Saturday, November 19, 2011

Election Predication 7:45pm

On my  way to City Hall for the Count.  No insult to anyone but this is my call with my pundit hat on

Mussatto (taking 60% of the vote)

Order of Councilors

Of course, there will be some surprise tonight that no one sees coming, hopefully me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vote for a Change

I revealed the 3.6% population increase at Tuesday's Mayor's Debate. The
interesting thing is that BC Stats published this in January.  Yet
Darrell's undeclared political party, parrot the line that our growth is
under 1% a year,  a total falsehood.

What has not been reported by Ivan Leonard and Rod Clark as they spread
what I found, is when we officially (March's Stats Can census) go over the
50,000 population mark, the Community Charter forces us to add 2 more
members of council.  The only way we can stop this is to hold a referendum
six months prior to the next election. An expensive mid-term referendum.

Perhaps Darrell wants a Council of nine so he can run more former NDP
candidates for his union and big developer party.  If they ever have a
majority on Council 3.6% will seem like a kick in the shins compared to
the kicks in gut we will get from Darryl's Doc Marten wearing EcoDensity
warriors. Someday the false green clothes will be ripped off of Darrell's
growth addicted wolf, you cannot turn a 4 story apt into a 24 story apt
without dramatically increasing the amount of the city's greenhouse gases
and Darrell has committed our city to a goal in 2050 of, "reducing GHG
emissions by 80%.”

Darryl and Council really dropped the ball in not having a referendum
during this election but of course Darryl would have to reveal that his
addiction to growth has resulted in 2009's 3.6% and a probable 5% in 2010.
Addicts will do anything to hide and protect their addiction.

There is only one candidate opposing Darryl who has committed to
strengthening and even reducing allowable building heights during the
upcoming OCP revision and committing to never voting to amend the new
citizens OCP.

There is only one candidate opposing Darrell who called for Renter Rights
and a Council that does not turn a blind eye to violations of our bylaws
by the same big developers who all want to build their 50 story
"landmarks" in NVan.  While Council turns a blind eye to apt buildings
without a simple little wheelchair ramp.

There is only one candidate opposing Darrell who calls for a three year
tax rate freeze, an end to free dinners for Council and staff and sister
city trips to Chiba, the whaling capital of Japan. I would even take a
$20,000 pay cut, cut the $9500 car allowance and donate the money received
from sitting at Metro Van meetings to local North Van charities.

There is only one candidate opposing Darrell who calls for a referendum on
amalgamation. In 1981, almost a majority of the City's residents voted for
amalgamation but the Councilors and potential councilors fear the loss of
two seats as that would diminish their chance at the free conventions to
Whistler that some Councilors take.

It's time to vote for the City, vote for a change, vote George Pringle on
Saturday Nov 19th.
(sent to 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mayor's debate speech

You came here tonight to hear a vision of leadership. To have leadership you have to present a strong open point of view. It is not good enough to just say “vote for me because I’m a nice guy”.  That is not showing positive leadership.
Darryl’s message is clear, “I’m a nice guy”. It is, in fact, his whole campaign.

My four priorities are very open and clear.

Property Owner Rights The new OCP needs to be ratified by referendum of all the people not just Council. The Council will not find it as easy to disobey the citizen’s OCP in the future.

Renter Rights Darryl wonders why most renters don’t vote, well, if you enforced your own bylaw which protects the health and safety rights of renters        maybe        they would feel they are a part of this City too.
I must point out that Bylaw 7931 does not even include a requirement for disabled access, no wonder there are so many buildings without even a simple wheelchair ramp.  Our government should not be just collecting fees.

A Tax Rate Freeze which includes the canceling of luxury items like sister cities and free dinners for Council and staff prior to every Council meeting is a good start.
A strict limit needs to be put on the number of conventions attended by Councilors. As my contribution, I will take a $20,000 pay cut and not take the $9500 car allowance. I will also take every    after tax dollar    earned from sitting at Metro Van meetings and donate it to local North Van charities.

Finally, a referendum on an amalgamation with the District from the City’s point of view.

There are many myths being created by Darryl and his team, the first is leadership.  Darryl paints a picture of a Council that is all rowing happily to the cadence he provides but a Councilor openly calls him a liar during an all candidates meeting. The fact is Darryl acts as the leader of his undeclared political party, I call it Vision NVan, more than he acts as leader of our City.

