Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nimbys and Bananas —
Email Exchange with Councilor Pattje

----Original Message----- From: Frank Murphy 
 Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 12:14 PM
 To: Fred Pattje Cc: Mayor&Council; John Horn 
Subject: nimby's and bananas 

Hi Fred -- a couple of quick thoughts about the "Vision Rally" last night in particular Mike Harcourt's presentation and his comments about the assisted housing projects being introduced into neighbourhoods. I sense your position has hardened on this but let it not be said I didn't offer some perspective. 

Strikes me Nanaimo sure doesn't need another round of "them and us". Neighbourhood concerns about these projects are valid, understandable, and predictable -- not to say they can't be introduced successfully. But for Mike -- an accomplished seasoned and polished politician of the first rank to read that crowd and say essentially "Who's against kicking kittens?" and get a hearty boisterous reaction is pretty cheap stuff. You probably recall the 16th and Dunbar kerfuffle he referred to -- an understatement to say he simplified things in his recounting. 
The real case histories worth learning from are in Anne McAffee's OCP review presentation. Her recommendations include: bring something to the neighbourhood to put on the table and partner with the people who live there to fix some of the things -- for instance the 1950s and 60s planning decisions that left their neighbourhoods without the central focus of the pedestrian friendly shopping street with diverse populations living in an environment with a community feel. Them and us -- they're nimby's and bananas -- we own the moral high ground so lets just plow on. It's wrong.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: nimby's and bananas
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2011 15:28:27 -0700
To: Fred Pattje <>

Thanks Fred -- I won't be around much this weekend it looks like but later in the week for sure if you have some time. I was surprised how the Whistler experience actually held some worthwhile lessons for Nanaimo: cap growth, plan for but don't make reckless investments in, future eventualities.

Meanwhile I'm reading Gabor Maté's In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts -- extraordinary! You've read it no doubt -- if not it's required reading... addiction in the DTES, Portland Hotel Society related... eye opener.

A quick thought on the assisted housing initiative:

How do you retrofit diversity into neighbourhoods which were planned and built after the WWII exodus from the complex diverse inner city to be mostly uni-racial (white of course), with very narrow demographic profiles of age, income, even number of kids. I don't know the answer but I'm pretty sure something like that is the question..

How's next week looking for you? Happy Thanksgiving!


On 07/10/2011 11:30 AM, Fred Pattje wrote: 

Hi Frank, Very much agree with your Harcourt observations. Last week, at UBCM, I sat with Whistler's Ken Melamed on a five-man panel on housing homeless with mental health and addiction issues, all of which was much more in line with the McAffee recommendations you refer to. More fodder for java and chat......... Have some time this weekend. Do you? 

Fred ----

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