These are the written comments made by Courtenay residents who participated in Decafnation’s Local Government Performance Review. Comments that breached our journalistic standards, such as ad hominem attacks, have been eliminated. All other comments appear as entered into the online survey platform. Click each image to view that councillor’s satisfaction rating.
COURTENAY CITY COUNCIL
⇒ Some good initiatives and some lame ones.
⇒ I’d love to see them put more resources behind city planning specifically towards living spaces for young people, tourism and cultural tourism. We are turning into a generic-looking place!
⇒ Too much interest in providing cyclists with anything they want, there should be more interests paid to motorists and pedestrians. e.g. we need another bridge for motorists.
⇒ Main issue for me is the number of condo/apartment/senior living accommodation buildings that received planning approval, have been built with scant consideration to the lack of parking space to accommodate all the owners/renters/occupants and workers who use these places. Good example, I live on 31st Street, now fully built out, Crystal Shores 70 + condos, Harbour View 27 homes, both these stratas ensured owners parked on their own properties. Along comes Azalea Court, 34 rental units, supposedly 50 parking spots but the garbage compound takes up some space and visitors supposedly have 8 spots, the 34 apartments are home to couples and sometimes larger groups of people who share accommodation to be able to afford the high rents. There is never enough parking so 31st street has become a parking lot, day and night, used by all the good citizens who come to the area to walk the Airpark/river walkway and all the overflow cars from Azalea Court. All the No Parking areas and two fire hydrant areas are constantly violated. Appeals to By-Law enforcement are met with disinterest, besides the enforcement officer works 8 – 4pm four days a week, fat chance of getting violators ticketed, or heaven forbid, towed, when they block the fire hydrants. I shudder to think of what will happen when the fire department has to provide services for fire or earthquake disaster. Now let’s move on to the traffic density where Mansfield Drive joins Cliffe Ave at the northern end. Density of housing along Mansfield is already high, now add into the mix the new construction planned for the WhistleStop, four floors of condos. Move on to the trailer park on Mansfield that has been sold and will be the next target for development. It is already difficult for cars to exit on to Cliffe now but consider the plight of pedestrians. They have to walk south to 26th Street or north to 21st street to be able to cross from the east side of Cliffe where most of the condos/homes are to get to the services that are on the west side of Cliffe. Playing chicken to try and cross Cliffe is out of the question except for those who do not fear for their lives, yet I have seen numerous individuals just trying to do that very thing. Will the good city of Courtenay install a pedestrian crosswalk at Mansfield (north end) and Cliffe? Is it even in their long term planning? Oh, no, yet we can have bike lanes, ornamentation and foolishness at great cost on 5th street! The planners and councillors who support this short sightedness have their collective heads up their backsides.
⇒ Their decisions are made based on recommendations from Staff, probably because of their lack of knowledge, but it allows them not to take responsibility for what is done; a perfect example is the conveyance pipeline, thas it is a disaster both economically and environmentally. Who is making the decision to do it? the CVRD
⇒ On the whole I get a sense there is dialogue on issues and its obvious compromises are required to get decisions. I am more impressed with some council members than others, of course.
⇒ It’s a positive there is no appearance of internal factions wasting time.
⇒ A fiscally responsible council that was the first to enact an asset management bylaw, has worked hard on First Nation relationships with K’omoks, has worked to get an organics program for the entire Comox Valley and has supported social and environmental goals such as housing and daycare.
⇒ Like to see more on making the downtown vibrant
⇒ They work well as a team and have some refreshingly progressive viewpoints.
⇒ Seniors in the area I live in need crosswalks and traffic slowdown and our area needs crosswalks to get across Back Road. Accidents are increasing at the corner of back road and Ryan. Even though we pay a lot of taxes also it seems we don’t get crosswalks and other traffic problems solved. This is also going to get worse with the city cramming more high density low income housing in an area that has a lot of vulnerable seniors living in it. Poor city planning seems to be this City’s worst forte for a while now. Hopefully I can sell my property before it becomes the hood.
⇒ Current council seems more progressive and they have been making good decisions
⇒ Never hear from thereabout what they are doing, what issues lie ahead or how priorities are developed. Never hear from the mayor.
⇒ I like the new people elected in 2018. I think they make a huge positive contribution in Courtenay.