If Vision NVan is ever given a majority on Council they will steamroll their undeclared agenda on NVan.  Our 2009 3.6% population increase, the highest in Metro Van, with 5% appearing likely for 2010    will seem like the good old days compared to what we will be forced to endure under an unrestrained Vision NVan.  The big developers and unions are not funding the Vision NVan candidates out of the goodness of their hearts.  They want construction contracts to build massive Yaletownesque towers and much more staff with 4% pay increases every year.

This leads into the second myth being sold by Darryl, that we have a modest growth rate of less than 1%. In fact, as published in BC Stats last January we had a population of 48,994 in 2009 and 50,724 in 2010.  That 50,000 number is important as the Community Charter orders us to have 8 Councilors when we pass that mark.  But perhaps this is part of Vision NVan’s plan.

The third myth is Darryl’s Eco-Density which is based on the premise that you can re-develop a 4 story apartment to a 24 story apartment and reduce the number of cars and green house gases produced in NVan. It is a wolf dressed up in green clothing. What Darryl has publicly stated he wants is property taxes to be based on density so if you are not in a large tower you will pay a lot more taxes.  Is there any wonder schools are closing down when family housing is being eradicated?

The City needs to get back to the basics like making sure that the roads and sidewalks are kept in better condition.

The City needs to enforce their bylaws so a resident who pays to have a legal secondary suite and pays their taxes as well doesn’t subsidize an absentee landlord who illegally packs people into a house with no regards to tenants. I have watched a Council that not only turns a blind eye to their bylaws but votes to approve of the exploitation of tenants and I think there is something very wrong with that.

(Closing 2 minutes)

As Marc Anthony said, “I come here not to praise Darrell but to defeat him”.  Well I’m paraphrasing Shakespeare a bit.
Rod Clark has warned us that the population from all the development already approved will show in a few years.  Actually, it started in 2009 and does not include 17 projects approved or in process now, including the Extra Foods Tower or the ONNI towers on the Safeway site or the monster double duplexes of Bewicke.
If you get a small patch of green space on Marine, an apt complex destroys it, forever.

Almost 100 single family homes per year are converted to duplexes each year. The larger Comprehensive Development Zoning turns a couple of lots into an 11 unit project or larger is created more and more each year.

The density addiction creates a rush to build more and more until what is NVan is destroyed.  We can say NO, we live in a democracy, you are allowed to say NO.

I’m just a guy who joined the Princess Patrica’s Canadian Light Infantry and became partially disabled at 20.

I went to UVic and obtained a Political Science degree with a focus on Public Administration.  I started post grad work in Public Admin in the Local Government program but left BC for work in Ontario.  I was training to be a bureaucrat in a municipal government, I know how the system works.

I’ve sat in the Council chambers or at home watching the meeting on the internet for seven years.  I’ve served on the North Shore Canada Day parade committee and on the Task Force for Civic Engagement.

I tend to think outside of the box.  I don’t have the tunnel vision that sitting too long on Council creates.  I don’t say “it can’t be done because that’s not the way we do things.”

Metro Vancouver has assigned us a large piece of the 35,000 population increase they seek in their growth target.  The voters of North Van can say NO. The people Metro wants to move here don’t have a vote, you do.

Darrell has said “they’re coming and we can’t stop them.”  I don’t believe that.  If we don’t build it, they can’t come.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why is the Council building a wall between the City and District?

First, Darryl's statement is typical of our elected officials in the City.  They like to use terms like "us" and "them" in order to protect their little status quo and what really matters to a status quo politician is their re-election.  Should not the highest priority be the residents of the City?  People who live north of 29th are not a scary enemy who wants to steal your money.

It is just inside baseball anyway, the people paying the bills need an end to continuous tax increases.  The people identify with North Van more than the old line of City and District.

We shouldn't be manipulated anymore.

We have reserves (not cash in the bank) which have spending restrictions to ensure the spending is on a directed purpose. No interest is used on general revenue.

Both the City and District have reserves most are set for normal costs. The District has reserves of 47,550,598 and the City has 97,988,000.

The City has created reserve funds like:
the Lower Lonsdale Amenity 9,225.000,
Lower Lonsdale Legecy 1,887,000,
the NMC money of 6.5 million,
the Marine Drive Community Amenity of 1,001,000 and the big one of "tax sale lands" over 48 million.

