Important WEMAC meeting tonight (June 23, 2011) to review report to Mayor. WEN writes Gregor with requests.

This is a notice to say that after multiple requests, the Mayor’s West End Advisory Committee released its work plan (it will finalize its report to the Mayor by June 28). WEMAC will discuss near-final edits to the report tonight, June 23, at its meeting at City Hall, 6:30 pm. We encourage not only West End residents, but any concerned citizens from any neighbourhood, to attend, as this committee is being presented as a model. For details of the agenda and work plan please visit http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/westend/advisory/index.htm. WEN wrote to the Mayor asking that for the first time, WEMAC actually permit Q&A and discussion for West End residents who attend the WEMAC meeting tonight, and also that WEMAC be encouraged to hold at least one public meeting in the West End before finalizing the report. See letter below.

June 22, 2011
Dear Mayor Robertson,cc. Vancouver City Councillors, West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee (WEMAC) Co-Chairs (Clr. Andrea Reimer and Dean Malone), Mayor’s Executive Assistant Kevin Quinlan, Assistant Dana Bertrand,
We have just noticed that the work plan for completion of your advisory committee on the West End became available on the City website over the weekend (by June 19), and now see the steps planned for finalization of the Committee’s report to you as Mayor, with final submission scheduled for June 28, then meetings with you in early July.The residents of the West End appreciate the volunteer efforts of the committee members, who were selected by Clrs Reimer and Stevenson, but I wish to point out that no public meetings of WEMAC have actually been held within the West End. To our knowledge, all WEMAC meetings have been held only at City hall, and though the public is permitted to observe, those meetings provide no opportunity for the residents of the West End to speak or ask questions.

In order to earn the support and trust of West End residents in this most important final phase of the work of the Committee, may I suggest and request that at the WEMAC meeting on June 23, thirty minutes or more be allocated for questions, answers, and comments from the public?

May I also suggest and request that you instruct WEMAC to hold at least one public meeting in the West End, with all members of WEMAC present, in order for the residents to see who the members are, for WEMAC to describe the report and its findings to residents, to answer questions, and to hear comments from residents? It would be most appropriate if WEMAC were to hold this meeting before you accept the final report from this committee.

I also wish to point out that West End Neighbours is still looking forward to your reply to our letter dated June 2, 2011 with the heading “Comments on West End Mayor’s Advisory Committee (Activities, Performance, Survey, etc.),” in which we articulated a number of concerns about the Committee.

Finally, although WEMAC was established formally when City Council adopted your motion on July 8, 2010, we note from the work plan made public just days ago that the WEMAC report will be delivered to you alone. Nevertheless, since WEMAC has been presented as a pilot for several other neighbourhoods in the City, we are also copying other members of council with this correspondence, so that WEMAC’s performance may be taken into account when considering the possibility of Mayor’s Advisory Committees for other parts of the City.

We look forward to your response on the above matters.

Sincerely,
R. Helten
President, West End Neighbours
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