Wesley Mussio: Working to revitalize local democracy in the City of Vancouver

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      Update (September 22): Wesley Mussio has withdrawn his candidacy over differences regarding the Cedar Party’s election strategy.

      As long-time Vancouverite, business owner, and father, I am excited to announce my intention to represent the Cedar Party by running for a seat on Vancouver city council in this year’s upcoming election. If I am elected, I would be honoured to represent my local neighbourhood of Kerrisdale and all of Vancouver’s diverse residents and communities as I work toward revitalizing our beloved city’s broken democracy.

      For years I have watched the current government make a series of seemingly unilateral decisions to vastly change the communities in Vancouver. Rather than fully engage neighbourhoods and citizens in urban planning, the city has imposed unsuitable large-scale commercial developments in many once-quiet neighbourhoods throughout our beautiful city, from East Van to Granville Street to the West Side and downtown. Many decisions surrounding these local developments have already been made even before the mandatory public hearing takes place, thus democracy and the power of the electorate is lost. This must change: If elected as a city councillor, I will devote my service to bringing authority of such decisions back to individual neighbourhoods, giving residents a say in the changes that specifically impact them and their families.

      Another significant concern of mine is a series of city-owned properties that have been sold or leased without first releasing them into the marketplace in order to determine the best price and option available. By failing to do so, the city has not maximized the revenue from these properties on behalf of taxpayers, and has also raised suspicions of backroom “sweetheart deals” taking place for political insiders. As a city councillor, I would ensure that no such deals took place and would fight to change the current status quo of consistent off-market deals. It is imperative that city council generates maximum revenue from the sale or leasing of public-owned properties on behalf of Vancouver taxpayers.

      I have always been a strong advocate for equality, specifically as it relates to tax dollars spent on capital improvements and infrastructure. The current government, at the expense of other users, has imposed multiple bike lanes without considering the impact on other users, including vehicle traffic, residents, and commuters. While some bike lanes and multiple-use roads are an important part of our city’s infrastructure, there must be limits on the extent of the development of single-use bike lanes, especially considering the fact that the current government has done very little to compensate vehicle traffic for the loss of multiple roadways in Vancouver. As a result, our current government has wasted an enormous amount of tax dollars while negatively impacting a large portion of the public with increasing traffic gridlock in numerous communities.

      In addition to wasted resources on unwanted and unnecessary infrastructure, the number of civic workers and the cost of the workforce has increased at an alarming pace over the past few years. Although I am in full support of funding crucial and valuable municipal employees such as sanitation workers, police, and fire departments, I have concern over the increasing cost of wages for communications departments, social media managers, sustainability departments, and special task forces. I believe it is essential for a responsible government to objectively analyze the need for these “human” resources as well.

      I am honoured to be running for Vancouver city council alongside fellow Cedar Party candidates Glen Chernen (mayoral candidate), Charlene Gunn (city councillor candidate), Jeremy Gustafson (city councillor candidate), and Nicholas Chernen (city councillor candidate). Together, we will bring about the democratic change that is long overdue in the City of Vancouver.

      Wesley Mussio is a Vancouver council candidate with the Cedar Party. He is the owner of Mussio Law Group.

      Comments

      9 Comments

      Odds Bodkin

      Sep 20, 2014 at 6:36am

      Wow, he sounds just like a federal Tory. Or, a well-polished Tea Partier. His statements seem crafted by some right-wing, evangelical economic 'think tank'. Scary, to say the least.
      Gawd!

      TheTruth

      Sep 20, 2014 at 1:08pm

      The above comment is from a vision plant.

      RUK

      Sep 20, 2014 at 4:35pm

      Vision invented the idea of people moving to Vancouver, buying real estate, putting up buildings, and riding bicycles. It was an idyllic place before them, where people lived in harmony with nature, flew glorious winged beasts and communicated through the roots of a magical tree.

      Wait, that's Avatar.

      I vote for the Avatar party.

      James Blatchford

      Sep 20, 2014 at 7:27pm

      I guess things happen quickly in the Cedar Party....within 3 hours of this post, Glen Chernen had dropped out of the mayor's race to back another candidate. Did you not have your cell phone on, Wes?

      WTFBBQ

      Sep 20, 2014 at 9:23pm

      Just what we need, another lawyer involved in Government! I mean, who doesn't wake up and think every morning something like "we just don't have enough lawyers involved in Government!"?

      Bemused

      Sep 21, 2014 at 9:25am

      Dude is a personal injury lawyer. Wants to drum up business by decreasing bike lanes and increasing injuries.

      A guy phones a law firm and says, "I want to speak to my lawyer." The receptionist says, "I'm sorry, but your lawyer died last week." The next day the same guy phones the law firm and says, "I want to speak to my lawyer." Once again the receptionist replies, "I'm sorry, but your lawyer died last week."

      The next day the guy makes his regular call to the law firm and say, "I want to speak to my lawyer." "Excuse me sir," the receptionist says, "but this is third time I've had to tell you that your lawyer died last week. Why do you keep calling?" The guy replies, "Because I love hearing it!"

      Arno Schortinhuis

      Sep 21, 2014 at 12:31pm

      Some people just don't get it. Cycling offers many benefits to society including improved health, less noise and pollution, less motor vehicle congestion, improved mobility options and a move vibrant and livable city. In the downtown core, only a single motor traffic lane in 5 blocks was upgraded to be a two way cycle lane. Also, one of 6 motor vehicle lanes on the Burrard Bridge was upgraded to a cycle lane. This encouraged many more people to cycle in and around the downtown core. Over 10% of trips near the downtown core are now made by bike. If all these trips were made by car, then there wouldn't just be motor vehicle congestion - there would be gridlock. Mr. Mussio and anyone else who enjoys driving in Vancouver should be encouraging more poeple to cycle. This will only happen if cycling is seen to be safe and convenient. Kudos to the city for making great strides to improve the transportation network in Vancouver and in encouraging more people to cycle more often.

      Boris Moris

      Sep 22, 2014 at 12:56pm

      Hmmmm. Wesley Mussio drops out right after Bob Kasting drops in.

      You have to wonder about this Kasting guy. On his website he uses what looks like a 20 year old photo that doesn't betray his current jowly conservative "old boys" establishment image. I smell another NPA stealth candidate. Watch for Kirk LaPointe to drop out of the race citing some fabricated bullshit excuse.

      15 8Rating: +7

      Wheneversly

      Sep 22, 2014 at 8:51pm

      So, what's he going to do if he gets into office on the premise that he's going to stop the gridlock caused by bike lanes and discovers the truth that they don't cause it?
      Then what?