Why did Councillor Murdoch vote against his own committee?

At council last week the Environmental Advisory Committee, newly setup by this council earlier this year, came forward with its first recommendation:  a symbolic council motion against the two big pipelines planned for BC: Kinder Morgan and Enbridge. During the debate Councillor Murdoch, who is the council liaison to that committee, noted his discomfort with the motion as it was outside of the immediate jurisdiction of Oak Bay. During the vote, which passed 3-2, he and Councillor Herbert voted against it. Even Councillor Herbert voted for bike lanes on Cedar Hill X Rd despite his long-stated opposition to bike lanes in Oak Bay, likely because he chaired the Community Initiatives Committee that brought the idea forward. So why did Councillor Murdoch vote against his own committee? And more pressingly, what does it mean for future Environmental Advisory Committee recommendations?

Notes from the second All Candidates meeting

The Community Association of Oak Bay and the North Henderson Resi9dents Association jointly hosted the second and final all candidates meeting here in Oak Bay. Again, I took notes but I know I missed a few questions:

  • Oak bay lodge
  • Bowker creek
  • 4 story limit
  • Amalgamation
  • Oak Bay lodge delay
  • Source of campaign funds, specifically developers
  • Secondary suites
  • Communication
  • Secondary suites committee
  • Role of council
  • Coordination of municipalities
  • Oak Bay lodge parking
  • Deer


Oak Bay Lodge rezoning up for discussion tomorrow night

Details are scant, but it appears that Oak Bay Lodge (identified as 2251
Cadboro Bay Rd in the [download id=”8″ format=”1″]) is up for discussion tomorrow night.

Note: This is the first of three mandatory meetings for any rezoning, so there is no need to panic yet. Any rezoning first goes to Committee of the Whole, then Council for notice to be sent to neighbours, then comes back two weeks later for voting.

Committee of the Whole meets at 7:30pm on August 8th, 2011, in the Council Chambers of Oak Bay Municipal Hall.

Remembering Allan Cassidy

Although there are many things that Allan will be remembered for, it is his deconstruction of the recent Oak Bay Beach Hotel rezoning that will stay in my mind for the longest. With his usual style, he looked at the list of zoning variances and then the two plans and asked, quite simply: Why did these two things not agree with each other? End result: away goes Kevin Walker to come back with a complete list. Details matter.

I have no idea why that little episode happened, but I do know one thing: this was one of many ways Allan made our community better. And while, he and I disagreed on bike lanes, he always had a good reason why. So goodbye, my former Beaver leader. Thank you for your service.

Blair Gowie in their own words

“to change that [Blair Gowie’s heritage designation] would impoverish the designation”

Councillor Braithwaite on why she is voting against the Heritage Revitalization Agreement

“Constable Herbert”

Councillor Jensen with an interesting slip of the tongue after Herbert ran down a significant list of things he would like to see changed

“[make sure the Heritage Revitalization Agreement is] sufficiently sensitive to the original designation goals”

Jensen on the HRA

“It is not going to fall down next week … or next year”

Councillor Ney explaining why she is voting against the agreement

“The Heritage Revitalization Agreement doesn’t remove but imposes a different kind of protection”

Councillor Copley debunking the rumour that the HRA will remove the heritage designation

“She [Mrs Ellis] felt I, as Mayor, could come up with the perfect plan for Runnymede”

Mayor Causton talking about his many discussion with Mrs Ellis on Blair Gowie (or Runnymede as she called it)


Random links o’ the morning

The Mayor says goodbye (sort-of)

With Mayor Causton taking a short break to run for Liberal candidate in the Victoria riding, he took the opportunity to say good-bye Monday night. At what may be his last council meeting ever, he brought up a lot of unresolved business that he wanted to see put to bed.

Unsurprisingly, the first thing he mentioned was the town hall meeting, something he promised to the protesters from the the other day. What he promised was a meeting without an agenda, and he promised that he would facilitate that However, he wanted to have it during April, which means that somebody else will need to chair that. Causton ended up suggesting the acting Mayor — Nils Jensen for the month of April — as a suitable substitute. As for a date, there are a few being kicked around, all in April: 12th, 14th, 19th, or 20th.

Second on his agenda was “improved communication”, which apparently just means the website currently, something Tara Ney is taking over. As an aside, I see a pattern emerging here; prospective mayoral candidates being asked to get involved in high profile issues (although neither have said anything either way).

Lastly was the giant hot potato known as secondary suites. Causton has pushed hard on this issue recently, prompting one councillor to ask “What’s driving this issue?”. My suspicion is that council is going to shelve this until after the election. We are only eight months out (Nov 19) and nobody wants to commit to such a polarizing issue right now.

Thankfully, the Mayor is not shirking all of his duties as he runs federally: the children of Willows in Grade 1 and 2 are going to get a visit by him to, as he put it, “explain a federal election without getting political”, as well as chairing the local Mayor’s lunch and one final Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ AGM and conference up in Sidney.

And so we (possibly, although I think not very probably) bid adieu to the Mayor of Oak Bay for the past 14 years. Emperor Frank (of Saanich) he was not, although he is equally long standing. Now the speculation will turn to what councillors are going to run again this year and who will replace him.

Oak Bay council sets dates for budget meetings

Oak Bay has finally set the dates of its estimates meetings, where council decides on what projects are going to be funded in the 2011 fiscal year.

The first meeting is the joint Parks & Recreation Commission and Council meeting on March 30th at 7pm. I don’t know what big ticket items are in play for this year, save that the Rotary Waterpark money (almost $30,000 for upgrades) has already been approved.

There are two further general estimates committee meetings on Tuesday, April 5th and Wednesday the 13th. Both are at 5:30pm. All three meetings are held in the council chambers in the municipal hall on Oak Bay Avenue. As with council and committee of the whole meetings, these meetings are open to the public to listen.