Dear City Hall

Dear City Hall:


When my student was telling me a story about how long it is taking her to transfer a house from her name to her brothers she went into detail about timeframes etc.  I was like: “Oh, that’s not a long time; where is your house?”  She replied: “Bagdad”.

Hmm, they are so much more efficient at getting things done there I thought to myself. Blew my mind that in a city where there is bombing and such distress, how can it be that I am even comparing??? What has happened to this city since 13 years ago when I moved my business last??

I have had my business for over 25 years.  I do an amazing community service while employing some of the happiest people I have ever met.  We run my business with what seems to be effortless.  Let’s say we have a formula that is working!!  When my Landlord (which has changed more times than my hair in the past decade and a half) informed me I have six months to move I got right on it!  Anyone who knows me knows that I am one that is very task oriented.  I have moved my business two times before, after all.  Once to an arson (you may have read about that in my previous blog about the story of FHTC) another time because of a demolition, so it was not my first experience moving.

BUT IT IS!!  I will not bore with details, all one must do is turn on the radio or t.v. to see the news.  People are given these ridiculous expectations from our City Hall that often end in failure….not on the applicants side, just in timelines.  I have had wonderful experiences at City Hall as far as the people I have dealt with.  Very real, very compassionate, willing to help and WANTING TO HELP but that doesn’t really matter when the city is so “backed up” or so very “understaffed” or whatever may be.  It is not the fault of the city worker at City Hall but whose fault is it?? Why is it that one must go, stand in line to get a ticket which by the way can take hours in itself?  The “seasoned” City Hall people include Architects, trades people and homeowners that have dealt before.  They show up at times two to three hours before they open City Hall.  This could be for ANYTHING.

Why, I ask to City Hall…Why is it that a small, medium and large business or situation must go through the same thing?  Why is it that my landlord is told by the city that six months is appropriate for me to be removed from my premises out of the blues, but after I pay fee after fee for Licensing, Change of Operations, and so on and so forth……it may or may not be enough time??  Why can’t we have a line up for the small stuff, the medium stuff and the large stuff??  I do NOT fear the big stuff.  I do NOT fear the work…. read my blog on fear vs love and you will know that I have complete faith in the love of what I do.  I will get the work done.  What affects me as a Businesswoman is that our city is gobbling up small and medium size businesses and simply does not have the ability to care.  Why do I see buildings being literally demolished and building being built in a timelier manner than the City Hall allows me to simply move into a new location?  Let’s make it clear that the location is literally up to code and ready to go upon completion of painting.  13 years ago, I moved from my last demolition to my new one in less than four months including a demolition of the entire space, re flooring, building a washroom, building a laundry room, classroom, office and lunchroom.  It was all approved by City Hall, all inspected, and all done using an Architect, Contractor and so on and so forth! 

It is my opinion that even the friendliest of City Hall employees simply are over worked and tired.  They may be empathetic, sympathetic and even go above their “duty” but it may be in vain.  If you have a business in Vancouver and you must move, I hope that you have better luck than me.  I am starting to think that it is about luck, not work, not doing your diligence and certainly not relying on your business’s reputation to survive.  You will need motivation, guts and a lot of hutzpah.  Did I mention a whole lotta MONEY as well?  Expect every trip to the City Hall to cost a lot too 😊

I am all for development, growth and sustainability.  I believe in growing communities and hiring people that want to work.  This is a philosophy I pass onto students every day.  Work hard and it will pay off.  What is wrong with this beautiful, lovely city of ours that it has given up on all of that and instead instructed their employees to suggest to small businesses to just give up and be gobbled up by the new ways of doing things.  No wonder we have so many “back alley businesses”!!  Even dentist’s, doctors and of course many many beauty practitioners including Hair, Aesthetics and Microbladers are putting clients at risk everyday working out of home.


Honestly City Hall: GET IT TOGETHER!!!!