Bieksa’s overtime goal last night overshadowed yesterday’s win at Mission Council!  Thanks and appreciation goes out to Mission Council for voting down a supporting letter for Abbotsford’s P3 application.
CKNW reported this morning (not sure why local papers haven’t picked this up yet) that Mission Council will not write a letter endorsing Abbotsford’s desire to run an Abbotsford-only pipe through Mission’s land.
Abbotsford’s Mayor, George Peary, is upset about this and has been a little less than diplomatic in his response to this decision.  Why Peary chooses to throw more gas on the fire is beyond me.  He’s picking fights with CUPE and the City of Mission and this will not serve Abbotsford or the region very well.  Peary needs to eat some humble pie and work to restore other options that in line with Mission and Abbotsford residents.
5/25/2011

Bieksa’s overtime goal last night overshadowed yesterday’s win at Mission Council!  Thanks and appreciation goes out to Mission Council for voting down a supporting letter for Abbotsford’s P3 application.

CKNW reported this morning (not sure why local papers haven’t picked this up yet) that Mission Council will not write a letter endorsing Abbotsford’s desire to run an Abbotsford-only pipe through Mission’s land.

Abbotsford’s Mayor, George Peary, is upset about this and has been a little less than diplomatic in his response to this decision.  Why Peary chooses to throw more gas on the fire is beyond me.  He’s picking fights with CUPE and the City of Mission and this will not serve Abbotsford or the region very well.  Peary needs to eat some humble pie and work to restore other options that in line with Mission and Abbotsford residents.

5/25/2011

Part of our 3% tax hike this year went to pay for Mission’s new bike routes… yeah (insert sarcasm here)!  Really!?
Over the past couple weeks crews have been out painting the streets and erecting “bike route” signs every 300 ft.  According Mayor Atebe’s message in the Municipal News 2011 that was mailed out last week, these bike routes “will enable cyclists to travel more safely throughout the community, will encourage new cyclists to be more active and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”  Really!?
What a waste of tax payers money.  This won’t have any impact from a use or safety perspective.  It’s eye candy at best and yet all the signs and paint are ugly at best.  I would have rather seen this money go to the off-leash park fence that council deliberated on for almost an hour and still couldn’t decide on what kind of fence would be best…sheesh!  Talk about an inefficient and downright wasteful use of tax payer dollars.  This reminds me of the “Drug Free Zone” signs erected around all our schools… yes, that really made a difference, didn’t it.
People are going to bike where they want… we aren’t Vancouver where there is 10x the traffic and congestion.  We have hills comparable to San Francisco’s… does Council really think everyone is going to bike up Stave, Grand, or Cedar??
UPDATE: 5/24/2011:  I found out more about this recently.  The funds for the bike route actually came from senior government sources (not our municipal tax increase… as misled by Mayor Atebe’s letter).  The funds were left over from the Heritage Park upgrades.  So here’s my response to this update:  1) If there were  surplus funds from the trail project why weren’t they used to finish the  trail properly so people could roller blade, etc. there.  2) Senior  government dollars are still Mission citizen dollars (we pay prov./federal taxes  too) and I’d rather that money returned to Ottawa for better projects  than useless signs or road markers.  If every City was less selfish we’d  all pay less taxes.

Part of our 3% tax hike this year went to pay for Mission’s new bike routes… yeah (insert sarcasm here)!  Really!?

Over the past couple weeks crews have been out painting the streets and erecting “bike route” signs every 300 ft.  According Mayor Atebe’s message in the Municipal News 2011 that was mailed out last week, these bike routes “will enable cyclists to travel more safely throughout the community, will encourage new cyclists to be more active and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”  Really!?

What a waste of tax payers money.  This won’t have any impact from a use or safety perspective.  It’s eye candy at best and yet all the signs and paint are ugly at best.  I would have rather seen this money go to the off-leash park fence that council deliberated on for almost an hour and still couldn’t decide on what kind of fence would be best…sheesh!  Talk about an inefficient and downright wasteful use of tax payer dollars.  This reminds me of the “Drug Free Zone” signs erected around all our schools… yes, that really made a difference, didn’t it.

People are going to bike where they want… we aren’t Vancouver where there is 10x the traffic and congestion.  We have hills comparable to San Francisco’s… does Council really think everyone is going to bike up Stave, Grand, or Cedar??

UPDATE: 5/24/2011:  I found out more about this recently.  The funds for the bike route actually came from senior government sources (not our municipal tax increase… as misled by Mayor Atebe’s letter).  The funds were left over from the Heritage Park upgrades.  So here’s my response to this update:  1) If there were surplus funds from the trail project why weren’t they used to finish the trail properly so people could roller blade, etc. there.  2) Senior government dollars are still Mission citizen dollars (we pay prov./federal taxes too) and I’d rather that money returned to Ottawa for better projects than useless signs or road markers. If every City was less selfish we’d all pay less taxes.