Amalgamation does not affect a Lower Lonsdale fund, it has to be spent there.

But would a new North Vancouver suffer the same tunnel vision of the defenders of the status quo?  4 members from the old city boundaries and 4 from the District elected separately like the School Board does now. One Mayor.

Darryl's view of "us" and "them" assumes that the District is a monolith. Since the original boundaries were drawn, the City has merged on the West and North side. In a combined Mayoral election the people on both sides would weigh the worth of candidates not which side of an imaginary line one used to be on. The voters are smarter than that.

I propose a referendum where both the City and District ask the same question with a set of conditions.  Are the status quo politicians afraid that it would be shown that the residents see through their lines?  In the last referendum, in 1981, the city voters almost approved a merger.

It is a myth that the City would not support a merger, it is the politicians who are strongly opposed to it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why is it called Green?

The most constant argument used by Darrell and his slate partners during a rezoning is if you use Eco-density, you can grow dramatically while decreasing the impact on the environment.  Of course, they look at the situation per-capita while the effect on the environment is by the total numbers.

While they claim to be fighting climate change, they are increasing the total damage caused by the extra people and cars. At the potential Safeway site, 2 18 story buildings and a 12 story one is being proposed.  There are no residents now.  Do the math.

You can’t reduce greenhouse gases by turning a 3 story apt building into a 12, 18 or even 24 story tower. 4, 6 or even 8 times the number of living spaces even when done better than 20 years ago, it is still a large increase of people and cars into our small city that will produce far more GHGs. 

You cannot pretend to be green when are addicted to growth. 

Their battle for density has become a war on single family housing, Darrell has proposed taking this to the next level.

"In a recent interview, Mayor Darrell Mussatto told me he would like to see property tax rates eventually be based on neighbourhood density.”
Metro column, EcoDensity thrives after Citizen Sam

It does reveal what is really behind the density drive, it is the need to keep increasing the budget and sustain more staff with 4% pay increases every year.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Outlook Questionnaire

After I had sent in my questionnaire for the Outlook, they called and said they were scrapping it and just asking a few questions.  Since it was done, here it is.

George Pringle

1) Occupation, marital status, children (w/ages) and neighbourhood in which you reside?
Assistant Apartment Manager ,Single, Lower Lonsdale (Keith Road)

2) What kind of car do you drive? (make, model and year)
Transit user until there is an affordable hydrogen fueled car

3) Would you like to see the Harry Jerome rec centre renovated or rebuilt?
Rebuild the most important functions as a phase one and ask residents for funding through a referendum.  Never allow park and recreation land to be turned into high rise towers to fund Harry Jerome.  We should consider alternate funding like selling naming rights if the funds donated are large enough.

4) Would you support amalgamating North Vancouver District and City?
Unite North Vancouver. A key point of my campaign is to hold a referendum on amalgamation with the District.  We have to act before the Province forces an amalgamation on all Vancouver, Toronto style which would be one council for all the Lower Mainland with two elected per provincial riding.

5) Would you like to keep the RCMP or have a regional police force?
I’d rather have a BC Police Force to get the Ottawa bureaucratic way and their rules out but it would cost too much money.  Regional based police would have us subsidizing Vancouver and the downtown eastside.  Keep the RCMP but get more power for a local North Van Police Board.

6) In terms of residential growth, would you like to see:

b) growth of  less than 1% a year;  We could be redeveloping the older shops on Lonsdale and maintaining  the general style of a non-chain storefront stores with a second floor for small offices or residences instead of the Lonsdale  180 foot high canyon that is now going up.

7) Biggest challenge currently facing the City?
Addiction to growth. Council’s building an unsustainable house of cards to keep their budget ever growing. Someday the room for development will run out.  It’s only a question of what we create.  200,000 person Yaletown2 or a sustainable community?  The new OCP must have more certainty and tangible growth limits.

8) Three specific steps to solving North Van's affordable housing crisis?
There is not a solution to address affordable housing when most of Canada and many in the world want to move here.  Same old promises during re-election but all we see is expensive condo towers. Existing tenants need their rights protected and health, safety, licensing and disabled access laws followed.

