right in the middle of a [four]-lane highway!

According to the Ministry, overall pricing so far has put some $200 million to the good. Therefore, why not take advantage of our good fortune and put it to work getting rid of this bottleneck once and for all. Again, firm pricing is required for that to proceed - not "ball park" estimates.
I trust this is satisfactory for the time being and I remain;
Yours truly,
Ken Dextras, P. Eng.
kendex@dextras.com   -  604-521-9296

======= CCL May 1st NOTES and BUDGET SUBMISSIONS =======
Please note: the emailed info on the Youth Awards were promised to be sent to me by email to put in this newsletter.  Not received yet, so will put in next newsletter.  You'll be proud of the extraordinary youth honoured.  The future may be in good hands!

QUICK NOTES dashed off late May 1st~~~
Still a blustery day as I breezed in and budget comments in full flow.  (Sp ccl mtg started at 5pm, Youth Ccl ended at 8:40.)
Must start out saying that it was disconcerting to arrive at the M Hall and see posted, where agendas by law must be at least 48 hours beforehand, a notice that said a regular ccl mtg on April 24th, ccl mtg on May 1st cancelled, Youth Ccl on May 1st, and regular ccl mtg on May 8th.
What about the mtg at 5pm I was going into for budget input!  Had it been cancelled?  So misleading.
DWV really owes out of courtesy to citizens to have correct and up to date information about meetings.
And as you know already, the Ev Dr Guidance Cmte was nowhere on the DWV website.  A member on the WVM enewsletter broadcast list wrote to say the mtg is indeed on Thursday May 4th and at 5:30 in the Chamber of Commerce boardroom.  Another person wrote to say it wd be contentious.  Strange that the feedback was option E when at the last cmte mtg before the Open House, it was decided to look at B, C, and D b/c A was rejected as single-family (OCP envisions some multifamily to address cmnty needs for housing options instead of replacing ~65 homes) and E as too high density (over 500 units).  Complicating this is the fact that C, D, and E cannot practically be part of the equation at this time.  Well, their display board said a developer wd lose money if it stayed at sgl-fam (what a crock!  sgl-fam lots are being purchased throughout this cmnty and another house put in its place, at a good profit.)
Does that leave us with B?
Stay tuned.
Was told feedback favoured Option E, highest density.  (Note that more than half of the forms were handed in AFTER the meeting!)
Go figure.
See Evelyn Drive Status above for latest.

