The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods has yet to obtain an appointment with mayor Gregor Robertson.
A day after the November 15 election, the group representing 25 community associations across the city issued a statement that it appreciates the mayor’s apology during the campaign acknowledging that he has made mistakes.
The group also stated that it will contact Robertson’s office to set a meeting at his earliest convenience, with the aim of easing tensions between neighbourhoods and city hall.
Coalition co-chair Fern Jeffries related that she has phoned the mayor’s office a number of times since that time.
According to her, she has been told that Robertson is “not yet available, but maybe sometime in the new year”.
“We are not looking for any kind of major confrontation or anything,” Jeffries told the Straight in a phone interview.
“We thought it would be appropriate, given his apology and promise to work in a more collaborative style… that it wold be helpful to meet with a small delegation to talk about how we might develop a better working relationship between our associations and the city,” she added.
The coalition was formed in 2013 following an outcry from residents over the city’s process of coming up with new community plans to deal with future growth in the Downtown Eastside, Grandview-Woodland, Marpole, and the West End.
“Every single community group comes to our meeting with issues and examples of how the planning department failed to give citizens a real voice,” Jeffries recalled. “We don’t care if you live in a rented place or whether you’re an owner. Whatever it is, we believe that residents should be engaged in how the city responds to growth and development.”
According to Jeffries, all her group asks is an hour of the mayor’s time.
“We think it’s a reasonable request,” she said.
Jeffries plans to place another call to the mayor’s office on Monday (January 5).