Why is Mission always such a hard City to do business in?  City Council and Staff make things hard for developers, builders, and entrepreneurs.  From sturgeon-gate, to drive-thru bans, to City Staff creating more and more red tape, it’s a miracle any business is open in Mission.
On May 9th, Carol Aun of the Mission City Record (http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/missioncityrecord/news/121531039.html) reported that Councillors, Gidda and Horn, were hesitant about a second hand store and a dry cleaners going in… come on!  Really?!  If any entrepreneur feels its a good idea to invest their hard earned money in our community, let them take the risk.
Why does a group of City Councillors think they know the market best?  It reads as though Mayor Atebe came to the rescue and reminded council to be open, but come on!  We should be rolling out the red carpet to business.  I can understand if the developer has a prospective tenant that wants to manufacture heavy equipment, but a dry cleaner and a second hand store… both are harmless… let them in!!

Why is Mission always such a hard City to do business in?  City Council and Staff make things hard for developers, builders, and entrepreneurs.  From sturgeon-gate, to drive-thru bans, to City Staff creating more and more red tape, it’s a miracle any business is open in Mission.

On May 9th, Carol Aun of the Mission City Record (http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/missioncityrecord/news/121531039.html) reported that Councillors, Gidda and Horn, were hesitant about a second hand store and a dry cleaners going in… come on!  Really?!  If any entrepreneur feels its a good idea to invest their hard earned money in our community, let them take the risk.

Why does a group of City Councillors think they know the market best?  It reads as though Mayor Atebe came to the rescue and reminded council to be open, but come on!  We should be rolling out the red carpet to business.  I can understand if the developer has a prospective tenant that wants to manufacture heavy equipment, but a dry cleaner and a second hand store… both are harmless… let them in!!

Throughout the whole P3 ordeal, Mayor George Peary of Abbotsford, has come across as a jerk.  I see that in May 24th’s Council Meeting there will be a question period regarding City Staff’s recommendation to write a letter indicating that Mission will play nice with Abbotsford in their pursuit of the Stave Lake water reservoir project. This recommendation comes via Glen Robertson, Chief Administrative Officer of Mission (see page 2 of Mission City’s May 24th Agenda).
My hope is that Council will not play nice with Abbotsford.  They want to use our water, dig up our streets, and then one day charge us through the nose (rewording Mayor Peary’s comments back when the P3 thing first exploded) for it.  They can go and screw Chilliwack by pumping from Harrison, thank you very much.
If Council does give in to Peary’s bullying, the we should at least require a valve with a meter so that we can charge for every litre that passes through our fair city and then if they don’t pay, then we shut the valve.
I shudder at the thought that Council approves this, the project goes through, and then Abbotsford says, we aren’t actually going to build a treatment plant because that is cost prohibitive, so we are now going to shut down Mission’s backyard!
I’ve never liked Abbotsford; it’s always been a poser city… like the annoying little brother that tries to get noticed by its older brother and his friends.

Throughout the whole P3 ordeal, Mayor George Peary of Abbotsford, has come across as a jerk.  I see that in May 24th’s Council Meeting there will be a question period regarding City Staff’s recommendation to write a letter indicating that Mission will play nice with Abbotsford in their pursuit of the Stave Lake water reservoir project. This recommendation comes via Glen Robertson, Chief Administrative Officer of Mission (see page 2 of Mission City’s May 24th Agenda).

My hope is that Council will not play nice with Abbotsford.  They want to use our water, dig up our streets, and then one day charge us through the nose (rewording Mayor Peary’s comments back when the P3 thing first exploded) for it.  They can go and screw Chilliwack by pumping from Harrison, thank you very much.

If Council does give in to Peary’s bullying, the we should at least require a valve with a meter so that we can charge for every litre that passes through our fair city and then if they don’t pay, then we shut the valve.

I shudder at the thought that Council approves this, the project goes through, and then Abbotsford says, we aren’t actually going to build a treatment plant because that is cost prohibitive, so we are now going to shut down Mission’s backyard!

I’ve never liked Abbotsford; it’s always been a poser city… like the annoying little brother that tries to get noticed by its older brother and his friends.

I applaud Mission’s Council for their guts to try some new and bold.  In hindsight, the creation and implementation of the PSIT seems to not have been a good move.  I applaud Council for being proactive in fighting crime, but wish they had sought greater council on how to create and implement such a program.
My hope is that the program will be revised and released to move forward.

I applaud Mission’s Council for their guts to try some new and bold.  In hindsight, the creation and implementation of the PSIT seems to not have been a good move.  I applaud Council for being proactive in fighting crime, but wish they had sought greater council on how to create and implement such a program.

