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City of Victoria | 2018-2022 | Mayor and council general discussion


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#9501 Barrrister

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 08:31 PM

I know that we are ignored by the majority of council and the mayor. You have my vote but we need to get an organized slate to run or we will end up at the same place again.


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#9502 Spy Black

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 08:24 AM

Stephen Andrew ... by way of an example, are you aware that when a resident calls the City of Victoria Engineering Department, they receive a permanent recorded message inviting them to leave a call-back number?

 

Are you aware that such a call-back may never come, or may come days after the call was made?

Are you aware that the average resident calling the City of Victoria Engineering Department can never get a live human being on the other end of the phone when dialing the Engineering Department number?

Are you aware that most City of Victoria Departments work this way, and make communicating with each department as difficult as possible for residents and business people?

 

Calling the City of Victoria to discuss business related matters on the telephone is as close to a useless endeavor as is possible to engage in.


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#9503 Taco

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 11:35 AM

yet city officials will argue with your assessment.

Yes, but it no longer matters.

 

They (thank goodness) have become a caricature of themselves, maintaining the fictions: "there is no increase in crime"; "downtown is safe and prosperous"; "none of the homeless in our streets came from anywhere else." This argument barely survives in social media, now. 

 

​The same stupid immaturity means the folks perpetuating this madness didn't know that, without the iron fisted control of the communist party on media and message, they wouldn't be able to maintain the fiction for anything beyond a short time. Now they don't seem to know what to do, other than dissolve TV and reconstitute in another way. They have no ideas, no better message, and more information is coming to light.

 

For the next election, all that's needed to fix this are:

  1. a billboard listing those councillors who've caucused with Together Victoria (Messrs Isitt, Loveday, Dubow and Potts.)
  2. a billboard listing which councillors live in the city of Victoria and which do not.

People are well aware of how this has happened.


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#9504 Taco

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 11:40 AM

We walk downtown every Saturday.  My impression is that it’s picking up a bit. I haven’t seen many drug freaks around and haven’t encountered anyone who looked dangerous in two or three months.  Of course it depends where and when you walk.  The overall ambience is drearier than it used to be, but what isn’t.

 

I was wondering how the vax pass thing would play out.  We’ve been to three restaurants since it came in. The first two times we presented our phones at reception.  At the first one the staffer gave a cursory glance at one phone and waved us in.  At the second one we were told the server would check them.  The server didn’t check anything.  At the third one we didn’t bother and nobody asked.  None checked ID or scanned anything.  From what I could see this was the same for other patrons.  
 

I suspect larger venues and certainly those with security are doing the whole thing but smaller places can’t afford to turn away customers and don’t have staff to spare.  So I think the vax pass is largely virus theatre, like the masks.

I walk to work downtown every every day.

In the last two weeks:

- lunged at by a man having a psychotic break on Gordon street

- screamed at by a man who wanted me to stop talking to him (I wasn't)

- a drug deal in the doorway of the Broughton street deli at 4 pm

- two people sleeping in the lobby of our building - smells like piss

- my partner (small framed female) was chased on Bellville

 

all these things happened before the pandemic; the difference is that the volume is up by 2, 3, 400%.

 

Downtown has gone to shit.

 


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#9505 Taco

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 11:50 AM

The dopamine hit I get from *****ing on this forum (and the likes) is problematic for Stephen Andrew. He's right.

 

We absolutely need to document the issues, repeatedly, and ask for the service we pay for. And we need to do it again and again. And we need to write to council, weekly if necessary, with details, dates and times. This would be very effective grass-roots work, in the face of this dogmatic insanity. 

 

Bear in mind, if you attend any CALUC meeting, council meeting, council community event, there is an organized group of disruptors, the same every time, who show up to advance the nuttiness. They act nutty but they have enough numbers to destroy things.

 

Writing to council to document what we're seeing is an effective and truthful response to this stupidity, and would stop them from saying that there's "nothing to see here."


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#9506 spanky123

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 11:51 AM

^ It seems to be variable. There are days where my experience has been similar to that of JimV, yet my partner and I went out for dinner Friday evening and it was a zoo. Could walk a block without tripping over someone lying on the sidewalk or acting irrationally. If I was older or smaller framed I would have been intimidated.  Wonder if it relates to payment periods or shelter schedules.



#9507 Taco

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 11:53 AM

Stephen Andrew ... by way of an example, are you aware that when a resident calls the City of Victoria Engineering Department, they receive a permanent recorded message inviting them to leave a call-back number?

 

Are you aware that such a call-back may never come, or may come days after the call was made?

Are you aware that the average resident calling the City of Victoria Engineering Department can never get a live human being on the other end of the phone when dialing the Engineering Department number?

Are you aware that most City of Victoria Departments work this way, and make communicating with each department as difficult as possible for residents and business people?

 

Calling the City of Victoria to discuss business related matters on the telephone is as close to a useless endeavor as is possible to engage in.

I've never received a callback to an initial call to the City of Victoria without having to follow up at least once. This includes bylaw, engineering, front desk, councillors (other than stephen).


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#9508 Barrrister

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 11:55 AM

Just one follow up is a bloody miracle.



#9509 bkp

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 12:16 PM

I'll add my voice to this: City Bylaw seems to reply to complaints at random in my experience. And the response for the same complaint is different based on which, if any, staff member responds.

