Saturday, 2 February 2013

Council Meeting Feb 4, 2013 White Rock Community Center

INTRODUCTION OF COMMUNITY INSPIRATIONS

You are invited to attend the February 4, 2013 meeting of the White Rock Council.  This will be held at the White Rock Community Center on Russell Avenue. 

The evening will start with the second installation of our Community Inspirations. This initiative celebrates our community and the many inspirational, talented, gifted and hard working people who live here.

 Previously in October, 2012, we honoured the Athletes.This included Christine Girard who represented Canada and White Rock and won a bronze medal in weight lifting at the London Olympics .

 This time we will be honouring the significant  achievements in Performing, Visual and Literary Arts.  It will be truly inspiring to see and hear people in our community who have achieved great success and recognition in the arts. Among them are Mark Donnelly who will be singing O Canada, Robert Davidson our renowned  First Nations artist and Jodi Proznick  a Juno nominated musician.

I am exceedingly proud of this community and want to share it with all of you.

Please join me at 7pm  at the White Rock Community Center for a wonderful evening. Light refreshments will follow the presentations.

If you are desperate for something to do you can stay for the Council Meeting that follows.

Hope to see all of you there.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Chamber of Commerce Speech September 2012

                                                                                                                                                                         Good Evening.  It is a pleasure to be here today.
Before I begin, I want to thank Cliff Annable, Gary Hollick and the rest of the Chamber Board for extending this invitation.

The Chamber is well known for facilitating business-to-business networking opportunities and supporting the needs of local government.  Thank you for the work you do for our business community.

Now I can’t begin talking about the state of our city without taking a moment to recognize our excellent Council  Al Campbell, Helen Fathers, Louise Hutchinson (is away right now and will be back on the 20th).Grant Meyer, Larry Robinson. This is a strong group of individuals that successfully and collectively work together and engage the community.  Mary Wade Anderson passed away in June and she will be missed.

I would also like to recognize our senior management team and new CAO.  We filled two other senior management positions – the Director of Leisure Services and the Director of Engineering and Municipal Operations.  As a Council we are pleased to have a complete senior management team to better serve our community.

It has taken us a little while to get up to full strength and to get our policies aligned with our collective vision, but we are there now and we are ready to rock and roll.

Tonight I’ve been invited to share what’s happening in the City of White Rock, the areas where we’ve make progress and our plans for the future.

A lot has changed in the past year.  In November we had our municipal election and I want to thank each and every one of you that came out and voted.  To be honest though the voter turnout could have been better.

 Sometimes it is easy to forget what a privilege and important responsibility it is to vote.  But your individual vote shapes our city and defines your Council.

On November 3 we will have a by-election and I want to encourage you to get out and vote.  Our current Council is functioning extremely well, but we have a vacancy to fill.

This is not something that should be looked at apathetically.


It is very important that we get a progressive person to fill that slot; someone who will work with the existing team and who will readily work to make White Rock move forward, not backward.

You can’t drive a car while only focusing on the rear-view mirror, you have to look ahead.  The same is true for White Rock.


We are no longer a cottage community and cannot live in in the past.  We must embrace change, control change and use it to our advantage.  We must acknowledge what we are – one of the most densely populated communities in BC – and be the best we can be.




HOW ARE WE GOING TO EMBRACE CHANGE AND TURN IT TO OUR OWN ADVANTAGE?
First, we are going to make White Rock attractive for investors.

Second, we are going to give White Rock’s greatest attraction, the waterfront, a makeover.

Third, we are going to make some changes to White Rock’s pay parking situation.


Fourth, we are going to diversify our economic situation by providing White Rock with a second industry.  Currently we have one industry, tourism.  As we move forward, we are going to make the arts our second industry.




HOW ARE WE GOING TO MAKE WHITE ROCK MORE ATTRACTIVE FOR INVESTORS.
We’ve already started. Just look around and you can see that this is an exciting time for the City of White Rock and for our Town Centre – there are developments happening uptown and all across the city.

