Last night at a candidates' discussion on neighbourhood planning, nobody made an issue of NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe's residency.
LaPointe is running for mayor of Vancouver but he lives outside the city's boundaries on the UBC campus.
This is an unincorporated area of Metro Vancouver that's part of Electoral Area A, which is represented by Maria Harris at the regional district.
Meanwhile, LaPointe is publisher of Self-Counsel Press, which is located in the District of North Vancouver.
He's also an adjunct professor of journalism at UBC. This part-time gig also takes place outside of city boundaries.
His wife, Mary Lynn Young, is an associate dean at UBC, so she doesn't work in the city, either.
Yet he wants to be mayor of Vancouver, where he doesn't work and doesn't pay property taxes.
He's also not a tenant in Vancouver, so he doesn't have a landlord who pays property taxes in the city.
One of the few ways in which LaPointe finances Vancouver public services is when he puts coins in parking meters.
But he's already announced that he wants to lower the amount collected by eliminating meter parking on Sundays and statutory holidays and by stopping enforcement after 8 p.m. rather than 10 p.m. every night of the week.
I'm surprised that his opponents aren't asking why LaPointe is, in effect, promising to give himself a tax cut by reducing parking fees rather than focusing on property taxes, which residents pay to the city.
There are other questions that need to be asked.
If LaPointe is interested in serving his community (as he so often states), why didn't he run for political office in the District of North Vancouver, where he earns a living?
Why didn't he run to become a director for Electoral Area A, where he lives and where his wife earns her living?
Is he so special that he has to be mayor of Vancouver rather than seeking office in less glamourous locales?
LaPointe's communications adviser, Ann Gibbon, informed me in August that the NPA mayoral candidate and his family have been working with a real-estate agent and have been looking at houses so they can "relocate" to Vancouver.
Until he actually sets up residence in the city, his only real connection to Vancouver—from the perspective of democracy—is his ability to vote in elections to the Vancouver board of education. Yet he chose not to run for school trustee.
At the risk of belabouring the residency issue, I'll raise one more point.
UBC is policed by the Mounties.
In the past, I've suggested that the university might be better served if the Vancouver Police Department took over those duties.
If LaPointe wins the mayoral election, he will become chair of the Vancouver police board.
Will he absent himself from discussions over whether the VPD's jurisdiction should be extended to the area where he currently lives?
Or would he sit at the table and discuss an issue that might be in the best interest of his neighbours and his employer at UBC, even if it might not be in the best interest of Vancouver taxpayers?
LaPointe likes to present himself as the king of transparency on the campaign trail.
Perhaps he can clear the air in the comment section about how he would approach the issue of policing at UBC.
While he's at it, he could also take a moment to explain why the only taxes that he's prepared to reduce are those that he, as a nonresident, pays into the Vancouver treasury through parking meters.
I looked up carpetbagger in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Here's the second definition: "a political candidate who runs for office in a place where he or she has lived only for a short time".
LaPointe doesn't live in Vancouver, so until he moves to the city, he doesn't qualify for that term.