===  SPECIAL CCL MTG @ 5pm, May 1st&nbs= p; ===
John Clark absent.
When I arrived, David Marley of the I Team of Six was about to speak.  His remarks follow in the budget submission section -- wants zero increase and more focused Task Force instead of a 'cumbersome' review.  Roff Johannson's submission also follows (wants a new approach).
Ray Richards thought the taxpayers were being "treated like cows to be milked", with M&Ccl as "eunuchs given the ceremonial function of approving a budget", this is a budget of their predecessors.  He went on to recommend budget info given to public for discussion the third week in October and expressed confusion/frustration that there are hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) in the capital budget but it may be something for a dept.  As multiple numbers started circling the room and our heads with nonmatching figures/columns, examples, and page numbers, the Mayor interrupted RR to say more wanted to speak and there's a Youth Ccl.  Although the Mayor said he cd conclude, he left the Chamber.  Not the first to opine how little time on the budget and so much on other things.  The full text of his submission is in the Budget section below.
This plaint's been heard on Ccl too.
Yours Truly had a few notes, eg some had told me (and I'll have one who brought it up write a formal letter) that if 70% of the budget is salaries and they're getting 3%, then the remaining 30% shd be at inflation, wch is 1.5%, meaning the increase shd be ~2.5%, not 4.2%.  I requested wrt the much-touted survey wch says residents prefer tax increases to a drop in services, the draft questions be circulated to Ccl and ratepayer groups before going out for comment/input.  Asked if the quarterly budget report wd be made public (ans: will be discussed -- gee, thx, folks).  I also wanted to know wrt the VCHA if the offer to lease or the lease agreement had been signed yet.  NOPE!  (Yikes! that $40m all on our backs???)  I sympathized with the challenges to pay for the most expensive project in WV's history but asked that Ccl let us know what the choices are.  Most of us do not want the Wetmore property sold.  How are they going to fund that honking great hole at the civic ctr?  One possibility wd be to move the GLHouse down to waterfront as some have suggested, a precinct, and sell that property -- it's already zoned highrise so with that density can get millions for it.  Tell us what you're considering selling as soon as possible so you can get our feedback.  To find out at the ccl mtg next Monday night will not afford time for residents to give you their opinion.
Well, I'll spoil the suspense and tell you that the motion, after Bill Vaughan spoke and asked more penetrating questions (is this reduction just deferring some expenses till next year? simply rejigging? budget expanding like Parkinson's Law?), was for staff to prepare a budget with a 3.5%. (3.25?)  (Looked like VV and MS voted against b/c of wanting it to be lower; will get clarification on this.) Evidently the reduction from 4.2% had been introduced at the beginning of the mtg before I arrived.
Let's hear it for the newies.
It sounds like they're going to go down fighting.  Their pleas were for more time, more info, lower increase (even zero); outright exasperation at shortness of time for decisions on a $70m budget.  And the millions in the capital budget was only released mid April.
Staff said started working on the budget last July, fees are reviewed, rates compare favourably with other Ms, not staff's prerogative to reduce staff b/c not part of their instructions.  The average assessment in WV is $1.026m and at 3.25% increase means $90 more.
Sop welcomed the idea of a task force and added a few other comments.
VV wondered if given what we know today, not known in July, same decision; expressing concern "somehow we're expected to function carrying out the mandate of the previous Ccl, not our own mandate.; don't believe we're expected to rubberstamp.....
Mayor: five on this ccl did
MikeS, bursting to speak -- been on ccl five months and really has no idea where spending money, unlike when he was on Sch Bd; some depts gone up 14.7% in two years, only way to find out about staff hiring is looking at the job postings on the website...not blaming staff, blaming who's steering the course.  "I'd love to roll up my sleeves and dive in but there's no pool to dive in!  The current situation is very frustrating and don't think sustainable."
The Mayor made soothing comments: that the new biz plan will be on the agenda next Monday; re budget, err on side of caution and longterm interests of the public.  The increase passes four to two; even Machiavelli wd caution against caprice; budget process needs to be deliberative, will change assumptions, biz plan is in draft form and coming forward next week -- economically sustainable, ensure our financial strength....