My hope is that the program will be revised and released to move forward.

Heritage Park Market Place is being developed and constructed by Norson Construction Ltd. on the North West corner of Stave Lake Rd. and 11th Avenue.  Is it just me or is the project taking forever?  I’ve called Norson a few times to get any updates and they don’t return my calls.  My guess for the delay is a lack of real interest from tenants and they are just keeping their key construction guys employed by limping along.  Rumour has is that Starbucks and a dollar store are going in.  As a resident in this area, here’s my dream list of tenants… Five Guys Burger and Fries, Flying Wedge Pizza, Thrifty Foods, a good pub, Coldstone, a legitimate Mexican restaurant, and a good lawyer.
What businesses/services do you think Mission needs?
UPDATE (5/20/2011): It looks as thought things are picking up at the site.  They have published four tenants: Subway, Ricardo’s Pizza, Mac’s, and a dollar store.

Heritage Park Market Place is being developed and constructed by Norson Construction Ltd. on the North West corner of Stave Lake Rd. and 11th Avenue.  Is it just me or is the project taking forever?  I’ve called Norson a few times to get any updates and they don’t return my calls.  My guess for the delay is a lack of real interest from tenants and they are just keeping their key construction guys employed by limping along.  Rumour has is that Starbucks and a dollar store are going in.  As a resident in this area, here’s my dream list of tenants… Five Guys Burger and Fries, Flying Wedge Pizza, Thrifty Foods, a good pub, Coldstone, a legitimate Mexican restaurant, and a good lawyer.

What businesses/services do you think Mission needs?

UPDATE (5/20/2011): It looks as thought things are picking up at the site.  They have published four tenants: Subway, Ricardo’s Pizza, Mac’s, and a dollar store.

Most of Council believes that its constituents are babies!  Last night (April 4, 2011) Mission City Council handcuffed its residents on the upcoming referendum on the Abbotsford Mission Water Sewer Commission (AMWSC) proposal to bring Stave Lake online for our drinking water.
Mayor Atebe and Councillors Gidda & Horn stood their ground, but the rest were swayed by public pressure.  The issue at hand was whether or not to apply for P3 (Private Public Partnership) so that they could have it as an option on the referendum.  Even though I agree with the masses represented there that a P3 in this situation is not good for the residents of Mission, I still believe it is Council’s obligation to exhaust every option and present every option to the residents in the form of a referendum.  Last night’s decision handcuffed resident’s ability to choose between a greater selection of options.
Councillor Jenny Stevens compared the use of a P3 grant on the referendum as to giving a kid a lollipop, letting them have a lick, and then taking it away.  I’m sorry Jenny, but I’m offended by that comparison.  As a resident of Mission, I do not like being compared to an undisciplined child.  As a resident of Mission I would like to have all the options on the referendum so I can fairly evaluate every option.
Furthermore I believe that it is Council that is acting like kids as they have not had the maturity to actually be saving for a project like this (through DCC’s and other methods).
When it comes to the referendum, I am okay with the Stave Lake project (although I’d prefer Harrison as then we don’t have to deal as much with BC Hydro and we’d have even more water to draw from for generations).  I am okay with a private design-build model, but because our water is so sensitive I want the operation and administration of it to be public.
On a few side notes: 1) The meeting went for 5.5 hours so the Ruskin Dam idea will be tabled until next Monday (April 11, 6:30pm at City Hall);  2) It was communicated that the use of Stave Lake will not inhibit recreational use of the area as all the water will run through a treatment plant; 3) Mission’s share of the project is approximately 12% (Abbotsford shoulders 88%); 4) The P3 grant would most likely be 25% ($72.1 million) of the project cost, but would require a private design-build-finance-operate (25 years) model.

Most of Council believes that its constituents are babies!  Last night (April 4, 2011) Mission City Council handcuffed its residents on the upcoming referendum on the Abbotsford Mission Water Sewer Commission (AMWSC) proposal to bring Stave Lake online for our drinking water.

Mayor Atebe and Councillors Gidda & Horn stood their ground, but the rest were swayed by public pressure.  The issue at hand was whether or not to apply for P3 (Private Public Partnership) so that they could have it as an option on the referendum.  Even though I agree with the masses represented there that a P3 in this situation is not good for the residents of Mission, I still believe it is Council’s obligation to exhaust every option and present every option to the residents in the form of a referendum.  Last night’s decision handcuffed resident’s ability to choose between a greater selection of options.

Councillor Jenny Stevens compared the use of a P3 grant on the referendum as to giving a kid a lollipop, letting them have a lick, and then taking it away.  I’m sorry Jenny, but I’m offended by that comparison.  As a resident of Mission, I do not like being compared to an undisciplined child.  As a resident of Mission I would like to have all the options on the referendum so I can fairly evaluate every option.