In the Town Centre the AVRA is nearing completion and the Saltaire development is on its way.

Now when was the last time anyone saw two construction cranes working concurrently on two separate projects in White Rock?

Throughout the rest of the city, townhouses, triplexes, small coach houses and new home construction are creating a beautiful, livable, and vibrant city.

As older homes and small cottages are replaced by new construction, value is added to those properties and to our city as a whole.

Now I know the noise and construction dust aren’t ideal, but it is part of the growing process. Soon new residents will fill these buildings, creating a much larger customer base for your businesses.  Just think about how many potential customers will soon be living right on your front doorstep!

Larry Beasely, the former City of Vancouver Planner, who is an acknowledged authority on creating livable cities says that to have a livable community with a viable commercial core, you need at least 10,000 people within a five to seven minute walk.

Even with the large number across the street in Surrey, we have some work to do before Johnston Road will achieve that.

All these developments fit into our shared vision for the future of White Rock.

In the last three years there  were a number of community consultations on the Town Centre design plan, a design charrette, and other information gathering activities, including two separate consultant reports on the economic health of the City, that reflected the need for the redevelopment of the Town Centre.  We took all that information and feedback and incorporated it into the Town Centre Urban Design Plan, which will be merged into the Official Community Plan this year.

Coming directly in response to these studies, a new Zoning Bylaw and amenity contribution policy are being prepared for Council’s consideration.

If approved by Council, this will be a very bold move.  What we would basically be doing is pre-zoning potential building sites in White Rock’s town centre to reduce the uncertainty of redevelopment.

Through the amenity contribution policy, developers will only be able to increase height above three stories and density above a 1.75 floor area ratio if they make significant financial contributions for the benefit of our community.

We are building a more positive reputation with developers and investors, which is a good thing for all of us.

The changes that Council is considering, if approved, will create an outstanding investment climate for the City- not by making it cheaper to build but by removing a lot of the uncertainty and speculation

I have spoken to investors and they have told me that the word in the ‘investment community’ is that White Rock is open for business.

As we move ahead with new construction, we are also keeping an eye on affordable housing.

As a parent and grandparent, I want to make sure my children and grandchildren have the opportunity to continue living in our beautiful city – I don’t want to see them priced out of the market.

But we all know that our community is so much more than just a variety of housing and commercial developments, our waterfront plays a major role in defining White Rock.



OUR WATERFRONT NEEDS A MAKEOVER

White Rock beach is really our crown jewel and we’re working hard to polish it up.

You may recall that earlier this year, the City held its first public forum on Waterfront Improvements.

Many interesting ideas came out of that forum, but some of them seemed to come up more frequently than others and seemed to resonate with Council.

Subject to funding availability and in some cases approvals from BNSF and FREMP, Council is giving active consideration to the following ideas:

-       Extending the promenade westward a km to Coldicutt Ravine

-       Overhauling some of the restrictive policies and practices to allow for more activities on the waterfront, such as kayak and paddle board rentals, increased artist presence, some limited food sales, provided that the operators also have waterfront stores.

-       Constructing a children’s playground in the East Beach area providing all age no barrier fitness equipment along part of the promenade.

-       Providing more active play areas where there is no conflict with the passive use areas.

-       Enhancing the stage at Memorial Park

-       Greater collaboration with the Semiahmoo first Nation

-       Putting the power lines along Marine Drive underground.

-       Rejuvenating the Ash Street Walkway space on Marine Drive to create “Terry Parr Plaza”

-       On behalf of Council, I’d like to thank everyone that participated in the waterfront forum.



We’d also like to thank:

-       The White Rock South Surrey Community Foundation

-       The South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce

-       Tourism White Rock and

-        the Semiahmoo Rotary Club

for their efforts on the “Terry Parr Plaza”.



PAY PARKING CHANGES
You can’t talk about the waterfront without talking about White Rock’s pay parking situation.

Earlier this year there was a Mayor’s Parking Task Force on pay parking formed with a mandate to review the pay parking situation and make REVENUE NEUTRAL recommendations for changes.

