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ROBBINS sings praises of New, Improved Coquitlam city council
Heart of Gold-Neil Young  Jul 31, 2007

Coquitlam city council have got their game, I mean all of it. Previously, it seemed that council really was a series of this faction or that one, with the shortcoming of this oversight (both singularly and collectively) costing the fast growing elite suburb of Coquitlam a sense of passion, and if staff has direction, you couldn’t be sure the political magistrates did, and thus, the resulting incongruence or lack of cohesion of debate made for (in my opinion) a lackluster council that was not operating smoothly.
This has changed. Completely. Coquitlam owes BC Liberal MLA Rich Coleman such a huge debt of gratitude. He brought the city to life over his desire to develop Riverview, and the city’s tenacity to resist, without equivocation was the response. The backlash from Coquitlam city hall was fierce, almost seeming to provoke a bomb scare at the BC Ferries. (I want to hear the 9-1-1 tape from Coquitlam centre).
Mae Reid pounced. Perhaps no-one in Coquitlam knows more about the history of this unbelievable treasure of natural beauty than Mae Reid. I have been in Coquitlam for about 20 years, and it was only when my wife volunteered at Riverview (or it was part of a college course), and I went to pick her up, did I realize what a tranquil wonderful place it is. It’s like another world. It’s where beauty, trust and love prevail over sadness and hardship. Mae Reid knew how the community felt about Riverview and she knew it because she knows the people, she has heard what they have to say, and when a person in political life makes this connection, as Mae has in Coquitlam, its worthy of recognition. It may have put Riverview on the backburner of attack from the Monster of the Universe who want the land like Americans want oil.
Lou Sekora knows Coquitlam. He is Mr. Coquitlam. The Riverview land debacle revealed that Lou Sekora still has the heart of a Lion. He has interwoven a sense of the street, no pity, with old school finesse in what is now a pretty sophisticated persona. His performance at city hall the day following his appearance on CKNW’s Bill Good (when Rich Coleman was on the show), has me turning up the volume on this guy’s praises. Great to see you in very fine form Lou. You are the theatre politics ought to be.
Neil Nicholson-How fortunate are we to have this fellow serving us? He is the epitome of class and integrity and with his presence on council, the stature of the entire group of council members has risen substantially. Neil Nicholson is a rare treasure for this game. The exchange this week between he and Sekora regarding a tough stance on an uncompromising developer was very compelling, you could feel the tension in the room. The exchange was simple enough, it was the sense of positioning that was driving this sensation. Nicholson, a man with the patience of 'Job', was showing a more deliberate side of his personality by meeting the developer head on, while Sekora showed his experience and opted instead for less severe measures which might cause more problems than they solve. If Nicholson was surprised by Sekora's swift and sure response to him, he didn't show it. He responded well in the wake of sentiment moving in his direction, showing he can manage politics well from a number of angles very well. Great stuff.
Barry Lynch-may be the most underestimated civic politician in the lower mainland. He is experienced, he is well trained for this job at the highest levels, and is an intelligent politician. He is one of those people, that if he weren’t there, you would be shocked at how much he were missed.
Maxine Wilson-Every time, in the pit of stomach I want to dismiss this woman as irrelevant. Matronly, a bureaucrat. Unfair on my part. Maxine Wilson runs as good a council meeting as anyone, ever. Her level of concentration is supreme. I never knew just how important it is to run a smooth council meeting until now. Coquitlam’s is not only good it is getting better. I went to council on Monday to watch the live performance and than caught it again on Shaw Cable. I’ve started watching city council meetings off and on for entertainment. It’s really quite good once you get to know the players. Believe it or not this is where the real action is. City hall baby. Maxine Wilson is a player, she is a terror for competition but you would never know it. Maxine Wilson has a much political talent as Lou Sekora or anyone else for that matter in civic politics. She also has a lot of experience. Like I said though, she runs a very good council meeting, and that matters.
Richard Stewart-Technically this man is a very sound politician. If he keeps his ego in his pocket can really play this game of politics. He is the butt of my rancor, but he is still a potential five star talent. If Richard Stewart can get all of this health back, and keep his youthful spirit by embracing his Christian ideals as well, he will be the total political actor. Faith is an attribute and never a liability for those who mean it.
Fin Donnelly-In a perfect world, Fin would already be the Premier of the province of British Columbia, and than I could retire. Fin is a wonderful person. This ladies and gentlemen, is a franchise quality politician who we must all seriously support.

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