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Metro Vancouver Poll-Coquitlam-Going Green-Development Going?
  Mar 15, 2008

A random (strategically targeted) telephone poll of 126 Coquitlam city residents ‘who voted in the last municipal election in Coquitlam’. This ROBBINS poll was conducted between February 28 and March 8, 2008. This poll was sponsored by Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398

Question #1
How would you rate the efforts of your city council over the past two years plus-with a view to civic elections in November 2008? (Rating is performed by indicated what number between 1-10- with 10 meaning that you are rating their performance as ‘excellent’, and 1 meaning that you are rating its performance as ‘very poor’). {Rounded to nearest half}.
6.5     %
Unsure/Undecided/Can’t Say    17 %
Question #2
Which of these following two objectives are you most passionately for-in terms of goals and objectives for Coquitlam city council now and into the future?
Protect the Environment    55.5 %
Push for more development    14 %
Unsure/Undecided/Can’t Say    38 %
Question #3
Which of the following Coquitlam city council members would you prefer as Mayor after the November 2008 election is held?
Mayor Maxine Wilson    31 %
City councillor Fin Donnelly    33.3 %
Unsure/Undecided/Can’t Say    35.7 %
Question #4
Do you accept a new set of homeowner taxes from your Coquitlam municipal government to pay Translink shortfalls- and to help pay for venues for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler?
Yes    15 %
No    79 %
Unsure/Undecided/Can’t Say    5.5 %
Commentary
Observations:
Coquitlam ‘residents who say they voted in the last municipal election are pretty clear on a couple of things-the environment continues to trump development for over a year. The erosion of public confidence by ‘voters’ in this city toward the BC Liberal provincial government, including an absolute mess over Translink-and the Evergreen ‘Line’ of embarrassing announcements-along with news announcements of developers throughout the region reneging on contracts with pre-construction purchases of condominiums-has residents very uncomfortable with the idea of permitting further development in Coquitlam until we know precisely where we are-and we can sort out the confusion-the double-speak-the manipulation-and distill events to facts-the proper way to represent voters.
Voters are stunned by new homeowner taxes they will have to pay to shore up Translink shortfalls and pay for the Olympics. Although there has been no reporting that these taxes imposed in municipalities without their consent-will go to the Olympics, the cavalier style of the Premier’s accountability-the complete loss of credibility throughout numerous ministries-and the courts-and now the Dobell ‘scandal’ has news reporters in Victoria silently muttering ‘Titanic’.
A solid chuck of voters in this poll is of the opinion that this government is a de facto government-development company-and the absolute focus of the government is toward development and Whistler, while the various ministries do their best to deflect the onslaught of foul-ups and slow unbundling of caucus support for the Premier and his party.
“No” say the people of Coquitlam to more development-and "Stop" they say to trying to confuse citizens with the shell game of increased taxation.
Mayor Maxine Wilson voted for a tax increase-which tax increase is this-one for the city to be followed by another for Translink and possibly the 2010 Olympics?
More importantly Fin Donnelly voted against the tax increase-and is a more noteworthy supporter of the environment than the current Coquitlam Mayor is. Mayor Wilson came into the Mayor’s job by promising proper facilitation of government. The current culture apparently calls for greater activism and a more conspicuously principled position on her vision for the next three years-as Mayor Wilson wants another term. The rationale for another term as Mayor has to be properly explained.
Respected Coquitlam city councillor Neil Nicholson told ROBBINS-that “he is tired of losing votes 5-4”, reflecting the influence of Coquitlam city councillor Richard Stewart-whose history is pro-development-and who has strong ties to the BC Liberal Party, and the pro development group of 5 on city council.
If Fin Donnelly goes for Mayor against Maxine Wilson-one of the four votes on city council supporting environmental measures-and the wish of voters in Coquitlam-is out the door. Fin Donnelly must weigh this political reality: The fact there will NEVER be a better time for him to proclaim his green vision for Coquitlam, and a ‘new balance reflecting the need for greater respect for the environment and for consumers- including home developers-which might include having these developers in any future pre-construction investments in the City of Coquitlam agreeing to pay out investors in such circumstances with an interest rate of say (12%) on the total of their invested monies-not the Court Registrars rate-but something that punishes developers financially for will nilly breaking agreements with new home investors doing this-
Maxine-whose anticipated forte is ‘balance’ in moving municipal government work-and on the issues-must now clearly see the asymmetry in the voting body politic and not just speak to it-but embrace the new direction of environmentally friendly development-not the greasy and sneaky way development has sometimes ingratiated itself behind the back of a busy public taxpayer. She must move quickly to fend off a run for Mayor by Fin Donnelly- a politician for which there is obvious demand. There is an unequivocal sentiment in Coquitlam’s municipal voting culture on something as basic as working for environmental policies and particular programs such as LID for Burke Mountain-vs. the aggressive and often ‘bad faith’ developers are bringing to bear on a city which has been pushed to the brink with traffic problems. The current Mayor says that she is pleased with federal money for the Evergreen Line of $65,000,000 (exactly what a recent ROBBINS poll advocated from the federal government), when rumours allege that $400,000,000 was needed, and costs are escalating at $100,000,000 per year, faster than the level of federal contribution.
The Campbell government has no interest in building the Evergreen Line in the northeast sector-but the newspapers are trying to make the possibility fly again-after the original sneaky Evergreen Line ‘at grade’. Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini now wants Skytrain through his city-even after voters said no in a referendum during the 2005 municipal election. (Cue Spencer Davis Group-“Somebody help me now”).
http://www.chatarea.com/VancouverTransport.quote2214104
I suppose the new rationale will be explained by a ‘different direction’ through the city. It is unbelievable that a city council-that three city councils could collaborate on such a dreadful stall in their proper and fiduciary responsibility to give voters the facts.
Just how long the old delivery of news remains even remotely relevant is a matter for debate-huh?
A strong campaign and perhaps an eclectic ‘ticket’ of environmentalists, conservatives, and NDP-needs to build coalitions to make the window of a view of this ROBBINS poll become a reality for concerned citizens who universally recognize the need for a more measured thoughtful approach to development is likely what is required to more powerfully connect the existing voter sentiment to action at city council. As these numbers suggest, the voters themselves may take care of the 5-4 problem bemoaned by councillor Nicholson.

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