Council will shortly be receiving the final version of that report and will give consideration to approving a number of changes.  Many of the changes will amount to minor tweaking, but some will be much more significant.

The more significant recommendations that Council will be considering  will be an off season, non-resident parking decal, and the construction of a tiered parking structure, most likely at Victoria and Vidal.



A SECOND INDUSTRY FOR WHITE ROCK

Several months ago we held our second Public Forum to generate ideas as to how the arts in the City could have a greater economic benefit to the City.  Subsequently, an Arts Economic Task Force was created to recommend a plan to Council on how the Arts would become an effective economic generator for White Rock.

That task force is meeting now to come up with a plan as how to accomplish this.

Some ideas I know they will be considering and that came out of the forum are:

-       To have a week long festival of the arts, centering around the International Artists Day in October.

-       To expand Painters’ Square in front of the museum eastward to allow more artists to participate and to remove the restrictions on the time of year they can display and sell their works.

-       To establish a school of arts reminiscent of the Banff School of Art and use opportunities to team up with the schools (in particular White Rock elementary), the Semiahmoo First Nation, and Kwantlen University College.

We’ve already made some strides towards improving the profile of arts and culture in our community.

With the creation of the Center for Active Living last year, we were able to give Semiahmoo Arts, the community arts council of White Rock and district, a home in the Mel Edwards building in Centennial Park.

They quickly made the building home and have a number of plans for making the most of the space they are in.  For example, they plan on designing a mural on the side of the building, while using the indoor space for gallery shows, teaching, performance arts and more.

We are fortunate that so many talented artists already call White Rock home and appreciate the value they bring to our community.

Over the summer, the White Rock Museum and Archives’ presented an exhibit that showcased the hidden secrets of Semiahmoo Bay and beyond through artwork.

Local artist Dale Byhre closely examined historical records and attempted  to document through his paintings the  significant historical events of White Rock waters spanning 250 years.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing history through this artistic lens.

This fall, a collection of Richard Tetrault’s artwork will be exhibited at the White Rock Museum and Archives.  This art was generously bequeathed to the City by Richard’s mother and White Rock resident Wynne Tetrault.

This collection was displayed throughout the summer by our Art on Display program in partnership with Semiahmoo Arts.

This year, the White Rock Library teamed up with local artist Pauline Dutkowki to produce a show entitled “Outside the Box”. Pauline’s art has been displayed in the BC Art Museum and the Louvre.

The Coast Capital Playhouse continues to produce season after season of outstanding plays and productions and is a remarkable asset to the City.  As a newcomer on the scene in performing arts is Peninsula Productions as well as Blue Frog Recording Studio on Johnston Road.

Something I am very excited about is our Public Art Advisory Committee.  The mandate of this committee is to advise Council on the implementation of public art policies for the City.

They will keep public art alive in our community.  Something that will help them do that is the $50,000 we have budgeted to spend on public art.

I am looking forward to seeing new public art in our city and to the plans and strategies that will be brought forward by our committees.



IN CONCLUSION

White Rock is in excellent financial shape.  Contrary to what the naysayers would have us believe, we have no debt, and our tax rates, while not lower than Surrey’s, are lower than many others in Metro Vancouver.

We are a highly desirable community in terms of geography and climate.


We have an active, involved population who have demonstrated their willingness to volunteer for many activities which makes this a better community.

We have a name that is highly recognized for beyond what our population size would indicate and because of the community of interest with our neighbours from South Surrey, we are also able to effectively quadruple our population size due to their involvement in the community.

 We have excellent staff and a progressive, dedicated and hardworking Council who want to make things happen.