⇒ I am relieved the council was not taken in by 3L development, and also that it supports the bike/pedestrian bridge to 6th St. I do wish the council would consider more green space for every new development. Everyone needs a small area of greenery, preferably a few trees and flowering bushes, a bench or two, whether for a lunch break or just to rejuvenate.
⇒ Not much seems to have happened of significance.
⇒ seem to be dialed in, and addressing the important items.
⇒ the Council seems mostly invisible
⇒ Affordable housing is improving. I am not sure some of the climate change gestures like eliminating plastic are the best things to be working on. Better cycling infrastructure would probably do as much.
⇒ I feel the terrible traffic mess on the top end of 5th St. was a disaster – accidents waiting to happen! I’m ALWAYS relieved when I get past that TIGHT roadway. SO many times I’ve been held up by bicyclists STILL using the roadway – big trucks trying to get into spaces – people just TRYING to open their car doors!!!
⇒ Much better than previous Mayor & Councillors. They listen to their constituents & they’ve made progress on affordable housing.
⇒ Need to have more accountability over their CAO and senior staff. Need to lead culture change from the old school ideologies.
⇒ I think they mean well. Their hearts are in it and genuinely believe in the decisions they make.
⇒ Some well thought out decisions….others leaning toward political expediency instead of choosing the best long term solution
⇒ There haven’t been a lot of news stories about Courtenay Council, but I have generally been in agreement with decisions that have been deemed newsworthy.
⇒ Council seems preoccupied with virtue signalling, while municipal issues go unaddressed. You don’t work for Dogwood, folks.
⇒ The Council is focused on the full ranges of issues that need our collective attention – from keeping roads clean and garbage picked up to attending to raising water levels and liveability in our community.
⇒ I attended 3 public hearings in the past year concerning the City Council always proposing to change property zoning so that more density can be permitted regardless of the current OCP – Council have approved 2 of those 1 yet unknown. Seems that more $$$ is very important to Council & concerns of tax paying current citizens go unheard & ignored
⇒ Responsive to public input.
⇒ It’s been a difficult year but overall they have held things together
⇒ Although there’s still time to see if their progressive words, changes, and future plans take flight and achieve results, I feel they’re headed in the right direction. Mayor Jangula and his supporters did not want to even entertain progressive changes and went so far as to deny that there were any problems with air quality, water, roads, etc. I believe he was also well known for his opposition to bike lanes and cycling.
⇒ Blaise, to say the least. We need better infrastructure, like widening the roads to four lanes around Superstore, syncing the intersection lights so you can go through rather than driving from one light and stopping and proceeding again and, as always a third crossing needs to be discussed and pushed forward.
⇒ This group of councillors and mayor are working very hard to move Courtenay toward a more progressive, socially inclusive, and economically viable community. The old guard were more concerned about law and order and keeping the streets paved for their big cars. This group cares about its citizens.
Councillor Doug Hillian
⇒ Responds to questions from electors.
⇒ Not strong position on the important issues at hand; climate change for example
⇒ Brought forth motion to have staff investigate strengthening riparian protection for Morrison Creek, to a minimum 30m. The Riparian Areas Regulation allows municipalities to meet or beat the RAR. Development within 30m of a creek is covered by an environmental development permit. That 30m can be reduced through a Qualified Environmental Professional QEP applying the RAR formula, 30m minimum is consistent, understandable and gives more protection.
⇒ He at least replied to a letter a few of us sent to city council
⇒ Doug is always visible at various agency and community issue meetings, whether a huge attendance or not. Doug replies to emails.
⇒ I think he has served his time on Council. Time for a new face.
⇒ Appears hard working and I appreciate his position on most issues.
⇒ Never see him do anything – no opinion
⇒ Been satisfied with Doug for years.
⇒ Elder statesman. Eloquent. Ever diplomatic. Grateful to have him.
⇒ Voice of experience
⇒ Senior Councillor who seems to see both sides of issues and is a very logical decision maker
⇒ I generally agree with his views and he seems well prepared for discussions.
⇒ Doug is accessible, informed and thoughtful
⇒ Wasn’t my first choice but I’m coming around to him
⇒ Councillor Hillian is very knowledgeable and experienced, he’s empathetic, cares about the environment and related issues, and is responsive to taxpayers. We had a problem with a local developer who would not follow through on their commitment to restore a damaged riparian area – despite their commitment to the City of Courtenay – and he followed through on this issue. It was resolved.
