St. John’s city council live blog, April 9, 2012

The St. John’s city council liveblog: Your 140 character window into council since 2009.

Andrew Harvey here to tweet you the down and dirty details from the gallery of council chambers in the bunker on New Gower st.

Galgay wins the race out to council chambers with Breen in a close second.

O’Keefe has arrived and the meeting has begun (just a fashionable 15 min late).

There is a delegation here for Parkinsons Awareness month. 1,600 people in the province have parkinsons.

Sorry, 6,800 people have parkinsons in the province. The lady here says a lot more needs to be done as far as research and awareness.

There is a delegation here from the Canadian Cancer Society for Daffodil month, a symbol of hope in the fight against cancer.

They are encouraging people to wear the daffodil pin to show your support for those fighting cancer and this who have lost their battle.

Gerry Smith, chair of St. John’s Sports Entertainment (SJSE) is presenting their audited financial statements for 2011.

SJSE has posted a profit of $699k which will be returned to the city as a surplus!

O’Keefe: “It took time to turn the corner, but we’ve turned it…”. On the financial turnaround of Mile One/ the convention ctr since 2007.

Breen, the city’s representative on SJSE says that the cost of operating Mile One is now half of what it was for Memorial Stadium.

The city operating grant for Mile One was $1.25 million, so after the nearly $700k coming back it is functionally $550k.

Hann: “There were some dark days… This is how it is supposed to work” on the consistently dropping subsidy.

In 2008 the subsidy for mile one was $2 million. Down to $550k is pretty good in a few years.

O’Leary is discussing potential visiting speakers as a part of the Municipal Plan review. She wants to bring in Ken Greenberg, an architect.

Duff agrees with O’leary and says it is important to get some perspective on what is going on elsewhere at the start of this process.

The cost to bring in two speakers is $11k to have them for 2 days.

Breen: “I’m not convinced that this jangling to provide good value”. He fears the speakers may be too broad for specifically St. John’s.

The second speaker is David Buchbinder an expert on the cultural economy. Colbert is concerned that Ken Greenberg “has all the credentials”.

Tilley: “There’s so many bergs, icebergs, Greenbergs” on getting Ken Greenbergs name wrong and being corrected by O’Leary.

It seems like the two speakers work as a pair, but some of council only want to have to pay for one.

They are attempting to make an ammendment to approve one of the speakers, but not both.

O’Leary says that their price is “very economical” and they “seem like a perfect fit” for stimulating public engagement.

Apparently the idea to bring in a speaker came from the advisiory committee.

Hann is getting his back up a bit because he says that one of his fellow councillors insinuated that city staff was not doing a good job.

I think that Duff just passed a note to Collins through the commissioner. I’d say it’s not a love note.

Colbert says he thinks one speaker will fit the bill. Ammendment passes. City clerk is clarifying that this was not a hostile amendment.

I never heard a vote but I think it passed. Apparently they will have to come back to council if the speakers will only come as a pair.

Council has rejected a proposal for a home-based cake decorating business at 2 Nascopie Cr. They had 4 complaints about this business.

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They have approved a proposal for 20 Incinerator Rd, for a gravel quarry, despite several environmental complaints/concerns from CBS.

They are discussing the 2012 Streets Rehab program. The program will be $8 mil total, $ 2mil of that is from the 2010 surplus.

O’Leary is asking whether or not there is a plan for the other $8 mil of the $10 mil they had from 2010.

Finance chair Breen says that they will be planning how to use this money but they need to approve this $2 mil to get the road work done now.

Colbert is asking why there are several brand new roads that are approved for grind and patch operations.

Colbert is asking what happened to the provincial money for some repairs on these new roads or if the contractor has any responsibility.

Walt Mills (Engineering) says the roads are more then the 1-yr warranty the contractor gives.

Hann is discussing a proposal for a condo in Quidi Vidi on “School house hill”. This proposal was originally from 2009.

They have just completed a Land Use Assessment Report and the proposal will go to a public hearing.

There is also a special events report, they are giving $100k out this year to support events and festivals.

They are voting on a “zero-net runoff” policy for new proposals. They are delaying the implementation of this policy it seems.

Duff asks “Do we know what the impact of this exemption is?” She wants more information on how many proposals could get this exemption.

Collins: “… the subdivision I was trying to get up in Shea Heights” this is how Collins talks about anything going on in Ward 5.

Galgay says he has recieved many complaints about 145 Casey St, regarding both housing conditions and “dysfunctional behaviour” of tenants.

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O’Leary says that the city needs to improve how often the city garbage containers are emptied.

O’Keefe: “The only way this city will be as clean as it should be is if people litter less and get out and pick up litter more.”

That’s all folks, tweet ya next week, Andrew Harvey out.



17 October 2009

  1. Jon · October 17, 2009

    O’Keefe: “The only way this city will be as clean as it should be is if people litter less and get out and pick up litter more.”

    yeah, that is right mayor. The city should carry now responsibility for the disgusting state of our city with regards to trash everywhere. what a buffoon.

  2. Andrew Harvey · October 17, 2009

    Hey Jon,
    I think O’Keefe was pointing out the public’s responsibility in keeping the city clean, not the cities responsibility. Not sure if that was clear or not.

  3. Jon · October 17, 2009

    Well I hope so because the City does have a responsibility in keeping the city clean. Part of the reason there is garbage everywhere is lack of trash cans, trash cans that have no covers and trash cans that aren’t emptied frequently enough. Of course the other part of the problem is dirtbags that think it ok to throw a weeks worth of Tim hortons cups out their driverside window.
    I was also reading the other day that the litter cleanup staff don’t start until May 1st. So that means we have months of the year that trash is allowed to build up without anyone doing anything about it.
    This is a huge problem in my opinion that not enough people seem to care about.

  4. Jon · October 17, 2009

    Also, I just found that comment by the mayor very stupid. Similarly, the city would be crime free if people just simply stopped committing crimes. But as we all know, this will never happen. Also, who wants to go out and pick up other peoples litter? There needs to be more efforts on the City’s part in keeping the city clean of litter.

  5. Gordon Gekko · October 17, 2009

    “Collins: “… the subdivision I was trying to get up in Shea Heights” this is how Collins talks about anything going on in Ward 5.”

    What subdivision is this? I’ve never heard anything about it. I’ve always believed that Shea Heights is a shining example of the incompetence of St. John’s city managers and councilors. With that land and that view there should be a neighbourhood of million dollar homes, instead we have a low-income ghetto. It doesn’t make any sense. Send them all to Buckmaster Circle or something, bulldoze everything, and replace it with an upper-scale suburb.

  6. Gordon Gekko · October 17, 2009

    Dennis O’Keefe isn’t exactly the smartest person in the world, hopefully he will be replaced after the next election.

    As for keeping the city clean, I think a good step would be to fire all of these lazy overpaid unionized city workers. These are the laziest most entitled people in the world. There are thousands of highschool and university students in the city who would be more than happy to pick up litter for minimum wage, and they would likely do a far better job. This would free up more money for litter removal.

  7. Bertie Mckee · October 17, 2009

    You are a person that thinks much in the same way I do on this very clearly. However , I would have been rather more positive about this. Great post and you got me thinking.