Gibson’s Fish & Chips. Established in 1964, it is Saskatoon’s longest continually operating independent restaurant.
Gibson’s Fish & Chips. Established in 1964, it is Saskatoon’s longest continually operating independent restaurant.
In the end, it’s not a race that I am that invest in and won’t heat up until fall. I also expect at least three more names to jump into the race which will change the dynamic again and again and again.
I saw Charlie Clark’s email newsletter this week and read his thoughts on the new arena debate. I didn’t really buy his arguments or rather lack of argument but it started me thinking on where you would put a downtown arena if we wanted to build it. I grabbed a camera and a tripod and went for a walk.
I set up the tripod for the last shot and it worked a lot better. I wish I had for the other ones but I was stopped a couple of times by both police and a City of Saskatoon employee. All of them were super cool about it, they recognized me and wanted to see what I was up to but it was kind of through me off my game. The next vlog will be better.
This is the first of my daily vlogs. Just some quick stories made into a short video.
This election series is dragging on as long as the GOP nomination race. I had hoped the series would have been done by now but I’ve been sick with the leg again (still). The medication is taking a lot out of me.
Well we onto Ward 3, a race that has become far less interesting with it looking like Mike San Miguel won’t be running again. So there will be no Iwanchuk/San Miguel III, something that political pundits all over the city will miss watching.
Ann Iwanchuk won in a 2011 by-election and won in 2012 against Mike San Miguel. Some people feel that San Miguel would have won if he hadn’t put out a poorly thought out attack ad on the last week of the campaign. He may have but the attack ad went out and Iwanchuk won.
This is how close the election was. Ann Iwanchuk was driving the #11 car.
(okay, that was actually Denny Hamlin winning the 2016 Daytona 500 but you get the point… it was a close race).
With Mike San Miguel not running again, Ann Iwanchuk should have a clear path to re-election. If I was thinking about running against her, I hope I’d have someone to talk me out of it. Here is why.
So if you want to waste a couple of months of your life and $15,000 so you run against her, here is how I would do it:
You are basically reduced to door knocking and hoping your well liked incumbent thinks the election is in November of 2017. Good luck with that.
It’s going to be a boring election in Ward 3 no matter who runs against Ann Iwanchuk. While I have heard of one person considering a run, by the time the summer comes along, I could see her run for re-election be uncontested.
Here is the next edition of “Running for City Council”. Darren Hill and Ward 1 were featured here. Now I wander across 33rd Street into Ward 1 where we look at Pat Lorje, the long time councilor of the riding.
Pat Lorje is currently a city councilor for Ward 2 in Saskatoon,Saskatchewan. She previously held the same position from 1979 to 1991, when she resigned to stand as the New Democratic candidate in Saskatoon Wildwood in the 1991 provincial election. She was re-elected to the Ward in 2006, 2009, and 2012.
So yeah, she has some name recognition in the Ward and gets a lot of her support from the neighborhoods of Montgomery and Caswell Hill. It’s not that other neighborhoods don’t like her, it is just that none of the turn out in enough number to determine an election.
So what would my strategy be if I was running against a well known incumbent councilor? During the last election, a politician said that it didn’t matter what their opponent did, they just had to worry about getting to a certain number of votes and there was a number of ways to get to that vote total. The same thing would apply in Ward 2 and the secret is to cobbling together a coalition of voters who are frustrated with city life in Ward 2 and getting them out to vote. This is how I would do it.
The NDP haven’t faced a serious re-election battle in Riversdale since Jo-Ann Zazelenchuk beat Roy Romanow in 1982. They generally won handily in the area but that has started to change. I have written before about the declining margins of victory that Danielle Chartier has won by in Saskatoon Riversdale which has gotten to the point where she is vulnerable to being beaten by the right Saskatchewan Party candidate (Not sure Marv Friesen is that candidate but you never know). My point is that it looks like parts of that ward are voting right wing more often. No longer is Montgomery home to veterans, it is home to an eclectic group of people who haven’t been voting for Lorje since before I was born.