Sustainabliity Review (item added to agenda)
JF said public wants and expects high standards and high quality of life
VV wondered why expenses going up when popn not growing and about a quarter of users of rec facilities not WV residents -- growth or constant?
CAO: wd like to explore with Task Force
KP:  tracked and about 14 to 20% not from WV, some moved to NV cuz cdn't afford to live here ;
RD said WV is a welcoming cmnty; fuel costs up, insurance costs up; salaries LRB, no choice
Sop: some volunteers at SAC not from WV
Task Force passed unanimously
CAO (another item added to agenda, 4.3): a draft of the corporate biz plan has been distributed to Ccl and next week will give to Cmnty to comment on goals, governance
Correspondence, Consent Agenda:
R Fassler sought more information wrt the lots at 11th & Mathers
SJN said staff is talking to the province about the situation, perhaps rerouting the path; prov wanted $900K for it but DWV staff refused
RD: used by pedestrians and to get to Nepal Crescent the longest cul de sac in the M.
RD: Ev Dr Open House, Clovelly Caulfeild Open House (to keep forested and rural nature intact); saw "Office Hours" at KMC (Mayor, Cclr Smith also there)
spider monkey bars; conference journey to justice NShFamily Court; Hay Park
JF re disability issues
MS had visitors from out of town and again urged a lease (wd pay for the ad himself), having the concession stand open year round with washrooms and a first class restaurant upstairs in Ambleside
at PQP re fees and NV citizens, I suggested joint membership so share fees; wanted confirmation of the Ev Dr G Cmte mtg on Thursday at 5:30 at Ch of Commerce boardroom since not posted on DWV website; also attended "Office Hours", great and it's on till May 6th
break, music outside by WV Youth Band, the official band for WV
also included public transportation, widening MDr for a lane, greenways, etc until
first motion failed, combination then passed (I didn't catch the exact wording)
Really impressive set of awards and young people
I've asked for the info to put in the next WVM.
Adjournment about 8:40

May 8 is D-Day, or rather B-Day.
Previous presentations wrt the budget were in recent WVMs.
This interim ebroadcast has a letter being sent to Mayor and Ccl (about the increase/mandate using the survey so oft invoked as a reason for the tax increase this year) [1] plus submissions in order given at ccl mtg by Roff Johannson [2] and David Marley (made in public May 1st) [3] as well as by Ray Richards (lots of stats/comparisons, will boggle your mind -- just incredible the complex obfuscation exposed, and includes the rest of his remarks b/c he was in effect cut off and left) [4].  The statistics are revelatory.  So far there is one answer from staff (appended [5]) but I still have not received details about computer purchases/expenses (over $1m) I was promised last week.  The sad critical factor is that we shd not have to ask!!!  As a previous presentation pointed out -- we used to get 111 pages and now it's down to 11.   Last year when I asked for something we used to get, staff appeared not to know and I was grateful Steve Nicholls remembered and explained.   A few of my comments during budget info mtgs and after [6].
David Adams rightly opined that with these 'macro' figures, we don't really know how the money is being spent or where anything cd be cut.  He held up the Annual Report from last summer to remind Ccl what their stated goals were.  COL/rate of inflation of lower!  His notes were not available.
If other remarks/submissions are received I'll try to put them in WVM for your consideration.  One person wrote some time ago complaining that his taxes had gone up from ~$12K to ~20K in a couple of years.  Staff said that people whose assessments were up over 17% wd note the increase (last year).  This year the Director of Finance said that the average house at just over $1m wd have an increase of $90.  Keep in mind water, etc, other taxes went up 7 - 14% but are not within the purview of the M.
Do note that staff salaries have climbed incredibly over the past few years, 3% this year alone, well above CPI and inflation and prov govt settlements (with many making over $100K, with benefits highest over $200K) -- whereas poor councillors have had no increase for years and are under $25K a year.   Pity the pensioners.
This budget increase is the largest in many years.  WV already has the highest per capita taxation and we value our services and quality of life but balk at a blank cheque.
Ccl has already said they'll reduce it from 4.2% to 3.25% but there's a bit to go.  Let us support Cclrs Vivian Vaughan and Michael Smith urging zero-based budgeting and more and earlier information.  They need two more on board (on Ccl) to make a difference.  Let the others know!

