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Andrew J. Reeve | Victoria | Councillor

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#21 Mike K.

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 03:28 PM

I'm not asking Ms Chong though, I'm asking you in light of your statements in support of her plan.

 

Why do "you" think her platform is more than just buzzwords? What is it about her, specifically, that makes you believe she can deliver what she promises? Quite a few people feel the exact opposite given her history as an MLA, her ineffectiveness with regards to funding the Johnson Street Bridge, and her decision to be mayor, not just a councillor, but mayor, of a municipality in which she does not live.


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#22 AndrewReeve

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 06:26 PM

Sure, now that I'm home and it's the evening I can give you a thorough response. I don't do politics of the gut so my support of this plan is because of the cold hard facts. So let's take a look at the 'Strong Plan' and I'll lay out my thoughts as we go along:

 

 Strong Plan: "A More Affordable City"

• Protect taxpayers by freezing Victoria’s property tax mill-rates for 4 years;
• Protect permissive property tax exemptions for non-profit groups and charities;
• Reduce spending for the mayor’s political and communications operations, and focus spending on essential-services.

 

Our property taxes have sky-rocketed in recent years. Victoria saw a 27% increase in residential tax rates (by total assessed values) between 2009 and 2013, compared to a 16% increase in Saanich and an 18% increase in Oak Bay. We now have property tax rates nearly 19% higher than those in neighbouring Saanich. On top of this, the City's Financial Plan has set out to increase taxes by nearly 18% over the next four years. What makes this situation even worse is the fact that our finances are still not in good shape with three times the debt per capita of neighbouring municipalities.

 

The one that jumps out at me here is the pledge to protect permissive property tax exemptions for non-profits and charities. This exemption is being phased out and it is going to harm many local organizations. We should not be taking away incentives for charitable organizations and non-profits. This is just another example of the current council trying to respond to our fiscal woes in a bad way. You know things are bad in Victoria when City Staff even contemplates getting rid of our iconic hanging baskets to save money. A temporary tax rate freeze and keeping exemptions for charities aren't going to sink us if we re-prioritise. 

 

I think Matt MacNeil said it best when interviewed today. "Victoria doesn't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem." At least council was able to recognize that ~$90,000 on reducing speed limits wasn't going to win them any favours. The point about the communications department is also well-taken. By 2018, the communications budget will by 27% higher than it was last year, totalling $915,000 a year. OpenVictoria has a great piece on this if you're interested in delving further down that rabbit hole.

 

 Strong Plan: "A Capital City That Leads"

• Take action on the result of the amalgamation referendum; and,
• Properly resource an economic development office that produces positive results and outcomes.

 

My position on amalgamation is well-known, having served on the executive board of Amalgamation Yes. The non-binding referendum is going to be on the ballot in our municipality and Lisa, Dean, and Ida all support it. No controversy here. No word on mayoral candidate Changes The Clown's position though.

 

The fact that we are a capital city without an economic development office is absurd. We need to work harder at promoting growth and expanding our tax base rather than tax rates.

 

 Strong Plan: "Accountable City"

• Hold in camera meetings only when required;
• Increase civic involvement in the annual budget process.

 

This is huge for me. The current council has abused the private 'in camera' sessions at council meetings by using them to avoid public accountability and to give them political cover on countless decisions. It has gotten to a point where nearly every single council meeting in 2011 had a private session behind closed doors. Compare that to Toronto, Canada’s largest city with a budget of $9.4 billion and 50,000 employees, whose council only had 12 private sessions in 2012, accounting for a mere 5% of the total time council sat. While I genuinely applaud the recent initiative by council to broadcast their open meetings live and post them on the internet, it is quite telling that the very first meeting broadcast saw council vote to retreat from the cameras for a private session.

 
I have taken flak for my apparently hard-line position on transparency with some claiming that city councillors have a right to move to 'in camera' sessions whenever they feel it is appropriate. This is simply incorrect. I would kindly recommend that anyone who takes issue with my certainty to examine British Columbia's Community Charter which, under Section 90, explicitly states the only reasons permitted by law for a council to retreat into a private meeting.
 
As for civic involvement, this is another obvious one. We have a $200 million operating budget and the public was given less than 2 weeks to review it, and only 2 hours (of a single 4 hour session) to make comment?
 

 

 Strong Plan: "A Smart City"

• Adopt the Huggett report recommendations;
• Provide executive oversight for the Blue Bridge project. 

 

Huggett is an expert, and unlike certain members on council, I don't preface statements with "I'm not an engineer, but..." We need a council that focuses on evidence-based policy. If the paid professionals of the city staff report that there is “no technical data to support the reduction in speed limits." then I'm siding with the evidence, not playing politics.
 
I was in favour of building the bridge, I just don't like how it's been handled ever since. It's gone from $63 million to $77 million to $93 million. Now we're looking at the possibility of a bridge costing over $100 million. JohnsonStreetBridge.org has some great articles on this.
 