⇒ Doug has always done a great job for this community and continues to do so.
⇒ What has she done?
⇒ Sharp, in a good way.
⇒ Sincere, answers emails and phone calls and returns if needed.
⇒ She is a bright light for Council
⇒ Brilliant, articulate, collaborative, fantastic!
⇒ Heart is in it and speaks her mind and conscience
⇒ Sometimes makes logical decisions but appears to be lead by other Councillors
⇒ I have heard very little reporting about her performance. Maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention.
⇒ Melanie is approachable and environmentally focused
⇒ Unknown to me
⇒ Doesn’t seem to be out in front much
⇒ Councillor McCollum is a very good listener and in her early days in office she did exactly that. She also seems to give issues a lot of thought and, so far at least, she looks for ways to resolve long-standing problems such as unhealthy air quality in the Valley due to overuse of woodsmoke. I see her as promising and hope she lasts.
Mayor Bob Wells
⇒ He knows how to chair a meeting, and keep it on track.
⇒ He is the captain of a motley crew.
⇒ I just have not seen any progress on the issues that have been there for many years; change in Mayor didn’t seem to make any difference.
⇒ It’s a difficult job trying to lead the way and find common priorities to address civic issues and sustain a vision of an inclusive community that values people of all income groups/ages. He hears what people say! He seems to work at building consensus when possible.
⇒ A pleasant surprise. I supported Erik Erickson.
⇒ Never hear from the guy!
⇒ The Mayor needs to develop some regular communication with constituents. An example: A Climate Crisis was declared for Courtenay and the CVRD. What has been done to ‘Walk the walk”?
⇒ He doesn’t seem to care about our problems and That was one reason I voted for him and I thought by a letter he wrote to the city as a council member about the Back road and Tunner traffic problem. So I won’t again. Will hopefully be able to sell my place before the hood makes it worth zero.
⇒ Never here from him except when he is at a public function with a high attendance
⇒ I have sent him a few emails and have yet to receive a reply! Not even an acknowledgement.
⇒ He seems overpaid to me. He seems an affable person, but I have no idea of his values or what he does. Other council members are much better known.
⇒ So neutral he’s barely noticeable (except for signature sunglasses on head)
⇒ Seems to be constantly screwing up – not paying attention to citizens’ concerns
⇒ Best one so far!
⇒ Good centrist.
⇒ Nice guy, easy to talk to. Not always clear he understands the issues.
⇒ I think he is a big improvement over the previous mayor.
⇒ More to the job than perching the Ray-Bans at a jaunty angle and trotting off to the next photo op.
⇒ Buddy buddy system within the council and guess who the leader of the pack is
⇒ I think he is a leader who takes an even handed approach to city issues and the opinions of City Councillors.
⇒ Seems to be in the thick of it and show pretty good leadership
⇒ Mayor Wells still has much to prove, but I support his direction on a number of issues and definitely his approach to communication (more collaborative, responsive and transparent) and technology at City Hall. Things have improved.
⇒ Bob is way more personable than the previous mayor and he is more tuned to his community running a local business.
⇒ Works hard to stay in contact.
⇒ He talks a long streak about being the people’s representative but is truly not connected.
⇒ Ineffective and full of commitments to vested interests to the old boys club
⇒ He wobbles a bit, sometimes the nonpartisan ship is good, sometimes mystifying, but sometimes predictable.
⇒ Far too much emphasis on business interests and less taxation when more public funds are needed to address community issues.
⇒ Always involved……respected!
⇒ I have always felt that of all councilors, Mano is the least invested in helping the little guy and the most invested in watching out for larger money sources. It is good to have a counter voice to balance the primarily progressive council, but I feel him to be less invested in meetings and he often sounds distracted behind the zoom camera and has less in depth comments..
⇒ His ability to understand and perform the job is questionable
⇒ Bit of a loose cannon at times
⇒ Only hear from him when he is being critical. Looks after the Jangula interests at council meetings.
⇒ He has served his time on Council. I like that he votes in the negative every so often and is either the only councillor to do so, or has Doug Hillian with him. He is not afraid to give his opinion.
⇒ He has gotten along with several councils of different mayors, seems to be thoughtful and a team player.