Now to comments for you to consider.  Remember Monday May 8th Budget 2006 gets three readings.  Amendments can only be made at second reading.  Time is short.


= 1 = Letter sent to M&Ccl May 4th re Mandate  ============

Subject: Council's Mandate is to bring in a Budget at or below 2.6%

As political leaders it is important that you consider your mandate when making decisions.
Since no one ran last November on a platform of raising taxes we must look elsewhere for guidance from the electorate.

If we consider the triennial 2004 Community Survey we find:
(1) Taxes & Spending is listed as the second most important issue to residents (p.8). This also implies that respondents' answers to survey questions related to taxes and spending will have been carefully considered.
(2) Only 6% of residents want to see services (and taxes) increased (p.13). We can therefore safely derive from this that Council does not have a mandate to increase taxes to pay for additional services.
(3) 34% said maintain or cut taxes even if this means cutting services.
(4) 55% said increases taxes ONLY if required to MAINTAIN services.
From these figures we can see that the only mandate Council has is to increase taxes to the extent necessary to MAINTAIN services.

Also the only factors that staff have brought forward as reasons for the increasing costs of maintaining existing service levels are labour contract increases and inflation.
Finally, staff have indicated that labour costs have increased by roughly 3% and account for approximately 70% of the budget. Stats Canada reports that the CPI in Vancouver is rising at about 1.6% (which includes such increases as fuel).
From this we can determine that the necessary budget increase to maintain services is 2.6%.

Therefore, from the above, at least 89% of West Vancouver residents want a budget increase of 2.6% or less.

That, Mayor and Council, is your mandate. Nothing more.
George Pajari

= 2 ===  Roff Johannson  =================

Budget Questions - 2006
Mayor and Council, my name is RJ and I live at 775 Eden Place. I have a background that includes banking and government. That means I read balance sheets as a matter of course.
Every year at this time during my 20 years of living here, I find myself pondering the same questions concerning our taxes.
* Are we getting the best value for our tax money?
* How do I know this to be the case?
* How much of Council's time is devoted to managing our money?
* Have Council analyzed our past to see if there were lessons to be learned?
* Have we systematically compared our on-going (non-Capital) expenditures with
past years and with other Municipalities? Why not?
* In short, how meaningful has Council's review and overview procedure been? Is
it up to the task?
But until this year, I haven't asked these questions publicly. I am today.
This year, as before, I have attended meeting with the Staff to consider our financial situation. The Staff are clearly telling us that things have changed:
* the piggy bank (our reserve funds) have been drawn down significantly;
* our past easy practice of "pay as we go" is behind us; we have had the luxury of self-financing our projects;
* we want shiny new baubles, but they are beyond our immediate means;
* if we want the new toys, we will have to go into debt to pay for them.
How did we get to this place? How did we spend so easily? Why the crunch? Who is
responsible for it?
Staff [have] told us that:
* there is no regular review of program expenditures regarding their policy validity
(no zero-based)
* there is no regular review of our budget planning by outside groups (Finance Advisory Cmte)
* surveys organized by Staff suggest a very high level of satisfaction with services
Council members have said:
* They may devote 40 hours in a year to budget matters
* There is no effort made to compare expenditures with other jurisdictions
* The public does not interest itself in the Budgetary process.
Very respectfully, I suggest that these answers clearly indicate why we are at a watershed.
We may be in a more challenging setting than we know; I suspect that our structure is wrong and our results reflect it.
* staff is not an uninterested party to the outcome, yet they do all the work
* we don't have independent surveys of satisfaction
* we don't have mechanisms and procedures to compare systematically
* we don't review our experiences to learn from them
* we don't provide the means or resources for Council to do this work
* we don't ask Council to do this work, nor ask such questions at election time.
I conclude that if we are in a financial difficulty, it is not the fault of staff: rather, it is because citizens have not expected this kind of control and Council has not provided it.
What we need, in my view:
* more time and attention by Council to financial issues
* standard financial reporting across time and jurisdictions
* Quarterly Reports
* research and recommendations from outside the staff to support Council's decision-making;
* More generally, an approach by Council to financial affairs that parallels a Board of Directors' audit committee.
* A system that is open to paradigm shifts, such as consideration of out-sourcing or [P3] as opposed to always doing what we have done before.
We need new approaches, new thinking and probably, new [practices].
As a community, we need to be more professional, more systematic, and more creative. The changes that we need to make need to be defined here, by Council, for future Councils. I suspect that what we are doing isn't going to work in the future.  We need to make these changes at the political level, to give workable guidelines to our Staff.