With your help and encouragement, we can make White Rock the best place in the Province to live work and play.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mayor's Report April 2, 2012


  • A great deal of time over the past few weeks has been taken up with the CAO recruitment - again, welcome to Dan Bottrill - our time spent was worth it - and developing the Council Term Priorities, which should be coming forward in the near future. 
  • March 6 - met with Lori Smart of Fraser Health Authority and Mary Rode, new Site Director for Peace Arch Hospital, to discuss Healthier Communities initiatives.
  • March 6 - met with Betty Icharia, local Operations Manager for Epcor.
  • March 7 - attended a Translink Mayors Council Meeting
  • March 13 - met with Gary Saunders of White Rock Harbour Board.
  • March 15 - along with most other members of Council, I attended a meeting hosted by the White Rock Business Improvement Association which was designed to update the new Council on the BIA's mandate and plans for the future.
  • March 20 - met with Debbie Magson, Executive Director of the SSWR Community Foundation.  We discussed the Ash Street Walkway footprint site.
  • March 27 - met with well-known local artist Chris McLure who I am pleased to say has returned to White Rock and will be opening a new studio and gallery on Russell Ave.
  • March 28/29 - attended the Municipal Finance Authority Annual General Meeting and financial forum in Victoria.
  • March 30- Jane and I and the grandchildren had a wonderful time at Earl Marriott Secondary School's annual PowWow.  This event is sponsored by the school's aboriginal program and is well worth attending.
  • March 31 - was pleased to be asked to open the season for the South Surrey White Rock Minor Softball Association at Sunnyside Park.  Great to see the ball players revved up for the season.
New Businesses

Welcome to:

Jans on the Beach, 14898 Marine Drive

The Rustic Gourmet located in the Curling Center at the Center for Active Living - 1475 Anderson Street

Karen McGregor/Divine You - 14899 Marine Drive

Famous Rome Ice Cream - 15543 Marine Drive

The Medicine Guru -  102 - 1440 George Street

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mayors Report February 6 and 20, 2012

This is what I have been doing:


Mayors Report - February 6, 2012.


January 23 - attended Fraser Health Municipal Government Advisory Council meeting.
Council is chaired by the Fraser Health Board Chair (David Mitchell) and the Mayor of Langley 
(Peter Fassbender)
Council provides a forum for exchange of information between representatives of Fraser Health and the mayors of municipalities served by Fraser Health Authority


January 24 - attended the official openings of the promenade viewing area and the Kent Street Activity Centre renovations and elevator.  These openings marked not only the end of these projects, but also about 20 others which were undertaken in the City  over the past year - funded in part by federal and provincial grants.


January 26 & 27 - attended a Metro Board Workshop as the alternate (Cllr Fathers was on vacation)
worked on goal setting for Metro Vancouver for the upcoming year.


January 27 - was privileged to be invited to a Chinese New Year Celebration by the White Rock South Surrey Chinese Society. Wonderful entertainment and display of the Chinese culture by members of their community - lots of involvement by the children.


January 29 - attended the Alzheimers Society "Walk for Memories" fundraiser at Eaglequest Golf Course last Sunday afternoon - good turnout despite the rain.


Feb 23 - attended another Chinese New Year's Celebration - this time as a guest of the Taiwanese Canadian Association.  I was very impressed by the talent on display during the entertainment and enjoyed the celebration of their culture. 


New Businesses 
Welcome to:
             Santosha Yoga, #106 - 1548 Johnston Road
            Avalon by the Sea Women's Society, 1548 Johnston  Road
____________________________________________________






Mayor's Report - February 20, 2012


Thursday February 9th - Council held an all-day budget workshop - grueling exercise and one that was very helpful to all of us as we grapple with the needs of the community for the future.


Sunday, February 12th -  participated at the Variety Children's Show of Hearts Telethon answering phones with some of our White Rock Firefighters.  Gratifying to see how that whole process comes together to raise an astonishing amount of funds - over $6.5 million this year.


Wednesday February 15th - very interesting meeting with David Young, Executive Director, Sources - this resource society is based in South Surrey and operates a number of services for families, children and seniors, including the South Surrey/White Rock Food Bank.


Thursday February 16th - met  with representatives from Epcor to discuss their initiatives for the coming year.


Thursday, February 16th - Translink Mayor's Council - fare increases?


