Municipal politics
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Municipal politics
Thoughtful ideas on municipal politics and governance, with the occasional, 'S/he did WHAT?' Pity ScoopIt wasn't around when the councillor of a BC city stabbed a fellow councillor in the cheek with a ballpoint pen. Said councillor (the stabber, not the stabee), is now the mayor, I believe. Doesn't get much more up close and personal than municipal politics, does it?
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The Tyee – Affordable Housing: Some Parts Just Aren't City Hall's Job

The Tyee – Affordable Housing: Some Parts Just Aren't City Hall's Job | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
Vancouver councillor and new housing officer call for clarity, and candour, on housing file.
ruthseeley's insight:

Was just talking to a city councillor yesterday about the need - constant it seems - to explain to people what is council's job and what is admin's job. How have we failed to communicate this so drastically and so persistently? I think we need to look at our education systems and either introduce or revamp civics courses. I loved British and American history in high school. But what we need is knowledge about how to navigate our own lives now. Then we can go back and look at lessons we need to learn in order to not repeat the past.

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City councillors warned about ‘disruptive, disrespectful’ behaviour

City councillors warned about ‘disruptive, disrespectful’ behaviour | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
City council speaker Frances Nunziata is reminding councillors to do-away with the theatrics and be on their best behaviour while at Toronto City Hall.
ruthseeley's insight:

I find it so bizarre that Nunziata would write a letter like this. I watched the Monday council meeting when Ford was stripped of most of his powers as mayor online. Nunziata was either completely unwilling to or completely incapable of keeping - or restoring - order. So this is a bit rich. Why is she speaker again?

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Civil service must be apolitical

Civil service must be apolitical | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
"I'd argue that this stems from Vancouver's still-imbedded-but-painfully-outdated notion of civic government as non-partisan and being solely concerned with efficiency and elivering (sic) services."
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Editorial: Politicization of Vancouver’s civil service harms democracy | The Province

“I’d argue that this stems from Vancouver’s still-imbedded-but-painfully-outdated notion of civic government as non-partisan and being solely concerned with efficiency and elivering (sic) services.
ruthseeley's insight:

One of two items on the politicization of administration at the city council level (see next scoop). What's really dangerous about this is the precedent it sets. Can a council ever fire a city manager who is actually incompetent without being accused of following a political agenda? Because odds are, in a city somewhere in Canada, there is a city manager who actually deserves to be fired.

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CBC News - Ireland grapples with whether to kill or keep the Senate

CBC News - Ireland grapples with whether to kill or keep the Senate | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
ruthseeley's insight:

Again not a municipal political issue. But who knew anyone's Senate was more complicated - to reform or abolish - than the Canadian Senate? #SenCa

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Civic Information API: now connecting US users with their representatives

Civic Information API: now connecting US users with their representatives | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
ruthseeley's insight:

Great idea. Would love to see this rolled out in Canada. What's the UK doing, I wonder? Australia? New Zealand? #munipoli

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Aspiring to inspire: municipal politics at election time - The Independent News

Aspiring to inspire: municipal politics at election time - The Independent News | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
“Aspiring to inspire: municipal politics at election time The Independent News There appears, in municipal politics even more than provincial and federal politics, to exist a principle I shall refer to as “competitive status quo”.”
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How to make a city great | McKinsey & Company

How to make a city great | McKinsey & Company | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
“By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. That could mean great things for economic growth—if the cities handle their expansion wisely. Here’s how. A McKinsey & Company article.”
ruthseeley's insight:
Smart growth, doing more with less, getting buy-in for change. #munipoli #lethvote #yql13
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Privacy lawyer mulls joining Winnipeg mayoral race - CTV News

Privacy lawyer mulls joining Winnipeg mayoral race - CTV News | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
“Privacy lawyer mulls joining Winnipeg mayoral race CTV News One urban affairs expert said Bowman's business connections and stance on transparency could bode well for him.”
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Last council sessions passes communications policy, Saline Creek rezoning - Fort McMurray Today

Last council sessions passes communications policy, Saline Creek rezoning - Fort McMurray Today | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
“Last council sessions passes communications policy, Saline Creek rezoning Fort McMurray Today Councillors passed a controversial communications policy, which Coun. Russell ...”
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QUEST FOR COUNCIL: Scott McKeen aims to serve

QUEST FOR COUNCIL: Scott McKeen aims to serve | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
Former journalist Scott McKeen knows exactly what he’s facing in his run for the hotly contested Ward 6 seat on City Council – he spent at least 12 years re
ruthseeley's insight:

"You don't do this for glory." Also like the comments re every pothole being the mayor's fault. The buck has to stop somewhere. ;)

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Toronto works to save its postcard views

Toronto works to save its postcard views | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
‘View corridors’ to historic landmarks like Queen’s Park are on the city’s agenda (RT @CanUrbanism: #Toronto joins #Montreal, #Vancouver & #Halifax in creating protected view corridors.
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Philosophy and Civic Engagement | MIT Center for Civic Media

Philosophy and Civic Engagement | MIT Center for Civic Media | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
He posited that civic engagement is a response to democratic erosion, which can be unhealthy if they don't acknowledge all four forms of erosion. Furthermore, we can fail to teach future generations about how to be citizens if ...
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Rob Ford ‘super sorry’ for calling councillors ‘corrupt’