We are a lucky group of people, to be sure, not just because we live in the country's finest neighbourhood. We are not in debt, we have been warned in advance that we are on a debt precipice. But more importantly, we live in a community where we have people whose knowledge and experience in financial matters is considerable and where there is a willingness to help out.
I suggest that we need to use those resources that can be found in the community to explore some alternatives.

It's time for changes; please begin.   

= 3  === David Marley, notes for rema= rks at May 1st Ccl Mtg ====

Appreciate the opportunity to make a second presentation to Council on behalf of ITAC.
Introduce members present:
Michael Lewis's birthday on May 8th … he's hoping Council will give him a present by not increasing his property taxes.
I've told ITAC members that our mayor was born on Bastille Day … hopefully, the spirit of that day will cause her to lead a tax revolution here in West Vancouver. 
We know that she is justifiably proud to be a fourth generation West Vancouverite … Like the rest of us, we're confident she wants to see a fifth generation of her family able to afford local homes and the accompanying property taxes.
It's worth mentioning that today is the deadline for filing your income tax return …as well as the recently released Fraser Institute study showing that, as of last year, the average Canadian family pays an overall annual tax bill that is $6,300 … or 29%…more than their cost of shelter, food, and clothing combined.
I'm pleased and, frankly, surprised to see so many people here at 5:00pm on a workday…when it was announced at the April 12th meeting that there would be further opportunity for public input to the budget process, I for one would not have expected that opportunity to be scheduled at such an inconvenient time for most residents … I'm not alone in this view, I'm sure.
The District's annual report for the year 2000 contains an extensive review of the budgeting process and calls for more opportunities for informed comment from interested members of the public.
In preparation for the 2007 budget, operating and capital, we'd like to see the initial proposals from staff emerge much sooner than they did this year … and with more supporting information made available such that the public will have a proper opportunity to offer informed comment to Council.
We'd also like to see the District's Tidings publication and newspaper ads make much greater mention of the budget process…In our view it deserves more attention that many subjects that get far more ink at taxpayers' expense.

Refer to a letter of today's date … sent to each of you earlier today by e-mail, with a copy hand-delivered to the Municipal Clerk's office.
In it we make two submissions:
First, that Council instruct staff to produce a budget before the May 8th Council meeting that involves neither a tax increase nor a compromise in service delivery levels.
This will necessitate finding efficiencies in cost drivers that are not directly related to service delivery. Fat tends to accumulate around the middle. That's where to cut.
We are informed that to achieve a one percent reduction in proposed property taxes will require a reduction in the proposed budget of $407,000.
Given the proposed budget in excess of $51,700,000 that should not be too much of a challenge for competent managers…
What is required is that council demonstrate the necessary political will to instruct that the necessary budget cuts be made.
As for the proposed Financial Sustainability Review … we believe the task force recommended by staff to be too cumbersome and the three-phase process proposed too convoluted…
It is likely that the task force will become too time-consuming for it to make a useful contribution to the 2007 budget process…
We submit that our recommendation of a smaller and much more focused Budget and Operational Efficiency Committee is to be preferred…
Existing levels of municipal services do not require review by a task force … staff should be conducting an ongoing assessment of service levels and public satisfaction…
The issue is whether existing or enhanced service delivery levels can be obtained for fewer tax dollars…We believe this will prove to be the case….
Council needs to appoint a committee that focuses solely on finding and recommending ways and means of achieving cost savings in the operation of our District's government.

Thank you.

==== Ray Richards (and you can tell= he's an accountant!)  ===
Comments on the West Vancouver 2006 Budget, May 1, 2006
    The taxpayers of West Vancouver are being treated as cows to be milked by the District. They show us the Operating Budget at the end of March when we know that 90% or more of the expenditures have been committed. It is even worse when the Capital Expenditure Budget was not available until mid-April after most of it is committed.
    But, if the taxpayers are being treated as inconsequential, consider how the Mayor and Council are being treated as eunuchs - you are there to perform the ceremonial function of approving this budget because legislation says it must be approved by Council. You have no time to put your imprint on this budget because it is too late to change it. In my opinion you were treated as a necessary nuisance. There are a few inconsequential items you can change, a few bones tossed your way.
    Frustrating, if you are trying to do your job. This is not the budget of this Mayor and Council, it is the budget of your predecessors, but it will appear as yours.
   Please don't let yourselves or future Councils be put in this position again. Pass a resolution that requires the budgets to be brought to Council and the taxpayers no later than the third week of October each year - elections not withstanding. You deserve to treat yourselves with respect. Taxpayers deserve no less.

Parks and Community Services:
     The greatest spending department is Parks and Community Services. It spends more than the Police Department, more than the Fire Department, more than all other departments combined. Now is a good time to review in detail the spending of this department.

General Fund Budget:
   The General Fund Budget is misleading because a lot of expenditures included in the Capital Expenditure Budget should be included in the annual operating expenses of the various departments -- they are not capitalized items. These expenditures are placed in the capital budget, we were told, as a means of ensuring the funds are not spent by department managers for some other purpose. Of course this is wrong and should not be condoned by Council.