 

 Strong Plan: "Strong City That Invests In It's Future"

• Start the replacement of the Crystal Pool within her first term;
• Adequately save for future infrastructure repair and replacement, and utilize public assets in ways that benefit Victoria taxpayers

 

Investing in our future is one of my main campaign themes. My generation was raised being told that it will be our responsibility to deal with issues like decaying city infrastructure, the growing debt, the lack of affordable housing, and climate change. Well I say, let us start to deal with them. We can no longer be the “leaders of tomorrow.”
We must be the leaders of today, because the issues cannot wait.
 
Victoria is my city and I know we need City Councillors looking towards the future. I am the candidate who will be living here half a century from now, dealing with the long term consequences of every decision City Council makes today. If that's not personal investment, then I don't know what is!
 
In the case of Crystal Pool, honestly, I was in favour of a PPP with The Y but council made sure to prevent that from ever happening. The incumbents keep throwing a few million here and there at the pool to maintain it and kicking the can down the road on the big decision every time it comes up. Let's stop the stagnation and act!
 
--
 
So there you have it, my thoughts and analysis laid out for all to judge. Turns out I am even more of a policy wonk that I'd thought... this is what a degree in Political Science can do to you! 
 
Note: Once again, discussion of this plan, aside from responses to my personal opinions on it, should take place here.

Edited by AndrewReeve, 18 September 2014 - 06:44 PM.

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#23 Mike K.

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 08:57 PM

+1.

I like this.
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#24 Edwardp

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 10:24 PM

Hi Andrew

 

One thing you haven't mentioned on this thread is your involvement with the BC Liberals in the last election. 2 questions:

 

1) Were you a 'youth' commentator on a CBC political panel for the BC Liberals in the 2013 provincial election?

2) Were you working as staff to work on Ida's campaign? If so, don't you think that's an important detail to disclose? 

 

Also, looks like you and Ida are having a lot of fun on the door =)

https://twitter.com/...368128504745984


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#25 R0ark

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 10:05 AM

If this isn't supporting/endorsing a mayoral candidate, I don't know what is: https://twitter.com/...368128504745984

 

Bx_Zk1aCcAE2nZh.jpg

 

Are you really pooling volunteers?


Edited by R0ark, 22 September 2014 - 10:07 AM.


#26 AndrewReeve

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 11:16 AM

Hi Andrew

 

One thing you haven't mentioned on this thread is your involvement with the BC Liberals in the last election. 2 questions:

 

1) Were you a 'youth' commentator on a CBC political panel for the BC Liberals in the 2013 provincial election?

2) Were you working as staff to work on Ida's campaign? If so, don't you think that's an important detail to disclose? 

 

Also, looks like you and Ida are having a lot of fun on the door =)

 

Hi Edward,

 

Thanks for the questions Mr. Pullman! I appreciate you stepping up to get involved in this election by endorsing both Erik Kaye and Jeremy Loveday.

 

The answer to #1 is on the 'About Me' section of my website and even on the brochures I'm handing out. I am quite open about the fact that I was a political pundit on CBC Radio's All Points West in 2013. The opinions I expressed were my own. If I had been there as a BC Liberal, the episode where I expressed doubts about the leadership of Premier Christy Clark surely would have landed me in hot water!

 

As for #2 I was a taking a full summer course load at UVic during the provincial election and I did the CBC Radio gig. Being a political buff I wish I had a chance to get more involved with that election but I simply did not have the time! I was not working as staff on the Ida Chong campaign. I was in her campaign office attending the launch party and on election day. If that constitutes "working as staff" then for the sake of full disclosure I should also point out I spent time in the campaign office and victory party of my friend Andrew Weaver.

 

From what I've been told, the Chong campaign is looking to support as many council candidates as possible. Hilary Groos and I carpooled and were able to borrow some of Ida's volunteers for our canvassing the other day. I appreciate Ida's support but have been clear with her that I will not be endorsing any mayoral candidate in this election.


Edited by AndrewReeve, 22 September 2014 - 11:46 AM.

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#27 sebberry

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 11:45 AM

Andrew, you're taking a refreshing approach to dealing with questions and criticisms here, unlike another candidate's "Let's agree to disagree" approach. 


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#28 AndrewReeve

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 12:19 PM

Andrew, you're taking a refreshing approach to dealing with questions and criticisms here, unlike another candidate's "Let's agree to disagree" approach. 

 

Thanks Seb! Citizen engagement is key. If elected, I'll certainly remain active on these forums.

 

While some will focus on looking for dirt and launching attacks on me, I can focus on the real issues facing Victorians.


Edited by AndrewReeve, 22 September 2014 - 12:24 PM.

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#29 R0ark

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 03:04 PM

Another question for you, Andrew: what municipality are you a resident of?

 

I ask because it isn't clear in your literature, and it is becoming more of a concern that Victoria could be increasingly governed by councillors (and possibly a mayor) that will neither vote in the election nor be subject to their own policies and bylaws.

 

Also, since you know her, is Hilary Groos a resident of the municipality of Victoria?