Furthermore I believe that it is Council that is acting like kids as they have not had the maturity to actually be saving for a project like this (through DCC’s and other methods).

When it comes to the referendum, I am okay with the Stave Lake project (although I’d prefer Harrison as then we don’t have to deal as much with BC Hydro and we’d have even more water to draw from for generations).  I am okay with a private design-build model, but because our water is so sensitive I want the operation and administration of it to be public.

On a few side notes: 1) The meeting went for 5.5 hours so the Ruskin Dam idea will be tabled until next Monday (April 11, 6:30pm at City Hall);  2) It was communicated that the use of Stave Lake will not inhibit recreational use of the area as all the water will run through a treatment plant; 3) Mission’s share of the project is approximately 12% (Abbotsford shoulders 88%); 4) The P3 grant would most likely be 25% ($72.1 million) of the project cost, but would require a private design-build-finance-operate (25 years) model.

Site clearing has begun on SmartCentre’s new 100,000-plus square foot strip mall on Lougheed Highway, just east of Wren Street in Mission, BC.  The Mission City Record reported on March 3rd (http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/missioncityrecord/news/117321408.html) that this development will bring in $800,000 in taxes to the City and as a home owner, I say, “it’s about time!”  It will also mean less trips to Abbotsford (good the environment) and more local dollars going to more local jobs (good for the economy).  I believe this development won’t hurt small business, it will just hurt Abbotsford.  My only concern for this development is that the City ensure that the aesthetics of the project will look good/trendy.

Site clearing has begun on SmartCentre’s new 100,000-plus square foot strip mall on Lougheed Highway, just east of Wren Street in Mission, BC.  The Mission City Record reported on March 3rd (http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/missioncityrecord/news/117321408.html) that this development will bring in $800,000 in taxes to the City and as a home owner, I say, “it’s about time!”  It will also mean less trips to Abbotsford (good the environment) and more local dollars going to more local jobs (good for the economy).  I believe this development won’t hurt small business, it will just hurt Abbotsford.  My only concern for this development is that the City ensure that the aesthetics of the project will look good/trendy.

Stopped in at “The Sweet Spot Cafe” in Mission, BC on 1st Ave today.  Great vibe, nice staff, and quality goods.  They are currently open 8am-4pm, but I’m hoping they expand to 7am-11pm.  Mission needs a good late night coffee shop…  Starbucks is too corporate/busy; Grab-a-Java has great coffee, but seating and clientele are awkward; City Blend’s coffee is bad, grinder is loud, and their cleanliness is bad at best; Hava Java doesn’t have Wifi and closes by 8pm.
The Sweet Spot Cafe is a great place for a good chat, quick lunch, or lazy morning.  No, I am not related to the owner(s), but it’s about time Mission got an upgrade like this.  1st Ave just got a bit better.

Stopped in at “The Sweet Spot Cafe” in Mission, BC on 1st Ave today.  Great vibe, nice staff, and quality goods.  They are currently open 8am-4pm, but I’m hoping they expand to 7am-11pm.  Mission needs a good late night coffee shop…  Starbucks is too corporate/busy; Grab-a-Java has great coffee, but seating and clientele are awkward; City Blend’s coffee is bad, grinder is loud, and their cleanliness is bad at best; Hava Java doesn’t have Wifi and closes by 8pm.

The Sweet Spot Cafe is a great place for a good chat, quick lunch, or lazy morning.  No, I am not related to the owner(s), but it’s about time Mission got an upgrade like this.  1st Ave just got a bit better.

Two weeks ago an article in the Record appeared via the Maple Ridge News (http://www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_maple_ridge/mapleridgenews/news/117367323.html) regarding BC Hydro’s denial of a plan to add a fish ladder to their $800 million upgrade to the Ruskin dam.  While I agree with their decision that a fish ladder is not worth it, I’d love to see the cities of Maple Ridge and Mission appeal to BC Hydro to put in a whitewater kayak park.  Not only would a kayak park provide residents with another recreational opportunity, but even more tourism dollars.  While BC Hydro has the heavy equipment in they could build a park for about $300,000 - $500,000.  Watch a little kayak action at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMkmBYSnxK8.

Two weeks ago an article in the Record appeared via the Maple Ridge News (http://www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_maple_ridge/mapleridgenews/news/117367323.html) regarding BC Hydro’s denial of a plan to add a fish ladder to their $800 million upgrade to the Ruskin dam.  While I agree with their decision that a fish ladder is not worth it, I’d love to see the cities of Maple Ridge and Mission appeal to BC Hydro to put in a whitewater kayak park.  Not only would a kayak park provide residents with another recreational opportunity, but even more tourism dollars.  While BC Hydro has the heavy equipment in they could build a park for about $300,000 - $500,000.  Watch a little kayak action at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMkmBYSnxK8.