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Ask Pat: Private School taxes

Duke asked— The two large private schools on opposite ends of the city are nearing completion. My question is will the City be receiving any property taxes from these schools? It’s my understanding the BC Libs exempted them from certain taxes. Short version: no, they likely won’t pay property tax. But as always, there is a […]

Council – March 11, 2019

Our Council meeting on March 11 had its share of pageantry and drama, and much of it was after the annual May Queen draw. Alas, I don’t have time to blog at length about what got me hot under the collar during the Opportunity for Public Comment, as meta as it may have been, and you will have to watch the video to get the full experience. Still we had a packed agenda that started with an Opportunity for Public Comment:

(draft) Budget 2019

I guess we knew this was going to be a tight budget year for New Westminster, as it is for most Cities in the lower mainland. The shift in the employer health tax has hit many municipalities hard, and I will talk more about that below, but combine that with our aggressive capital plan, regular inflationary increases in costs and constant demand for new services, and our tax increase is higher than some would have liked this year. I actually would vote to make it higher, and indicated so to Council. Here is my rationale.

Council – Feb 25, 2019

The things we discussed in open workshop on February 25th will end up being more interesting than what we did in Council, but those will have to wait for subsequent posts. Partly because those things will come to regular council and I need to stick ti current business here, and we had a full agenda, […]

Ask Pat: Omnibus edition!

I had a few Ask Pat questions in the queue, and it being Family Day Long Weekend and all, I figured I would answer them all in one fell swoop. Have a question about the City, Council, Politics, or music? Hit the red button up there to the right and send it to me, hopefully I will get to it!

Must Read

Caveat lector

This site is a Blog. It started because I like to write, and often have many things to say. Back in the ‘naughts, I started by blogging about things going on in New West, my experiences with the New Westminster Environmental Partners, local/regional/national politics, general “environmental stuff”, and random thoughts about whatever struck me at […]

Community

This happened…

I was lucky to be able to join Jagmeet Singh on a small group bike ride around downtown Vancouver yesterday, as part of his whistle-stop on the west coast going into next week’s NDP leadership vote. Although many Canadians only know Singh from the strange racist thing that happened at one of his campaign events […]

Volunteers

As I noted a little earlier, this summer has been pretty active in New West. This last weekend the trend continued with the annual Pride Street Party. There were community groups booths, three stages with entertainment, an active kid’s area, beer gardens, food trucks, and local restaurants and beer gardens were filled to overflowing. While […]

Friday on Front

Yikes. That was a crowd. I had a slight sense that our little Grand Opening on the Front Street Mews was going to have a big turnout. It had all the elements – a new public space, nice weather, music, and a Beer Truck. Still, I think the turnout was about 5x planning estimates. Which […]

Music by the River

The City tried a bit of an experiment on Thursday Night. We permitted the Arts Council to offer a few hours of free music at the Pier Park, set up a few artisan booths, and (gasp) offer beer and wine for sale in an open-licence model that allows families to sit together and responsibly enjoy […]

Rent Bank Launch

It was a great day today for the official launch of the New Westminster Rent Bank. Members of City Council met at the Purpose Society with the organizers and financial backers of this program. The City’s role was to help with logistics and provide a modest grant to help with administration costs, but the real […]