Despite Montgomery being her base, it’s been a tough time for the neighborhood. Despite several passionate speeches to City Council, Lorje wasn’t able to stop the wind turbine (which was a good idea until it came back economically unfeasible) and the construction of hundreds of new units of apartments. The new City Operations Centre is going south of Montgomery. The South Circle Drive Bridge and Circle Drive bring 24 hour traffic noise by Montgomery. For a community that thinks of itself as a first among equals, much has changed a lot and people aren’t happy about it. In the end, the wind turbine might have been the best of all things that could have happened.
Convincing those voters to either vote for you or stay at home on election day.
The Montgomery Apartments
Even if the older part of Montgomery holds, there are a lot of new voters to the community in those apartments. They aren’t long term supporters of Lorje and are open to anyone who is going to go after them. A flyer drop to those apartments reinforcing some of Lorje’s and Montgomery’s residents statements about those apartments could make it really awkward for her.
The same thing with the Riversdale BID. Lorje has been a large proponent of the business aspect part of it but against social programs being located there. In a community that has seen it’s share of gentrification, a campaign reminding voters that Lorje has been against the services that are needed to help them could bring out voters in Riversdale. Lorje and I have disagreed for years on these kinds of policies but that doesn’t matter. If the voter is against gentrification, the answer is that it has happened because of the focus on business development on 20th Street with the kind of growth that has locked out local people. If they are frustrated with the ongoing issues with crime and social issues, it is because there is no room for the social agencies to help them. The question always is will Riversdale and Pleasant Hill turn out in enough numbers to vote? History says no.
Crime is rising in the city (thank goodness the City of Saskatoon Police were there to save us from the Compassion Club) and it is increasingly violent and more serious in Ward 2 where it is heavily concentrated. This is one of those issues that is almost impossible to blame on Lorje, the issues are beyond the control of any one councilor but because of the incredible density of it in Ward 2 residents feel it. To be honest, this isn’t a big issue to attack the incumbent with and it won’t be that hard to beat back but it could be problematic if people are frustrated in Meadow Green, Caswell Hill, Riversdale, and Pleasant Hill and are asked, “Do you feel safer than you were in 2012?” For most, the answer is no.
Is Lorje prone to be swept away if a sea of change finally hits City Hall? Actually no. That is the advantage of being an outspoken councilor, she has her own brand of politics that is separate from the rest of City Councils. If a mood to change sweeps across the mighty South Saskatchewan River, Lorje is in a good place to ride it out.
It all comes down to whether or not someone can figure out the issues to motivate your coalition of voters to turn out on election day. I think it could happen but it would be a long and drawn out campaign combined with a mayoral campaign that can bring out non typical voters. If that happens, it could be the race to watch on election night.
Well that was fun. My column this morning on the Mayor missing the first day of the Big City Mayor’s Conference got a lot of feedback. When I say feedback, what I am really saying is that most people hope I move out of the city soon.
One friend asked me that if I was Atch’s chief of staff, what would I do to make him a better mayor in 2016. I really don’t have a problem with Atch personally and I think some things can’t change but here would be my list for what I think any mayor should do.
I don’t know if anyone running has those traits but the more they do, the better off the city will be.
What tenants want in an office building is changing, and the old model of the isolated suburban office park is going the way of the fax machine. That’s according to a new report from Newmark, Grubb, Knight and Frank [PDF], one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the world.
Suburban office parks are losing their luster, industry analysts say.
The old-school office park does “not offer the experience most of today’s tenants are seeking,” according to NGKF. As a result, the suburban office market is confronting “obsolescence” on a “massive scale.” More than 1,150 U.S. office properties — or 95 million square feet — may no longer pencil out, the authors estimate, though a number of those can be salvaged with some changes.
“Walkability and activated environments are at the top of many tenants’ list of must haves,” the report states. Office parks in isolated pockets without a mix of uses around them must have “in-building amenities” –including a conference center, a fitness center, and food service — to remain competitive, according to NGKF: “If tenants are not going to be able to walk to nearby retail or a nearby office property to get lunch, they had better be able to get it at their own building.”
This is the same for many businesses.