 

Yet it states clearly on the CoV website: 

  • Noise: Bylaw responds to noise complaints between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week. Any complaints outside of these hours will be followed up the next day. If noise is excessive and/or unbearable outside of these hours, please contact Victoria Police non-emergency at 250.995.7654.


#9510 Love the rock

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 12:20 PM

I know that we are ignored by the majority of council and the mayor. You have my vote but we need to get an organized slate to run or we will end up at the same place again.

I feel it’s a slap in the face to be told to phone and complain about urine smells in stairwells and over filled garbage cans . A monthly ride with police or bylaw at various hours should be mandatory for Victoria councillors. Look and see what’s going on in the city you govern . 


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#9511 Mike K.

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 12:37 PM

I'd like to confirm, though, that the times I have called the City, I have received a call shortly thereafter, that day, or the next day. Just off the top of my head I think I called about garbage disposal most recently and very quickly got a response back.

 

And let's not forget about Ismo and the work that he does on and off this forum. His department is very responsive and they want to work with you if you feel the ticket you got might not have been on fair grounds. In other cities they'd tell you to take a hike. Except for that permanent chalk, though. That's like space chalk.


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#9512 Taco

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 02:06 PM

With few exceptions, once I get a response, the responder has been very helpful and easy to work with. It's just getting the response. (I don't seem to have Mike's juice!)



#9513 Mike K.

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 02:08 PM

The trick is to never say it’s Mike K who’s calling. :)
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#9514 Spy Black

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 03:57 PM

The smart move is to get a hold of the work cell phone numbers for key city employees, managers, and bureaucrats ... at least the phone gets answered, even if the recipients first reaction is always to try and get you to call one of the COV answering machine numbers that never have any actual city employees attached to them (at least those who answer their phones).

 

It can typically take more than a few tries to get a response, and obviously there is eventually a response in most cases - for if there were no responses whatsoever, nothing would ever get done, and the jig would be up.



#9515 Mike K.

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 04:16 PM

Man, don’t be that guy. People have jobs to do, and limited time to do them. There is a process for services because the guys overseeing the work can’t be sitting on a phone all day answering mundane questions or getting ripped apart by someone unhappy with something.

Honestly, the City staff are great. They work hard, they’re dedicated and understand all too well the challenges the community faces. Remember, they are they ones out there on the front lines fielding abuse and anxiety while trying to do their jobs in (too often nowadays) challenging conditions. They are not responsible for the bad decisions by the individuals the constituents they work for elected into power.

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#9516 Nparker

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 04:21 PM

...They are not responsible for the bad decisions by the individuals SOME OF the constituents they work for elected into power.

Fixed that for you. I am in no way responsible for electing the fools currently occupying the majority of the council seats in the CoV.


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#9517 Spy Black

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 09:43 PM

I know lots of City of Victoria employees Mike, I've been engaging with them on business for over three decades.

I went to Vic High with some who are now senior managers with the COV (and whose cell phone numbers are programmed into my phone).

I'm not some "johnny come lately" to the downtown business scene ... nor am I a push-over that won't call it as I see it.

 

Sure there are good folks working for the City of Victoria, nobody (including myself) said anything indicating otherwise. But good employees can't fix what politicians and bureaucrats consistently break ... which was my point.

 

I stand by everything I posted ... you will rarely, if ever get a live person on the end of the phone if you're calling the City of Victoria. You will get an actual person at the COV switchboard, but when your call is forwarded, it's always to an answering machine.

Sure there may be an occasional exception, but I'm talking about the norm, not the exception.

 

I've spent over $26,000.00 in the past 24 months repairing property damage caused by vagrants and criminals ... telling me "how it is" in the downtown core is a bit of a stretch :)


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#9518 Nparker

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 10:13 PM

...I've spent over $26,000.00 in the past 24 months repairing property damage caused by vagrants and criminals ...

Downtown businesses having to budget $1000/month to deal with the issues caused by council's ideology is not acceptable.  :mad:


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#9519 Spy Black

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 05:16 AM

Indeed, big broken display windows go for as high as $2500.00 a pop including installation (depending on size and/or availability).

Graffiti "patrol" services can cost upwards of $400.00 per month if you're heavily tagged on a regular basis.

Security guards for staff protection pre-COVID cost an arm and a leg, and we anticipate only needing more of them post-COVID.

Replacing front door carpets a few times a year, ones that are impregnated with urine and feces (and no longer "cleanable") run up over $1000.00 including installation (per occurrence).

 

Calling the police, calling City Engineering, calling Traffic for any and all of the issues a downtown business has to deal with daily is hardly worth the time. Most downtown businesses are forced to simply suck it up if they want to continue to do business in the downtown core. 

Many (not most obviously) are closing up shop and leaving, retiring, or moving to the Westshore.

 

There's no support from the City of Victoria ... to imply otherwise is disingenuous.

The above comments don't imply that any individual City of Victoria employees are anything but fine people ... but do imply that the City of Victoria, as an institution - is broken.


Edited by Spy Black, 28 September 2021 - 05:17 AM.

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#9520 A Girl is No one

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 05:41 AM

Downtown businesses having to budget $1000/month to deal with the issues caused by council's ideology is not acceptable. :mad:

But wait, their ideology is fine… they are paying for the broken glass repairs remember? (with taxpayer money of course). No need to adjust their ideology. All is well…
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