At yesterday's first meeting of Vancouver City Council's new Policy and Strategic Priorities Committee, Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr voted against Vision Councillor Andrea Reimer's motion to appoint Neighbourhood Councillor Liaisons. NPA Councillors George Affleck, Elizabeth Ball and Melissa De Genova also voted against the proposal.
"What problem is this supposed to solve?" asked Councillor Carr. "Knowing which Councillor to contact, as the motion suggests, is certainly not the problem I'm hearing about. Rather it's whether people get a timely response and their concerns are addressed in Council decisions. Solving these real problems will take a whole new approach to public consultation, such as Portland, Oregon has done in establishing well funded and staffed local offices of neighbourhood involvement.
"If this were not a polarized Council with Vision acting like a ruling party, there would be lots of room for consensus and a better process to emerge," said Carr.
The motion passed by Vision yesterday requires Councillors to rank a minimum of 10 "desired" neighbourhoods they'd like to represent, after which the Mayor will make a recommendation to Council for appointment of the liaisons.
"I was very honoured to have topped the polls in every part of our city in the last civic election. I can not and will not rank neighbourhoods in terms of preferences. I represent and I serve every neighbourhood of our city equally," concluded Carr.