⇒ I don’t agree with his stance on 3L
⇒ Someone has to try to reduce spending
⇒ Gentile nice man, no longer representative of Courtenay’s residents.
⇒ I don’t understand the admiration for him. I’m not sold he understands the issues.
⇒ Way too fiscally conservative. If it was up to him the only thing we would spend money on would be more roads!
⇒ I generally disagree with his views and find him rigid in his opinions.
⇒ Concerned about cost and practicality – now there’s a radical perspective.
⇒ Still stands out in the crowd – listens to what we have questions on and explains as much as he can
⇒ Always been impressed by Mr Theos seems to find the middle ground, his concern for the people here and costs.
⇒ Councillor Theos, in my opinion, is the only remaining relic of “the Jangula years”. And no matter what the issue or challenge, his mantra is to reduce taxes and protect the poor taxpayer. Forget about progress – it all costs too much for poor valley folk. My sense has always been that he is, unfortunately, under-qualified for his role.
⇒ He’s always been an advocate for change for the better and sensible.
⇒ Mano will go with the way the majority go. He has a mind of his own and could easily be manipulated by the old guard when they were on council and, perhaps, even now. How he gets the votes he does is strange.
⇒ She keeps her head down and is trying to do a good job
⇒ What has she done?
⇒ A lot of heart and insight which has at times been sorely lacking on council.
⇒ She hears the community.
⇒ She has shown real leadership around food security issues
⇒ I appreciate Wendy’s empathy and more humanitarian viewpoints on issues.
⇒ She knows her community and can talk our language.
⇒ She engages the public & has the best interest of many.
⇒ Brilliant, articulate, collaborative, fantastic! Often under-estimated. She’s wonderful.
⇒ Don’t get it. I think her background is in social issues. Although I believe it’s important, I question how much impact a city councillor can have on these issues.
⇒ Good thinker. Sees all sides of an issue
⇒ I have heard very little reporting about her performance. Maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention.
⇒ Wendy is thoughtful and focused on the people issues.
⇒ Unknown to me
⇒ I don’t know enough about Councillor Morin and must pay closer attention to her voting record and actions.
⇒ She tends to talk too much, her heart is in the right place.
⇒ More interested in his own personal agenda than representing constituents.
⇒ I have no way of determining how the city counsellors perform, hence any answers I give are not a fair way to answer any of these questions!
⇒ He is a pretender, he has not really done much, and sits on commissions he is not qualified for
⇒ Supports cycling without being unrealistic.
⇒ Support his interest in the outdoors
⇒ I think he has some good ideas. He is definitely a positive for the cycling people in Courtenay.
⇒ Satisfied with some aspects of his work to date and dissatisfied with other aspects.
⇒ While I applaud the recent co-op housing scheme and the use of land trust; is David Frisch in a conflict of interest?
⇒ A mixed bag of decisions.
⇒ Needs to respect the process more. Well intentioned. Needs to be more strategic and not in the weeds.
⇒ Well thought out. You know what you’re getting voting for him
⇒ He started, like all of them, promising so much, yet has lost his way
⇒ Lack of a firm position on any of the issues that he says are important to him
⇒ Engaged, responsive.
⇒ Cares about community voices and the environment.
⇒ Super smart guy! He could be our next mayor if Bob WElls decides not to run
⇒ Busy and involved, but don’t know what his priorities are.
⇒ His initiatives involving climate change action and UNDRIP are very welcome.
⇒ Best of the bunch. True leader. Could be more influential and “not as nice” when driving the necessary culture changes at City Hall.
⇒ Very good. Smart. Well spoken. Honest. Decisive.
⇒ Well spoken but does not always see the whole issue.
⇒ I met him at PAC meetings for the sewer system and he appears knowledgeable and willing to listen to others.
⇒ Dogwood puppet.
⇒ Will keeps himself informed.
⇒ How much time is spent on city work or does he pass the buck too much
⇒ Doing an okay job so far
⇒ So far so good . . . Councillor Cole-Hamilton is very tuned in to the issues that matter to me. He’s very active in the community re: those environmental issues. He goes to school on issues; he’s collaborative, and has devoted a fair bit of time honing his skills.
⇒ Will have been on the leading edge of many progressive initiatives and goes about doing his job in his quiet and unassuming manner