#30 sebberry

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 03:05 PM

If that is in fact Edward Pullman (President of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition) , it's a shame he's spending his time slinging mud at you while supporting a candidate that so far seems quite wishy-washy on the topic of density.  Increasing density, especially in and around the downtown core, would help to encourage cycling and walking. 


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#31 AndrewReeve

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 03:51 PM

Another question for you, Andrew: what municipality are you a resident of?

 

I ask because it isn't clear in your literature, and it is becoming more of a concern that Victoria could be increasingly governed by councillors (and possibly a mayor) that will neither vote in the election nor be subject to their own policies and bylaws.

 

Also, since you know her, is Hilary Groos a resident of the municipality of Victoria?

 

R0ark, more than happy to clarify: I live in Victoria in Cook Street Village.

 

Hilary, who I had the great pleasure to campaign with today on the doorsteps, is also a resident of Victoria. Everyone seemed to appreciate having two candidates (and no aides getting in the way) with similar ideals but widely different personal perspectives on the issues in our city.


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#32 R0ark

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 03:54 PM

R0ark, more than happy to clarify: I live in Victoria in Cook Street Village.

 

Hilary, who I had the great pleasure to campaign with today on the doorsteps, is also a resident of Victoria. Everyone seemed to appreciate having two candidates (and no aides getting in the way) with similar ideals but widely different personal perspectives on the issues in our city.

Thanks for the quick reply Andrew. If I were you, I would highlight the fact that you live in Cook St Village on your web-site. Until we're amalgamated, saying one is from Victoria can mean just about anything.

 

If Chong gets elected (god help us), she'd be the first person I've heard of to serve on two different municipal councils, without moving, no less.


Edited by R0ark, 22 September 2014 - 03:58 PM.

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#33 Sparky

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 04:24 PM

^ # 24

 

Welcome to the forum Edwardp.



#34 NotHudsonMack

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 06:34 PM

Judging from the level of petty criticisms and questions asked of you here I wonder how long until they start asking for your birth certificate!!

 

I heard Andrew Reeve was born in Kenya. #BirtherMovement


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#35 John M.

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:17 PM

Judging from the level of petty criticisms and questions asked of you here I wonder how long until they start asking for your birth certificate!!

 

I heard Andrew Reeve was born in Kenya. #BirtherMovement

That's the way it is with obtuse partisan hacks 


Edited by John M., 22 September 2014 - 09:48 PM.


#36 sebberry

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:25 PM

That's they way it is with obtuse partisan hacks 

 

City council is no place for partisan politics.  You're a team working towards a common goal. 


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#37 John M.

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:49 PM

City council is no place for partisan politics.  You're a team working towards a common goal.

I was referring to the members of a certain party *cough* NDP *cough* who seem intent on turning this race partisan. But yes, agreed. 



#38 AndrewReeve

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 11:24 PM

There are people from all 4 major federal parties supporting my campaign and that is something I'm proud of.

 

I laid out my position on partisan political affiliations here. I am well aware of the political affiliations of several fellow council candidates. However, I will not be mentioning them at all during this campaign. Unlike some, I don't see membership of a party different from mine as a black mark on anyone's character.

 

The votes I cast this November will be on where candidates stand on the important issues facing our city, not who they'd prefer as Prime Minister.


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#39 Edwardp

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 02:58 PM

Hi all,

 

Sparky: Thank you for the welcome!

 

NotHudsonMack, John M, sebberry, AndrewReeve: I take exception to the statement that I am flinging mud with my "accusation" that Andrew worked on Ida Chong's campaign. In fact, I was recalling from memory the host's introduction of Andrew as a worker on Ida Chong's campaign from his time on the 3 under 30 political panel during the 2013 provincial election. 

 

Have a listen for yourself: http://www.cbc.ca/pl.../ID/2384466174/

and http://www.cbc.ca/pl.../ID/2385654854/

 

Andrew: Thank you for noting my endorsements of Jeremy Loveday and Erik Kaye. I've endorsed both of them because of their commitment to improving active transportation, increasing capital spending on improving pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and improving public transit (though that is done through the Transit Commission and not directly through Victoria city council.) 

 

Would you be able to clarify your position on cycling issues? Are you in favour of implementing the Victoria Cycling Master Plan Update? Do you support increased investments in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure? 

 

sebberry: you are absolutely right, more density in and around the downtown core is probably the best way to get more people walking and cycling (I'm a big fan of David Owen's book Green Metropolis.) I also recognize the need for social license with large development projects such as the St. Andrew's proposal, and I'm hopeful with more community consultation that that can be achieved.   



#40 jonny

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 03:00 PM

sebberry: you are absolutely right, more density in and around the downtown core is probably the best way to get more people walking and cycling (I'm a big fan of David Owen's book Green Metropolis.) I also recognize the need for social license with large development projects such as the St. Andrew's proposal, and I'm hopeful with more community consultation that that can be achieved.   

 

St Andrews is hardly a large proposal...


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