Financial Statements:
    The 2005 financial statements are not available. Why won't they be released? Let's look at the 2004 Annual Report and page 34 the Statement of Financial Position at Dec 31, 2004. We see an item Property Plant and Equipment $204,848,859 at Dec 31/04, and $194.465.062 at Dec 31/03 indicating $10,383,797 of capital expenditures during 2004. On page 35 we see Capital Expenditures for 2004 $15,360,061, capital expenditures that were not capitalized.  On page 38 we see that Contributions to Property and Equipment shown as $15,360,061 but, BUT, $4,976,264 are noted as Not Capitalized, they weren't capital expenditures after all. What were they? We must guess. My guess is that the Capital Budget is used to hide some departmental operating expenses and/or as a way of using funds designated for capital uses for operating expenses.
    Why do we look at 2004 financials when we are dealing with the 2006 budget? Because it leads us to look at items in the 2006 Budget that has Capital Items totaling $28,621,382 and we must ask Staff to indicate all of the items they expect will not be capitalized at the end of the year and why these items are in the 2006 capital budget. We will come back to these later.

Parks and Community Services - General Fund Budget:
   There are no page numbers that can be used as references.
The Revenue Summary shows Fees and Charges for Parks and Recreation  $6,357,700
The Expenditure Summary shows Parks and Community Services  $14,607,676
         Note the difference in the names. Does the revenue not pertain to these expenses?
There is another document that was not given out to the public unless requested. It has another name, Parks and Culture Consolidation - Facility Recovery Rates. It shows Revenues of $6,098,350 but there is a strange item included in revenue, namely $325,000 of administration costs allocated to Golf Course expenses but classed as revenue. If you don't ask what the revenue was you don't find out that it isn't revenue but some overhead charged to the Golf Course. Why? Would it be an attempt to make the golf course expenses appear higher and hence make the profit from fees the golfers pay look lower? Or is it to make the net costs of administering the Parks and Whatever Department appear lower?
    This Facility Recovery Rates statement for 2006 does not show the Golf Course as a facility. In 2004 the golf course was included in this statement and there is no mention as to why this change was made. In 2004 the Golf Courses had revenues of  $1,074,100 and expenses of $705,193 and there is no indication whether administrative costs were included. Remember, there are items in the capital expenditure budget that might in fact be expenses of maintaining the golf course, it is impossible to tell. I guess we don't want golfers to see how they are being treated relative to other recreational facilities run by the District.

***** Interrupted here so terminated and left ccl chambers, rest of remarks received May 3 follows:
Budget comments continued:
Gleneagles CC
In the Parks and Culture Statement of Facility Recovery Rates the Gleneagles Community Centre is budgeted to have Expenditures of $1,430,000, approximately $176,400 more than in 2005, approximately $306,500 more than in 2004.
Revenue is estimated at only $841,300, a decrease of $41,000 from 2005.  But this isn't all. Why did we look at the Capital Expenditures not capitalized? Because the 2006 capital budget has $35,000 of equipment replacements and upgrades and $4,000 for maintenance and there is probably more for computers and who knows what else. That is why I think the Facilities Recovery Statement is misleading. Those are huge increases in expenditures while revenue from fees is decreasing. Now is the time to direct Staff to reduce expenditures to 2003 levels or less, to increase revenues, and to ensure that any "programs" bring in more revenue than they cost, they should contribute to capital.
Seniors' Centre:
The Facilities Recovery shows that the Seniors' Centre lost $536,600 last year and is budgeted to lose $518,000 this year. But in addition the capital budget has $20,000 for equipment, 6,500 for maintenance, $350,000 for building envelope, $125,000 to replace a bus and another $113,150 to be expended re an ICBC claim - over $1million dollars to subsidize the Seniors' Centre. My wife and I are members and it costs us $25 each for a year. In my opinion the annual fees should be more like $10 per month, $120 per year. Can you tell that I am not running for election or to be the most popular person in the place? I would say that 90% of the members are not poor. It is time to do away with the myth that seniors in West Vancouver can't afford to pay for their services. They go via bus to theatres, symphonies, etc. and they pay appropriately at the theatres so why not pay for the cost of the bus?  Admittedly, there are some seniors who are struggling financially and there is presently a process where their fees can be subsidized. The higher membership fees would not impact them, and there might be a few more that would need a subsidy.
Aquatic Centre:
The Facilities Recovery Statement shows the Aquatic Centre has an expenditure budget of $3,099,000, an increase of $248,000 over 2005, $980,000 more than 2004. The capital budget contains $104,000 for Equipment and Furnishings, plus $53,000 for maintenance and who knows how much for computers, and this is for a two-year-old facility.
Revenues were $2,162,600 last year, 2005, and are budgeted to increase just $188,000 this year. Of course some share of the parking lot expenses are applicable to the Seniors' Centre, the Ice Arena, and the Aquatic Centre.  Again, my wife and I are members here and use it most days of the week when we are in town. People who use it know that it is a bargain -- many from North Van attend and some have left commercial facilities to come here because of the low rates. Staff tell us the rates are 'competitive' with North Van. Let's increase the rates and see if [North Van's] don't follow.
       We were told by Councillor Ferguson that there were three times the number of people using this facility than was originally forecast. I have asked Staff to show me the original document with the forecast number of users. Not available. What are the facts? If use is three times the forecast would we not have three times the original revenue forecast. 2004 was the first year and despite a lot of free passes at the beginning there was approximately $2 million in revenue but they are only forecasting $3,099,000 in 2006.
       The Facilities Recover figures are very misleading. Including non-capital items in the Capital Budget contributes to the misleading of taxpayers BUT IT ALSO MISLEADS THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL in my opinion.
Lawn Bowling Club:
Did you know the Lawn Bowling Club paid the capital cost of their building, approximately $250,000 at the time; they paid for all the costs of their greens, etc.; they look after their own administration, fee setting, collection, etc. with ZERO subsidy from the taxpayers.
Hollyburn Sailing Club:
Did you know this club pays an annual lease to the District for the site they occupy. They pay for their boats and all their annual operating expenses with ZERO subsidy from the taxpayers.
Duplicate Bridge players are not subsidized, nor are skiers and many others so how does the District decide that potters should be subsidized, or artists subsidized?
Audit Committee:
      Once Council behave as Staff expects them to and passes the 2006 budget, the audited financial statements for 2005 will be presented to them for their approval. In my opinion it is atrocious that December 31 2005 financials are not available to us by March 31st.
     The Audit Committee of Council will receive these and meet with the auditors. For listed corporations "All members of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors should be financially literate and at least one should have appropriate accounting and financial related experience." Since it is unlikely that an elected member of Council has the appropriate qualifications and experience the Audit Committee of Council should retain an independent Chartered Accountant with suitable experience to assist them in reviewing the financial statement with Staff and with the auditors.
    The Audit Committee should have a checklist of questions to ask the auditors without Staff being present. The expert they retain should have one. It is important otherwise they can be hoodwinked. They should ask Staff to indicate all the items in the 2005 Capital Budget that were not capitalized in 2005, and they should ask Staff to indicate the items in the 2006 Capital Budget that Staff expect will NOT be capitalized and record them for checking at the year end.
I haven't been able to take the time to go into more items and we just don't receive enough information unless we make a special request to Staff. Of course when just one person receives information from the Staff they know it will not likely go to others and so it will remain out of sight and out of mind for most taxpayers.

