At least one restauranteur has read my previous post and sent a contemptuous retort.

The intention of the post was to illustrate how some of the personal insults I’ve been subjected to could be as much projection as reflection. I really don’t see the point of this contest of who’s smarter or better in business. It would be easy for me to throw stones back, but how would that help?

Why can’t we just focus on the challenges and solutions?

A mistake I keep making as an elected person is assuming that everyone wants to approach dialogue with an open-mind, interested in learning and trying out different perspectives. I also keep forgetting that a lot of people aren’t willing to take responsibility for their own choices.

It seems sad now that my intention with this Spirit Square process was actually to build trust in the community. I had hoped it would become an opportunity to learn together about urban planning and public spaces. I thought that empowering a group citizens to represent their own organizations would get more people engaged in a meaningful and constructive way. Clearly I failed in that regard. I believe the resulting design was a great success, but the process did nothing to build trust in the community beyond those who participated.

In hindsight, I can see that there were things that I could have done. But I still don’t think it is reasonable to say that the outcomes were predictable. To some degree they were, but with very little available staff time and no other resources, there’s not much I could have done different.

Mr. Riome of Frond’s did say that I should have walked Marine Drive to personally talk with each merchant knowing that most would not make contact even though they have questions or concerns. And he’s right. I should have done that.

2 Responses to “hindsight”

  1. none Says:

    Visit none

    the view from the high road is spectacular.

    you might want to read the headline from todays Vancouver Sun – parking is the least of a restaurants worries.

    gas is 130.7 today, which is about 3 months ahead of what was predicted back in Jan 2008, so that means by summer it should be around 145

    creating a viable and economically friendly way for people to get to/from/along marine drive is a solution which is timely and will greatly assist the restaurants which are still in business if they can afford food.

    creating a space which is attractive to people and inviting, is also timely given todays Vancouver Sun headlines.

  2. Lisa Says:

    Visit Lisa

    Councilor Todd:

    Restaurants are purchasing rice, flower, and cheap cooking oil in bulk (hoarding) in Toronto rite now, due to the weekly price increases here. Trans fats?-economics over health is the path being traveled currently.

    Family care packages – usually toothpaste, clothing etc going from Canada to Asia, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe are now including bags of rice. These two points are unusual actions.

    I’m too young to know what a real adversity is, but I have a picture of my great grandfather from WW1 to remind me daily that I grew up in a privileged country and I don’t know what real suffering is. I’m listening to stories from people here in Toronto this week, of what their families are currently going through in other parts of the world, and what they are personally experiencing with their own businesses here in Canada.

    I have always been a supporter of reduced parking spots to increase pedestrianization, and I still am.

    Please weight the current food supply and demand consequences to restaurants, when you are facilitating a decision for the mayors task force, as the business owners operational demands are changing dramatically in a way which those of us who are too young to have experienced real adversity in Canada, have any personal reference to.

    Is it feasible to provide free parking after 4 pm, AND the removal of the few parking spots for the full pearl design? (oh … and the nightsky map in the ground please – that would be super nice to know what planets etc we night owls are looking at)

    The city could re-coup the $50K or so decrease in parking revenue by implementing a “take-away drink container tax” which would also work to encourage the reduced use of disposable take away drink containers and increase the use of sustainable personal re-usable drink containers. There may even be some sort of carbon credit the city is entitled to.

    Do be prepared with counter arguments as there are going to be restaurants going out of business in the next 2 years, which will publicly state parking, the spirit square, and a change to the smoking bylaw as the reasons for the change in their business – omitting increased food prices due to increased fuel prices, reduce food supplies due to increased farming of fuel, reduced personal spending, and layoffs affecting the public sector.

    best regards,

    Lisa Nolan

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