9) In 50 words or less, sum up your desire to be an elected municipal
In the Mayor’s re-election site it is obvious he only sees a North Van driven by “a period of unprecedented growth”.  those who disagree with Darryl and his slate.

10)  Your election slogan and website:
Respect the citizen’s OCP

Saturday, October 22, 2011

North Shore News Questionnaire

1)  George Pringle

2)  52

3)   Apartment Manager

 4)  BC Liberal Party and Conservative Party of Canada

5) No

6) No

7) 7 years

8) NA

9) Task Force on Civic Engagement and Member - The Lonsdale Community Association

10) What are your priority changes if elected? 25 words
        Strengthening renter rights by a rental ombudsperson. Owner rights by adhering to the citizen’s Official Community Plan. A three year freeze on the tax rate.

11) Is the city managing growth appropriately? 50 words
        No. Our City and developers are addicted to growth to feed an ever increasing budget. The Safeway site could be a pedestrian shopping area with two 6 story residences where the density fits into the OCP. But some will complain about not making an instant large profit and the City listens.

12) Should the city amalgamate with the District of North Vancouver? 25words
        It is the only way to achieve long term savings.  We must act before the Province decides to amalgamate all of Metro Vancouver, Toronto style.

13) What is the worst decision made by the present council and why? 25 words
        Council makes that “worst decision” often, approving the conversation (destruction) of a single family home (RS-1) to a much larger unit or group of units.


Friday, October 21, 2011


Amalgamation is the issue I have received the most questions and comments on, it might be priority number four but it is fundamental to achieving the goals of the other priorities in the long term.

Simply, if elected, I will propose a motion to hold a referendum on the City and District becoming one municipality under a set of listed questions. The District would have to conduct a referendum with the exact same question during the election of 2014.  If both "yes" sides win, the province would be asked to create one municipality.

We would have two years to work out a referendum deal but one thing is clear from the start, the resulting Council of nine members should be a Mayor and four Councillors from each party.

I have been questioned on why it is the City's interest when our reserves are far greater than that of the District.   Funds like the Lower Lonsdale Amenity Fund are fixed to a particular geographic area and its spending is fixed to that area. 

It is also essential that the amalgamation is used to kept orientated as a cost saving measure.  The Council and residents have to be completely involved and keep a close eye on how it is implemented.  That is the pitfall that other cities have fallen into, they let the process be done behind closed doors where the vested interests control things.

P.S. Some areas, like our Fire departments should be merged as a shared service with all three municipalities on the North Shore.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Priority Three - Renter Rights

It is time that the City cares more for the renting residents that actually live here rather than the ones who some are trying to pack into our small suburb. Most of our rental stock (apt buildings) is getting older and some need more upkeep then they are getting.  Our citizens are suffering the consequences.

The City licenses owners of apartment units and has a Bylaw (Rental Premises Standard of Maintenance 7931) which applies to all rental property.  City inspectors should be doing an annual check as part of their business license to ensure there is compliance with all health, safety and disabled access laws.

Council should establish a Rental Ombudsperson to assist citizens who are being denied the basic services and repairs due them.   This does not have to be an expensive function but even a place where the complaints are gathered so that when a company comes to Council to convert their current 3 story rental unit into a 12 story strata building, Council members can educate themselves as to if the company has been a good corporate citizen.

A Ombudsperson can act, like a navigator in the Health system, to help residents fight to achieve their rights.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Priority Two - Property Owner Rights

If you live in a house, you don't want your Council approving a monster house in your neighborhood.  A normal house should only be allowed to be upgraded to a duplex or to a normal house with a coach house or a normal house with a basement suite.

This gives us a reasonable amount of growth to create some affordability. Our Council can never approve a duplex to build a basement suite and/or a coach house.

If you've bought an expensive strata unit, you don't want Council changing the Official Community Plan to allow a huge tower right next to you.

If amalgamation is pursued, the combining of our OCPs will allow us to coordinate, Marine Drive as a prime example.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Priority One - A Freeze in the Tax Rate for 3 years

This is not an easy task, it would take a Council with the willpower to look at each item dispassionately.  We have to do a full program review with the aim of not increasing the tax rate. 
Every program and function funded in our City Budget has to be assessed to see if we still need it and if at the current level of funding. Council should save their passion for our overtaxed neighbors who are having a hard time to make ends meet.

