An apology ... of sorts

I was at city hall this week, complete with begging bowl, and was reaffirmed in my belief that this is likely to be our most reflective and sensible council for years. My snide remarks in an earlier column were unjust, this group is able to work together and with respect. It was clear that a number of them, including the mayor, had been shaken by the vitriol at the Rainbow Gardens rezoning hearing, a real baptism of fire I guess, however there was recognition that they will not let that sort of thing happen again. Also pretty clear that Rainbow had mishandled the issue and had obfuscated the issues, although Jack was clear (only one voting for the rezoning) that having land available is a big part of ensuring project success when government makes a sudden call for proposals – as they so often do. I hope that Rainbow see fit to develop a plan as suggested by the mayor.
Also clear that like past councils, by filling the hall with 50 supporters, you can sway with emotions. Will be interesting to see what happens when they face the real hot button decisions of the future - cuts and closures or higher taxes. Pretty clear that despite having heard 'no tax increases' at the doorsteps last fall, the budget process just finishing does not contain much in the way of cuts and even some increases, to the disgust of at least one acquaintance whose ideas for cuts were not taken too seriously. Will they manage to hold to 2% or so?
It was the first time I had attended council for many years. New layout, while cramped, seems much better. Was funny to hear them all weigh in on a minor curb height issue – sad as well that some form of discretionary decision and spending authority cannot be given to Watson and senior staff so that such trivial issues, well trivial to all but the property owner, cannot be sorted at the staff level, with an appeal if the tax payer is still dissatisfied. We pay our staff very well, which presumably includes making sensible decisions to allow M&C to get on with more policy and direction and less day to day management. I guess as both groups gain confidence we will see less of this sort of time wasting. They have 4 years to sort this stuff out.
Laughed at the butt ugly logo suggestion, direct perhaps from the hands of Cook and Vancouver and their sepia inked charts, nothing like looking to the past as a map for the future. The smile tag line has potential, although have heard cynics remark smile as we export logs. Quite apart from the issue of the place of branding in modern marketing, at least for an entity as amorphous as a community, you might think that we would be rather better with some thing that looked like it was produced in 2015. Then again I have to admit that a single colour sure saves on those printing costs.
The chance of significant snow now looks pretty remote, could us village folks be on the river some time this year for the first time in many with a dry spring and summer? Guy C convinced he can get restrictions working well enough to avoid that, will we be down to drinking by the glass only?
Interesting times all over.