The study took a close look at suburban office submarkets in and around Denver, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. In the “southeast suburban” Denver office district, for example, office buildings within a quarter-mile of the new light rail line had a 1.7 percent vacancy rate. For those outside a quarter-mile, vacancy rates were nine percentage points higher.
NGKF’s findings don’t mean that office tenant preferences are in perfect alignment with walkability, however.
This explains the tension in Saskatoon’s governance who are older and therefore prefer to drive.
Parking was also important to the marketability of buildings in suburban Denver. The report notes that a lot of older management personnel prefer to drive, while younger workers want transit access. So buildings that offered both were in the highest demand.
So do you build a office complex (or a city) for the past or for those you want to attract. So far around here, it is about building for the past.
This is bad news for the City of Saskatoon for a variety of reasons. The one reason is that it provides funding for civic services and some of the profits were expected to pay of some of the growing city debt that our bridge building spree has cost us.
Long explained most of the land sale revenues go to paying Saskatoon Land expenses like servicing, marketing, land costs and administration.
However, since 2007 about $123 million from land sales has been redirected to pay for other civic initiatives, including another $4 million in the 2016 budget.
“There’s been a lot of benefits from the city being in the business of selling land,” Long said. “At the end of the day, it’s up to city council where the money goes.”
The other thing it means is that this is $100m less in development that is happening in Saskatoon. I have heard from realtors, contractors, and increasingly laid off or under employed trades people that the boom is over and they are struggling. Others are making plans to head back to British Columbia or Ontario. The grass may have been greener in Saskatoon for a while but the fall of oils and the stagnant mining industry has taken it’s toll on a lot of people in Saskatoon. This is just one of the many number of indicators that show us that things aren’t good right now in Saskatoon.
Saskatoon City Council debates 1% art funding again because Eric Olauson didn’t like it the results the first time so here we are again. Reporting from the CBC.
Saskatoon city council is still trying to figure out what it’s going to do about public art. At Monday’s council meeting, councillor Eric Olauson tried to rescind a policy to earmark one per cent of the budget of significant capital projects for public art.
The rest of Saskatoon City Council decided to move ahead with this last year but Councilors Olauson and Donauer bring it up again.
Last year, council decided that for high profile civic capital projects of $5 million dollars or more, one per cent of the city’s contribution — up to half a million dollars — would be earmarked to include a work of art.
The public art reserve is one of the topics that dominated discussion around the council table during the annual city budget review on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Councillor Randy Donauer also questions the policy.
"What we had brought to us at budget this year was a half a million dollar project to put art on sound walls and on fire halls that I don’t think is line with what public perception for funded art is."
He said if art is inside a fire hall, the public won’t see it. If art is on a sound wall it can be vulnerable to graffiti.
Actually, in Saskatoon and elsewhere, graffiti artists leave art walls alone. It is bare walls without walls that are vulnerable to being tagged. As for the art indoors, by that logic, all art should be taken outside of public buildings.
Donauer wants council to re-examine the policy and decide where and when public art should be built.
Council once took hours to debate the kind of material a fence should be made of in Sutherland. Can you imagine a debate on where and what kind of art should be built?
Meanwhile councillor Charlie Clark said he believes there is some confusion about how the policy is applied.
"Intuitively it’s not one that you would think ‘OK we want to spend a lot of money to add public art into.’ Although I have had a lot of people say those sound walls are pretty boring. And they end up being a scar on the landscape in a way because they’re just plain and divide neighbourhoods from each other."
He said there are innovative ways to make them more interesting while the walls are being constructed.
He gave an example to a privately owned wall along Warman Road intentionally covered by graffiti, which he said has become quite "beloved in the community."
Expect more of this as we get closer to the provincial election where Olauson is desperate to raise his profile and prove his conservative credentials.
According to Flickr, this was my 27th most interesting photo of 2015.
Back in January I was out for a walk on a warm winter day. I captured this with my Pentax K-30 with a 28mm f/2.8 manual focus lens. Flickr seemed to like this more than I did. That being said, Third Avenue United Church is a hard building to photography from the street. The ugly pine tree and overhead wires take away a lot from a photograph of the building.