As my part I would take a pay cut of $20,000 and not take the $9500 car allowance.

Council itself has do its part by canceling luxury items like the free Council/Staff dinners before every meeting.  The sister city program has to end, no more unproductive trips to Japan and China even if partially subsidized by our provincial tax dollars.   In fact, there should a limit of 3 conventions per year that members of Council can be reimbursed for.

Although it is from their budget, I will donate all after tax pay received from Metro Vancouver to local North Van City charities.

Our City has many funding challenges including the new sewer treatment plant and we cannot be discounting a single way of saving money.  The current collective agreement with CUPE 389 runs out at the end of the year, there is no way we can afford to paying as much as we did last time.

In the long run only amalgamation will provide any tax savings past the first three years.

Friday, October 14, 2011

4 Candidates at closing

With 4 candidates for Mayor, we all have to work hard to get our City's turnout to at least 30% voter turnout rather than the 17% of last time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sue Cook is considering adding her hat into the race for Mayor.   Sue is a loud activist voice raising awareness of Translink's under serving of North Vancouver, crime in her part of Lower Lonsdale and the lack of attention paid to renters rights.  Her idea of an City Ombudsperson if scaled down not to cost as much by focusing it solely on assisting renters who are fighting to get proper service from their apartment owners is a good idea.

I hope we have more than the usual one all-candidates meeting so that we can all hear the practical solutions to these and other problems proposed by the three  or more candidates.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

One of the first questions I received was, "Why would the people vote for an ex-Reform Party member who has worked on campaign to elect our Conservative MP and our BC Liberal MLA?"

First, while the Reform Party is now part of the governing party of Canada, I am not an ex-Reformer.   Reformers like to look at government systems and ... reform them.  I like change structures when something doesn't work as well as it could.

As a member of the CNV's Task Force on Civic Engagement, I proposed practical recommendations aimed at increasing our voter turnout.  In this election, we will have more polling stations, more days of advanced polling and information kiosks available to candidates.  We won't get a ward system so you will have to choose 6 from over 20 candidates instead of 1 from 3 or 4 candidates who have concentrated their campaign in your neighbourhood. A little too much reform style change for the other members of the Task Force.

I will be proposing a referendum during the next election on amalgamation with the District.  That is a much needed reform. It is the best way of cutting the cost of local government in the long run.

Municipal politics is not about right and left, it is mostly about pro and anti development and where a person sits on that scale.  There are no right wing pawns of the big developers on our Council, in fact the ones most likely to support a large OCP busting development are more likely to be members of Council associated with the NDP.

The first priority of my platform is to strengthen and respect the OCP which is being redrafted right now and the new Council will vote on in just over a year.

The second priority will focus on the City budget, we need to cut spending so that utility charges and new taxes are being brought in like the new Eco Levy and a new sewer treatment plant are not an extra burden on the taxpayers.  In the long term, an amalgamation will give us the ability to deal with rising costs.  In the short term we must cut luxury items like sister cities and limit the Councilor trips to conventions.  We must publicly, in detail go over each line of the budget not just the proposed changes which are usually increases.

If elected, as my share, I would take a $20,000 pay cut and not take the $9500 car allowance. Further, any compensation I receive from attendance at Metro Vancouver meetings, I would donate to a City based charity.

The third priority is renter's rights.  Our City issues licenses to the businesses that own our apartment buildings.  Our bylaw enforcement officers should be doing an annual inspection to see that sure that all laws concerning health, safety and disabled access are being obeyed.  Further, we should establish a Rental Ombudsperson so that when citizens are being mistreated by owner not providing the basic services and repairs that they have an legal obligation to, the City can assist.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I watched the news of the death of Steve Jobs and read his words "Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary."  I decided in that moment that I was going to run for Mayor of the City of North Vancouver. 

Along with my inner voice, I have heard the voices of other residents dissatisfied with most of the recent large developments in our city.  I have heard citizens concerned about density transfers from locations where they could not be used.  I have heard many of my neighbours outraged at the radical amending of the Official Community Plan.

Steve Jobs also said "Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your inner voice".  I've been told that no one could ever beat Darryl Mussatto because he owns this town and I think the voters deserve the opportunity to cast a vote on more than one point of view concerning how our City will evolve.  I will do my best to provide voters with another option.