That's all for now folks.
Ray Richards

=== Reply to RR re Aquatic Ctr  ======== =
Mr. Richards,
Here is some additional information related to your budget [enquiry] related to the aquatic centre and recovery rates.  Community recreation facilities are typically subsidized in communities; they do not fully recover costs nor make profits as they are regarded as services to the community that contribute to the quality of life. That said District staff endeavour to keep the net cost within reason based on total cost and percent recovery. The District of West Vancouver has a good record in this regard. When the expansion and renovation to the old  aquatic centre was approved for construction an increase in the operating budget was also approved by council.The aquatic centre has exceeded our expectations in terms of participation and with that are both increased revenues and expenditures to support the operation. Actual revenue from 2002 to 2005 grew by $1.6M, whereas the much larger and more complex facility has increased costs of $1.86M . The recovery rate on the incremental service is over 85%.
Actual recovery rates in the old aquatic center, 2002, were around 53% and 74% in 2005.
I hope this helps clarify the budget.
Josie Chuback, Manager, Community Services Department
Telephone:  604.925.7127 Email:  jchuback@westvancouver.ca

{There has been a response to this by RR raising more questions.}

= 6 ===  Your Editor's questions/comments  ============
*  Please tell us how you're going to pay for the at least $40m new cmnty ctr.    You didn't have a referendum on spending this amount of money.  You didn't ask, so tell us the choices and get our opinions.  Many don't want the Wetmore property sold.  The GL House can be moved and sell that property already zoned highrise -- that'll give us millions and not lose us valuable Marine Drive property.  As for Wetmore, the public was promised broad consultation as to what to do with it b/c nothing said at the time.  The bottom floors can be for public use, then add some storeys as condos -- rented at market value for income, subsidized to provide  affordable housing -- or something in between.
*  It is frankly irresponsible, unconscionable really, to find out May 1st that neither the offer to lease nor the lease agreement itself has been signed with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority yet the rec ctr was demolished last fall, well ahead of time.  With no final design, we must seriously consider a modular, phased approach.  It may be too late to decry such haste during a time of not just high but also escalating construction costs.  Many of my readers wondered why the grandiose plans cdn't have waited until after the 2010 Olympics when constructions costs wd probably be lower.  (I'll add that then they'll probably want and be grateful for the work.)  Let's see if the replacement can be broken down into components so we build as we can without sacrificing/selling other municipal assets.
* Review user fees, not just ours but for those not taxed to provide them.  If NV residents using our facilities and WV theirs (hard to imagine anyone not wanting to enjoy our aquatic ctr), consider joint memberships and share the revenue (by visits or just half and half or whatever)
* Justification for increases are often predicated on the municipal survey done every three years. I will repeat my request before previous surveys went out.  Circulate the draft questions.  We all know questions can be worded to elicit desired responses.  Both Council and ratepayer groups at a minimum should see what's being asked to make sure objective and complete, not biased or missing things that wd be helpful.   For example, if a few residents say they're willing to pay more for services, how much more?  A questionnaire ADRA sent out a few years ago revealed respondents wanted referenda for expenditures over $20m (not just if money borrowed, it's a large expenditure taxpayers want opportunity to approve);
* Information on the ~$1.2m on 'information technology' (computers, etc) were to be provided last week and still not received (May 5).  How can anyone comment?  Vulnerability to computer salesmen selling to inexpert buyers is legend.  (Moreover, as I write, parts of the municipal website is down again.)
* Please make departmental quarterly financial reports public -- the fantastic Police Board do it monthly at their board mtgs!!!   (Answer was, it will be considered -- that shd hv been a rapid yes, of course we'll do so in keeping with our policy of openness and transparency!)
* Consider holding the line on the budget and make any additional expenditures/operating costs dependent on increased revenue.   Perhaps facetiously I mused that the Gleneagles Cmnty ctr cd be leased for some income...  Anyway, there are lots of things that can be looked at.
Those comments were made in public, however furthermore:
* Please appoint a Budget or Financial Overview Cmte to help staff and Ccl evaluate programs, value for money, efficiency, degrees of quality of service, fairness and equitability wrt subsidization, and so on.  One wonders why there was a Financial Advisory Cmte appointed with ppl who have financial backgrounds when staff (and presumably with Ccl's concurrance) refused to give them the budget to comment on.  WV has a high proportion of seniors, many live in Ambleside in the earliest settled part of WV and are trying to stay there on fixed incomes yet their public 'servants' ride an up elevator in relative luxury.
* Please ask each department to cut 1%.  that will get the increase to 2.25% -- not as good as 0, but at least more in keeping with what residents expect.
* Please stop chanting the mantra that all the rec facilities were wanted or approved by residents b/c of the RFMP, and the new cmnty ctr was listed.  Yes, that did have citizen input, but that was years ago and the amounts considered then are wildly different from subsequent costs, eg the Aquatic Ctr renovations were estimated to be $2.5m and the admitted cost was about $9m with some claiming $12m if you count moving utilities, parking, etc.
*  Please tell us about the funding for Hugo Ray Park -- the proposal is about $14m and sports groups are committed to raising ~$7m, but what's the time frame?  Where will we take the $7m from?  Is it fair to sports groups with no fixed dates or confirmation if/when the municipality will come up with the rest?
*  What about P3 for the new Cmnty Ctr? -- that shd lower cost to taxpayers!