Monday February 20th - earlier today I had the pleasure of meeting with our external auditors, KPMG , who will be in the offices to conduct the City's annual audit.


I am pleased to advise that the following have accepted appointments to the Mayor's Task Force on Parking:


1 member of Council-  Louise Hutchinson


1 Director - Financial Services -Sandra Kurylo


1 Parking Services Manager - Matthew Green


3 Representatives from BIA -Sherri Wilson Morrissette
   Jeff Coroliuk ,Jack Sixsmith


4 Representatives from the Waterfront Merchants 
Tyson Blume (Ulis) 
Paul McDonough (JimmyFlynn's) 
Matthew Hale (Five Doors Down)
Frances Fennessy (Ocean Promenade Hotel)


New Businesses
Welcome to...
Medicine Guru Pharmacy, #102 - 1440 George Street









Monday, 30 January 2012

What has the Mayor been doing?

The Mayors Report on January 23, 2012 stated:



  • January 11 - I attended a seminar on the RCMP contract sponsored by the UBCM
  • January 13 - met with Peggy Hunt and Shirley Samush from Translink
  • January 13 - discussed an idea for a Tour BC cycling ride to raise money for cancer.  Organizers are in the preliminary stages of planning but are thinking they'd like to start and end the ride in White Rock possibly in July or August.
  • January 17 - Council held an all-day Planning Session with members of Senior Management.  Good exchange of information and priorities to form a base as we begin to formulate the plans for the coming year and the next three years.
  • January 18 -attended a meeting of Translink's Mayor's Council on Regional Transportation.  Richard Walton, Mayor of North Vancouver, was elected Chair of this Council, with Peter Fassbender, Mayor of Langley, the Vice-Chair.
  •  January 19 - received an interesting suggestion from a White Rock resident to develop relations with a twin-or sister-city, in China.
  • January 19 - met with Brian Atkins, District Manager, Transportation for the Lower Mainland.  He has agreed with our staff and Tourism White Rock to add "Service" and "Attraction" signage on the highway - signage will refer to waterfront, tourist accomodation and restaurants in White Rock. He also agreed to determine plans for the expansion of the Park and Ride at King George Boulevard and Highway 99.
  • January 23 - attended a meeting of the Fraser Health Municipal Government Advisory Council.  There are now surgical wait lists on the Fraser Health website that the public can access.
  • Just received word today that Cliff Annable will be taking over later this week from Doug Hart as Executive Director for the South Surrey Chamber of Commerce.  We wish Cliff and the Chamber good luck for the coming year and thank them for the services they provide to White Rock and local businesses.
  • I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone Happy Chinese New Year today or Gung Hei Fat Choi.  Today is the first day of 2012 in China's Lunar Calendar.  The year 2012  is the 4,709th Chinese year and 2012 is the year of the Dragon. 
Mayor Wayne Baldwin
White Rock Matters

Sunday, 8 January 2012

IT TAKES A VILLAGE....

The Christmas season is coming to a close and we will resume our day to day lives.  For me that means coming out of retirement and taking on the challenge of running the city along with 6 other elected people.  I embrace it with optimism, enthusiasm and the knowledge that it will take a lot of work.  You - the citizens of White Rock - have entrusted us with that task.  Your job of electing people you want to represent you is not over.  It takes a village to elect your officials and it takes that same commitment to support those whom you have elected.  What kind of support does that mean?  Perhaps it means coming to city council to keep abreast of what is going on.  Perhaps it means putting forth your own special talents when they are needed by council to support initiatives.  Perhaps it means getting involved any way you know how.  Just as it takes a village to bring up a child to adulthood, and it takes a village to elect a council to represent them, it also takes a village to  make a community really great.  So get in there and together lets make it happen because White Rock is a special community.  We all know that


White Rock Matters.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Inaugural Address December 5, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, Honoured Guests, Staff and Fellow Members of Council,


To be elected a member of Council is truly an honour and a privilege.  It is both exciting and daunting.  It can be incredibly fulfilling, it can be incredibly frustrating.  It is always a lot of hard work and it will always be challenging.