Rob Ford ‘super sorry’ for calling councillors ‘corrupt’ | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford made a forced apology Tuesday for a remark he made during a heated exchange at a city council meeting Monday night.
ruthseeley's insight:

The precedent of admin commenting on councillors' motions is indeed a dangerous one, although I don't know what the comment(s) was (were). But the gong show continues, obviously. Will be very interesting to see 2014 election results and how the citizenry reacts. Will we be able to tell if those who refuse to observe decorum were punished by the electorate? Is the electorate even paying attention? Will this circus galvanize voters? I was at a workshop Saturday on organizing electoral district associations and the presenter said, 'We're all freaks, spending a Saturday doing this.' He's kind of right about that. But hey, I've always liked the expression, 'Get your freak flag on.'

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Blurred Vision: City Hall communications policy ‘absolutely wrong’

Blurred Vision: City Hall communications policy ‘absolutely wrong’ | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
Vancouver city hall internal emails, obtained by The Province, suggest an unhealthy convergence between Mayor Gregor Robertson’s political communications staff and supposedly impartial bureaucrats who are meant to serve the public.
ruthseeley's insight:

Hmmm, this wasn't really the article I was looking for (see previous scoop). But it belongs here too.

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Working with Rob and Doug Ford: At root, a failure of trust

Working with Rob and Doug Ford: At root, a failure of trust | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
Their stubbornness, questionable competence and recklessness have damaged the mayor’s office
ruthseeley's insight:

And no one is invincible. Polarizing tactics  and the very concept of dualism - good/evil, if you're not with me, you're against me - is simplistic and unhelpful. There are many shades of green (couldn't bring myself to say gray). ;)

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Where Is Media Hunger for Government Transparency? - TheTyee.ca - Mobile

Where Is Media Hunger for Government Transparency? - TheTyee.ca - Mobile | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
ruthseeley's insight:

True not just for municipal politics, of course. But you have to start somewhere, and why not in our own communities? Knowledge is power.

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Despite scandals, municipal leaders trusted most

Despite scandals, municipal leaders trusted most | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
The city of Montreal has had two mayors ousted over an ongoing corruption scandal; London Mayor Joe Fontana in the midst of a court battle over allegations that he used public money to pay for his son's wedding; Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz was the...
ruthseeley's insight:

Found this study fascinating, although puzzled more people don't consider a politician's oratorical skills important. Voters rarely look at politicians' entire voting record when deciding whether to support or not. Surely we all respond to not only the words being said but the sound of the person's voice on a fairly visceral level? I know I do.

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Ottawa sits while Sault acts

Ottawa sits while Sault acts | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
“If Canada’s economy was functioning as well as advertised by the Conservative government, cities like Sault Ste. Marie wouldn’t have to take local action to try to fix a national problem.”
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ruthseeley's comment, September 13, 2013 11:48 AM
Thought this was an interesting article. Is it time for municipalities to stop the handwringing and buck passing and deal with developers on their own? They're certainly empowered to do so. Why not tell the next would-be condo developer, right, and you can build your condo development as long as you also create 25% affordable housing when doing so.
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Vivian Maier's really moving pictures

Vivian Maier's really moving pictures | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
“You've seen her photography. Now look at the film the late Chicago nanny-turned-street photographer made.”
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Rob Ford is deeply unpopular in downtown Toronto -- and that will hurt his re ... - MetroNews Canada

Rob Ford is deeply unpopular in downtown Toronto -- and that will hurt his re ... - MetroNews Canada | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
“Rob Ford is deeply unpopular in downtown Toronto -- and that will hurt his re ...”
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(Free Press file photo) - London Free Press

(Free Press file photo) - London Free Press | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
“(Free Press file photo) London Free Press Do we pay members of London city council too much? Too little? Just about right?”
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ruthseeley's comment, September 13, 2013 11:53 AM
London, ON, has implemented the solution proposed by Councillor Jeff Coffman when this issue came up at #lethcc earlier this year. (His resolution was defeated.)
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Middle Age Bulge: Running for Council?

Middle Age Bulge: Running for Council? | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
ruthseeley's insight:

This is Kennedy-esque rhetoric for the 21st Century and I wholeheartedly approve - and agree - with the points Councillor Thomas makes here. All his points are compelling - but especially number 5 - "Seek first to understand" and number 6 - "If you are visibly absent from an engagement opportunity, it will get noticed and conclusions may get made that you won't like." In 2013, this means: do not set up a Twitter account unless you are prepared to actually use it and engage with people via that medium. Don't set up a blog that doesn't permit comments (although you'd better be prepared to moderate them). Ditto a YouTube account. Nothing enrages people more than not being listened to. And when you run for office, you are asking people to listen to you. A one-way conversation is called a monologue. Or a lecture. Or propaganada. Is that who you - seeking office as someone who represents others - really think you should be? If it is, you shouldn't be running for office.

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Getting beyond the meltdown at Toronto city hall | Toronto Star

Getting beyond the meltdown at Toronto city hall | Toronto Star | Municipal politics | Scoop.it
Unresolved issues of amalgamation need to be addressed.
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