====  AGENDA CCL MTG May 8th =============

3.1     Council Meeting Minutes, April 24, 2006  (to be provided on table)
4.1     L. Feil, Executive Director, North Vancouver Arts Council, regarding Mountain Mardi Gras
5.      REPORTS  Bylaws are passed by a simple majority vote unless otherwise noted. 
5.1     2006 Annual Tax Rate Bylaw
5.1.1   [Five-]Year Financial Plan Bylaw
        RECOMMENDED:...be introduced and read a first, second and third time.
5.2     2006 Specified Area and local Area Service Tax Bylaws
THAT "Specified Area Tax Rates Bylaw No. 4468, 2006" be now introduced and read a first, second, and third time in short form: Parcel Tax (Garrow Bay) Bylaw; Parcel Tax (Eagle Harbour) Bylaw; Local Area Service Parcel Tax 1507-1581 Jefferson Avenue and 1522-1590 Kings Avenue and 1285 - 15th Street Bylaw; Local Area Service Parcel Tax 1011-1093 Esplanade Avenue and 1010-1090 Keith Road Bylaw; Local Area Service Parcel Tax 1305-1395 Lawson Avenue and 1310-1386 Mathers Avenue and 1480 - 14th Street Bylaw
5.3     Commercial Dog Walking - Amendments to Animal Control and Licence Bylaw (three readings)
5.4     Corporate Business Plan
RECOMMENDED:  THAT  The May 1, 2006 report on the 2006 - 2008 Corporate Business Plan from the Chief Administrative Officer be received.
Staff be directed to place the Business Plan Goals, Mission Statement and Governance Principles on a future Council Committee of the Whole Agenda.
5.5     TransLink Governance Review
   1. Council receive the report titled TransLink Governance Review from the Director of Engineering and Transportation.
   2. Council direct staff to forward the recommendations contained in this report to the TransLink Governance Review Panel for their consideration.
   3. Council direct staff to forward a copy of this report to the North Shore TransLink Board Member.
5.6     Tree Cutting Permit Application #000777 - 1373 Haywood Avenue
        RECOMMENDED:  THAT approval be given for the selective pruning and re-topping of trees on an unopened municipal lane allowance (near Haywood Avenue and 14th Street) as per Tree Cutting Permit Application #000777 - 1373 Haywood Avenue.
5.7     Boulevard Encroachment Revision (2397 Kings Avenue)
        RECOMMENDED:  THAT a boulevard encroachment at 2397 Kings Avenue including a:
Four foot high solid fence; Driveway gate located approximately at the property line; and Hedge on the west side of the fence be approved.
5.8     Lane Paving 1800 Block Esquimalt and Duchess (1808 - 1892 Esquimalt Avenue and 1809 - 1891 Duchess) Bylaw
        RECOMMENDED:  THAT "Local Area Service Lane Paving Construction (1808 - 1892 Esquimalt and 1809 - 1891 Duchess) Bylaw No. 4465, 2006" be introduced (and three readings).
5.9     Local Area Service Lane Paving Construction (1515 - 1547 Kings and 1520 - 1550 Lawson) Bylaw
        RECOMMENDED:  THAT "Local Area Service Lane Paving Construction (1515 - 1547 Kings Avenue and 1520 - 1550 Lawson Avenue) Bylaw No. 4466, 2006" be introduced (and three readings).
5.10    Community Centre at the Civic Site - Cost and Strategy Update
RECOMMENDED: report dated April 28 from the Director of Parks and Community Services ... be received.
Last year's $40m estimate already up $5m so cuts suggested, eg cheaper/fewer windows, removal of ofc balconies, less landscaping, joining with Srs' Ctr postponed, lower LEED/env'tal rating, etc
The following Consent Agenda items may be considered separately or in one recommendation. RECOMMENDED:  THAT the Consent Agenda items be approved.
6.1.1   Status of Proposed Changes to Doing Business (to be provided on table)
*  Action Required
7.1.1   D. O. Marley, Interested Taxpayers' Action Committee, May 01, 2006, regarding proposed budget and financial sustainability review
        Referred to Director of Finance for consideration and response.
* No Action Required (receipt only)
7.1.2   Committee and Board Meeting Minutes:
        (a)  Lower Caulfeild Advisory Committee Minutes, January 18, 2006
        (b)  West Vancouver Police Board Minutes, March 23, 2006
        (c)  Design Advisory Committee, February 23, 2006
        (d)  West Vancouver Memorial Library Board Minutes, March 15, 2006
7.1.3   L. Clarke, April 30, regarding Parc Verdun, letter with thank you card for Mayor and Council
7.1.4   S. Salbach, May 01, 2006 regarding dog walking
7.1.5   C. Reynolds, April 30, 2006, regarding District of West Vancouver calendar
7.1.6   R. & B. Longe, April 23, 2006, regarding proposed building at 4769, The Highway
7.1.7   K. Lore, Committee Clerk, City of Coquitlam, April 12, 2006, regarding Seniors Advocacy Project
7.1.8   E. J. Fonseca, President, Ambleside and Dundarave Ratepayers' Association, April 17, 2006, regarding Farmers' Market
7.1.9   K. Hille, April 25, 2006, regarding dog walking
7.1.10  K. M. Dillon, April 26, 2006, regarding dog walking and parking on Bellevue
7.1.11  B. Susak, General Manager, Lonsdale Energy Corp and J. Barnes, President and Gen Mgr, Central Heat Distribution Ltd, April 26, regarding Canadian District Energy Association's National Conference
7.1.12  E. Byrd, April 27, 2006, regarding Eagleridge Bluffs
7.1.13  Seniors Services Society (formerly the Seniors Housing Information Program) Spring 2006 Newsletter
7.1.14  L. Santerre, Administrative Assistant, The Elizabeth Fry Society, undated, regarding Elizabeth Fry Society Week
7.1.15  L. E. Jackson, Chair, Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) Board, April 24, 2006, regarding May 27, 2006 Council of Councils meeting to Discuss the Gateway Program
7.1.16  C. Kennedy, BC Communities in Bloom Program Coordinator, undated, regarding "Communities in Bloom"
7.1.17  A. & H. Telenius, May 03, 2006, regarding 2006 Budget
7.1.18  L. Jones, Vice President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, May 01, 2006, regarding dog walking
7.1.19  Federation of Canadian Municipalities, May 03, 2006, Member's Advisory regarding "Federal Budget Good News for Municipal Governments"
7.1.20  C. Roome, May 04, 2006, regarding Harmonization of Business Standards for Professional Dog-Walking Businesses
* Responses to Correspondence  --  None.
* Responses to Questions in Question Period  --  None.

===  QUOTATIONS  ===

Author - James Baldwin (1924) was born in New York's Harlem neighborhood, the first of his mother's nine children. He never met his biological father and may never have even known the man's identity. Instead, he considered his stepfather, David Baldwin, his only father figure. David, a factory worker and a store-front preacher, was allegedly very cruel at home, which the young Baldwin hated. While his father opposed his literary aspirations, Baldwin found support from a white teacher as well from the mayor of New York City, Fiorello H. LaGuardia...
English - children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them

Author - Arnold Lobel (1933-1987) During his distinguished wrote and/or illustrated over 70 books for children. To his illustrating credit, he had a Caldecott Medal book - Fables (1981) - and two Caldecott Honor Books-his own Frog and Toad are Friends (1971) and Hildilid's Night by Cheli Duran Ryan (1972)...
        English - when the need is strong, there are those who will believe anything

Once upon a time a man whose axe was missing suspected his neighbour's son.  The boy walked like a thief, looked like a thief, and spoke like a thief.  But the man found his axe while digging in the valley, and the next time he saw his neighbour's son, the boy walked, looked, and spoke like any other child.
                -- Lao-tzu, philosopher (6th century BCE)