White Rock is  a City poised on the brink of possibilities.  Council is kind of like an Olympic Bob sled team at the top of the run.  Getting off the bob sled and opting for a toboggan run instead is not really an option.  We must move ahead as a team and do the best we can.  Anything less is not acceptable.  Here at the beginning of the run the possibilities are endless.  They are exciting.  They are more than a little scary because dealing with them will mean that some things will change.


On November 19, the people of White Rock elected a Council that echoes those possibilities.


When I first looked at the list of 13 candidates for Councillors and examined their credentials and capabilities, I was both pleased and heartened.  My first thought was that if I were fortunate enough to be elected Mayor, any combination of these 13 worthy people would have the potential to constitute one of the best, if not THE best Councils we have had in the past 30 years.


Consequently, I have very high expectations of this Council.  I am confident that as long as we individually  and collectively keep foremost in our minds that our main purpose in being elected is to do what is best for the people of White Rock as a whole, we cannot help but be successful.  We will achieve remarkable things, and we will make the people of White Rock proud to live in White Rock.


As  a group, we know that the previous Council has done a lot of ground work for us.  They have left many reports with a great many recommendations.  We must start to sift through those reports and begin to act upon those recommendations.


One of the many priorities we will have to address is the renewal and the increase of our commercial core. Clearly, some changes have to be made.  Economic Development Reports in 2009 and 2011, and the 2011 Town Centre Urban Design Plan have all said the same thing -we MUST increase the allowable density in the Town Centre.  We have to act upon this advice and do so without delay.


We MUST provide customers for our businesses so that not only will the existing businesses thrive but also so that our commercial tax base will increase.


We will welcome investment into our community because investment will lead to a better more sustainable tax base and a more sustainable community.  However, we will not do so at any cost.  We will accept redevelopment only on our terms.
We will respect the need of investors to realize a decent return on their investment.  But, in turn, they will have to respect our need for amenities to build a safer, stronger, more independent community for all our residents, businesses, and visitors.


We will get a firm grip on our finances and our financial processes.  This is absolutely imperative in order to insure that we have a strong, independent community and to minimize taxation.  Moreover, our financial process are at the core of Council's fiduciary responsibility and deviations will neither be accepted nor tolerated.


A community that looks after its infrastructure, plans for the future, and has the resources to deal with social issues and needs while minimizing taxes will be a sustainable community and that is what we want.


We will be a Council that shows respect for the public, for each other, and for the public processes by which we govern.


As a demonstration of that respect I am announcing two changes to our processes.


First, effective immediately, we will discontinue the practice of pre-scheduling In-Camera or Closed meetings.  Closed meetings remain a necessity, but will only be held if required.  Moreover, the criteria for deciding if they are to be held will not be, "How can we take this In-Camera?" but rather, "Does this have to be In-Camera?"


Second, we will hold Public Forums on a quarterly basis to listen to what the public has to say about certain issues, and perhaps simply to get advice or ideas from our citizens and businesses.  The first of these Forums will be held early in Spring and I will be requesting input from the Council and the staff as to what the topic should be.


Finally, with respect of governance, the new Council-Elect held some informal discussions, and found that we were unanimous in our belief that as a City we must continue to improve our communications with the Public.  Furthermore, we agreed that we have to do a better job of engaging the Public in the City's governance.  A voting rate of less than 30% is simple just not good enough.


To this end, therefore, I am creating a new Standing Committee of Council, the External Communications Review Committee.  This committee will have the task of continuously monitoring our public communications and will make recommendations to Council as to what areas need improvement, or what other changes in our communication processes have to be made from time to time.




In conclusion then, I want to reiterate something I have said on numerous occasions. 


If Vancouver, can be considered to be the most liveable City in the world by several recognized agencies, then logically, it follows that White Rock can be said to be the best City, in the best Province, in the best country in the world.


This Council will be dedicated to ensuring that this ranking is undeniably true.