CFRA journalist Pierre Bourque and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray discuss planning committee chairman Peter Hume’s departure from city hall.
To hear the broadcast, click on the podcast player below:
Congratulations to Alta Vista Councillor Peter Hume.
After 23 years of public service, Hume will not run in the Oct. 27 municipal election. The planning committee chairman says he needs a better balance between work and family. And being a councillor consists in part with extremely long hours, reasonable pay and not a lot of gratitude. No doubt the family suffered from the call of the ever-present BlackBerry.
But then Hume must have enjoyed the job because he stayed so long. He has done little else in life except participate in municipal affairs.
Why if The Bulldog didn’t know better, he would say it is an election year.
So people such as Mayor Jim Watson and planning committee chairman Peter Hume know they might have alienated large portions of the public by having the city treat zoning as a suggestion. Accordingly, not a few people are perturbed because the city allowed a high-rise next door or in the neighbourhood when the zoning shouldn’t have allowed it.
So our city fathers are dealing pro-actively with this perception.
Here is the PR bumpf from the City of Ottawa:
The character of Little Italy is disappearing as the area gentrifies.
Little Italy has a lot in common with Westboro.
In Westboro, the city laid down wide pink sidewalks and allowed out-of-control intensification so that rents just skyrocketed. Mom-and-pop stores with character couldn’t afford the high rents associated with the heavy traffic created by intensification, so they moved or disappeared.
Ahhh, Ottawa planning committee chairman Peter Hume takes a strong stand on the Domtar lands development.
Hume says the City of Ottawa must play a role in making the Domtar lands project a success. And of course the city has had a long history of success with its capital projects.
Why there is the state that Lansdowne fell into before the redevelopment; the misstep on Les Soeurs de la Visitation convent; the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge; the Hurdman bridge; the Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge and the collapse of the roof of the light-rail tunnel. No doubt the public would like the city to move to the forefront of the Domtar lands project:
Given the City of Ottawa’s horrible history of failed public consultations, it’s not surprising that changing the city’s urban design panel fell far under the public’s radar.
No doubt it was meant to be that way.
Sort of like when the city released its notorious consultation on consultations and then almost immediately walked on the light-rail detour report at a committee without jurisdiction that was to hear a presentation on a segment of the project that had already been approved in the main light-rail vote. Then staff came equipped with a legal opinion saying that transit commissioners and the public could not discuss the plan at the meeting because it had already been approved. And oh yes, the cost of the detours and bus purchases went up $11 million from a short note on the agenda to the meeting.
In a surprise move, my former colleagues at the Ottawa Citizen editorial board have taken a strong stand against corporation and union donations to municipal campaigns. Good on them.
That flies in the face of the positions of Mayor Jim Watson and planning committee chairman Peter Hume who support such money going to city candidates. And no wonder. Their campaign statements from 2010 are littered with such gifts. It makes a mockery of Watson’s ethics legislation that has councillors and himself cringing when they are offered $35 bottles of whiskey from constituents but can receive campaign donations from the above-mentioned organizations, their employees and families.
Toronto has banned donations from developers and unions to civic political campaigns.
Bulldog Ottawa has strongly advocated for a similar ban for the nation’s capital. But no such luck.
Mayor Jim Watson has enacted a lot of governance legislation but much of it is window-dressing instead of addressing the real issues facing city hall.
Bulldog Ottawa reader Chris looks at the failed city purchase of the McGarry downtown property and blames it on the city’s own handiwork:
Was reading the article on the McGarry property and it comes across as poetic justice for the City and particularly planning committee chairman Peter Hume.
Even the City of Ottawa cannot compete with the big developers when it comes to dropping the kind of coin that developers have been on properties. Hume sounds ludicrous when he makes a statement that a property has been appraised for a certain value and that is what the city will pay.
This is a release from the City of Ottawa:
The City of Ottawa’s draft 2013 Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP), designed to support affordable development growth through projects that protect the environment, was tabled today at Planning Committee.
The plan charts a path for efficient building, operation, and renewal of municipal services such as water plants, sewers, stormwater ponds and wastewater-treatment and stresses affordability for taxpayers, making neighbourhoods more compact and complete, and protecting the natural environment.
This from Ottawa Magazine on the proposed construction of a large condo at 233 Armstrong St.
The magazine is paraphrasing planning committee chairman Peter Hume.
The Alta Vista councillor is taking the planning process to an even more absurd level:
You need parking downtown if neighbourhoods there lack proper mass transit and amenities.
Hard to say what fantasyland senior planner Alain Miguelez lives in over at Ottawa City Hall.
Miguelez says creating new parking is bad design and bad urban planning downtown … maybe anywhere. But the fact of the matter is that our elected officials and city staff (and yes even the high-minded planning department) have let Ottawa down when it comes to modern mass transit.
God, seen here working his P3 magic with Moses, will need to part the Ottawa River to convince voters to vote for Kitchissippi’s Katherine Hobbs.
As we approach the early stages of the electioneering season, our city politicians appear to be getting religion. Not a lot of religion, but a bit of the wee faith.
Or maybe it’s just a cynical political ploy. Gee, I wonder which one it is.