Greetings from City Hall! It’s hard to believe that it was only two months ago I delivered my inaugural speech.
I am now only days away from representing Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada at the Torino Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.This will truly be a historic moment for our city as we begin the four-year countdown to 2010. Even though the organizers of the Closing Ceremony offered to have someone else accept the Olympic Flag on your behalf, I am now working on a technical solution to enable me to hold the flag on my wheelchair. You can watch the Closing Ceremony at 10:30 am (Vancouver time) on Sunday, February 26 to see how I do.
Given the interest I have received from the international media over the last several weeks, I will have an excellent opportunity while in Torino to let the world know that Vancouver is a great place to live, work and invest.
On a more personal note, I am pleased to report to you that I am really enjoying my new role as the Mayor of Vancouver. Although my pace of life has certainly increased, becoming the Mayor of such an innovative and progressive city is something I wear as a badge of honour.
I thought you might find of interest a few of the initiatives we have undertaken since my inaugural address. They include:
- Setting the tone for frugal government by cutting the cost of the inaugural ceremony in half;
- Signalling my willingness to work cooperatively with all members of Council by appointing every councillor to a formal role;
- Restoring $50 million to the Property Endowment Fund, ensuring that we return to financial sustainability;
- Increasing the value of citizen input by initiating a review of the roles, relationships and responsibilities of citizens, staff and Council — the Triple R Review;
- Cancelling the previous Council’s plan to shut down two lanes on the Burrard Bridge as well as commitying to developing better cyclist access;
- Establishing council support to obtain a report on the feasibility of making Vancouver a wireless city;
- Taking the $18,000 per year that was used to entertain Councillors at the beginning of meetings and transferring those funds into the City’s arts budget for the benefit of the whole community;
- Supporting a motion calling on the development of a comprehensive plan to increase the amount of affordable housing developed in Vancouver;
- Contributing $1 million to the Woodward’s project by agreeing to cover the cost of sewer work;
- Reaching out to our youth through the introduction of a new Civic Youth Council which will take place this Fall; and,
- Seeking new opportunities to reduce overall waste production.
We are now quickly moving into the consultation phase of the 2006 Budget development process. In relation to that, Council recently approved a number of consultation surveys that will result in the voice of our small businesses being formally heard for the first time in almost a decade. This is in addition to all of our resident taxpayers being allowed to have their voice heard.
If you are a Vancouver resident or business owner, please take the time to complete the City Choices flyer that will be distributed to you shortly via our local newspapers. And please check out the city website at www.vancouver.ca to get more information about a public meeting that will be held at City Hall to discuss budget options.
In closing, as part of my commitment to keeping you in touch with me over the coming years, I am pleased to introduce this inaugural edition of my new electronic newsletter. The e-newsletter will keep you regularly updated on some of my Mayoral activities as well as the types of debates and discussions taking place at City Hall.
If you have any comments or feedback about the newsletter, or if you have concerns about what is going on in your City, I would encourage you to forward your feedback to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach me by contacting my office at 604-873-7621.
I believe that civic government can play a crucial role in helping to make our city an even better place to live. I look forward to hearing your ideas and feedback as we move forward with a balanced, innovative and progressive agenda for 2006.
Mayor Sam Sullivan
Your City: Get involved!
Looking for ways to get involved at City Hall and help make Vancouver one of the world’s most livable cities? The City is currently recruiting citizens for vacancies on the following advisory bodies:
- Board of Variance
- Development Permit Board Advisory Panel
- Urban Design Panel
- Vancouver Athletic Commission
- Vancouver Economic Development Commission
- Vancouver Heritage Foundation Board
Applicants of all ages, genders, neighbourhoods, racial origins, income levels and sexual orientations, and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to apply in order that the City appoint advisory bodies representative of the broader community, and to address the issues of those communities.
Deadline for applications is February 28, 2006. For more information visit:
News from the Mayor’s Office
Open any of the headline links below for more details.