Polling


#1

I would like to say that I am shocked and surprised that our new Mayor believes that a sample size of 35 people is a “good result”. However, given his utterances to date, I am not. Anyone who has passed a introductory course to statistics knows that 35 people cannot be considered representative of the opinion of the people in Prince Rupert. The sample size is far too small and the means by which it created also makes it problematic.

I hope that the Mayor and Council do not think that this idiotic exercise gives them a mandate. Unfortunately, for better or worst, they got their mandate when they got elected. Justifying a decision on the basis of this exercise is completely unsupportable.

If I was the Mayor or a Council Member I would be more inclined to ask myself why, with an electorate of probably 5,000 - 6,000, there was so little interest in this exercise.

The only good thing about the four year term is that there is a possibility that they will grow into these jobs, for which most of them have little or no relevant experience.


#2

Well considering the fact that before the polling public participation was next to zero, 35 is a huge improvement. Rather than sit here and throw stones at a mayor who is doing an awesome job, maybe you could have walked your lazy ass to the PAC and participated?

I applaud the mayor and council for trying something new and at least getting 35 people to give a shit, as opposed to zero which has been the norm here for a long time.


#3

I also appreciate the job that Mayor Brain is doing. He promised more transparency and he is doing just that. I wish him well.


#4

I am skeptical about how polls of a small number of people can be used to support decisions, but at this point the mayor and council should be encouraged to try new ways of engaging the public. Some methods may work and others may not.

Similarly, there was discussion around the council table about the value of Committee of the Whole sessions, which are seldom attended by more than a handful (far fewer than those attending the budget forum). Mayor Brain appears to have deferred to the wishes of those councillors who feel that they continue to have value.

There appear to have been some interesting comments at the public forum, including that the council is urged to ‘think outside of the box’ on occasion: < northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … f-box.html >.

Surprisingly, the costs associated with Watson Island have not surfaced as a high profile issue. There was no mention of that topic in the 2015 Budget Presentation to the mayor and council, although in 2014 expenditures exceeded revenues by $997,000. < northcoastreview.blogspot.ca/201 … nd-in.html >.

Watco was paying $90,000 a month until the previous council terminated the exclusivity agreement, and according to court documents Watson Island LNG Corp paid $500,000 for an exclusivity agreement that was to expire at the end of December.

The deficit is apparent by comparing numbers in the pro forma attached to the 2015 Budget Presentation. See page 6 (some may require reading glasses or a magnifying glass) < princerupert.ca/sites/defaul … 20item.pdf >.

Also apparent in the pro forma is that the revenues and expenditures for 2015 are projected to be only $120,000.

Meanwhile, Mayor Brain, in the most extensive report on Watson Island in a long time, reports that Watson Island is costing the City $80,000 a month < thenorthernview.com/news/295677841.html >.

Lessees will be given notice to vacate so that demolition of the buildings can proceed. The demolition is a positive development, but will necessarily result in a loss of revenue and take time. The Mayor also reports that the City cannot clear title (and hence cannot sell the property), but is hopeful that the Watco court case will move forward “within a few years”. So it looks like the City will be burdened for some time yet with the costs of owning what his predecessor described as a “hell hole”.

The Mayor’s disclosures, in particular about $80,000 a month in costs, make sense. That would add up to $960,000 for the year with little offsetting revenue. What does not make sense is that the proposed budget forecasts expenditures on Watson Island of only $120,000 for 2015.


#5

T. Thanks for the points on the island of that shall not be discussed. Obviously there is a disconnect between the mayor’s office and the finance department regarding the costs of said island. One says $80,000 per month and the other $120,000 per year. Do any of them really know and understand what is going on?

Allowing the Financial Plan to showing expenditures totaling $120,000 for the year when the mayor says it is costing $80,000 per month suggests either no one in Council really wants to recognize the actual costs that will be incurred or that Council does not really understand what they are reading when they are given financial information. I am surprised that CAO Long signed off on the information going to Council.

There should be a far more financial transparency on this matter and I would have thought that this new Council would be far more demanding regarding financial information. I would not think that the costs and revenues would be secrets.

Also, it may be simply an oversight by staff, but it would be nice if they would update the financial section of the website with the last couple of budgets and financial statements.


#6