The November 15, 2014 Civic Election is fast approaching.
I am contacting those who helped to get me elected last time and I am seeking your help once more. The office of Mayor is one that is coveted by many and it is truly an honour to be Mayor of the City of White Rock.
This has been a very challenging term. We started off with the unfortunate passing of Mary Wade Anderson. This necessitated a by-election, and we were joined on Council by Bill Lawrence. Late in the term we had the very untimely and emotional passing of Councillor Larry Robinson that shook us all. There was no by-election to replace Larry as there were only eight months left before the end of term. We then operated short one member of council.
Midway through the term came the announcement by EPCOR of its proposed Total Water Quality Plan. The net result of this program would be a huge rate increase for our water. Consequently, Council decided to investigate the purchase of this privately owned utility. We are working on that process now but negotiations will not be concluded before the election.
Then came the advent of the coal trains,the increase in rail traffic, the awareness of the hazards of dangerous goods passing across our waterfront and, as a result of Lac Megantic, we saw the potential for a disaster in our community.
At virtually the same time came the untimely death of a pedestrian on the tracks, which created heightened concerns for pedestrian safety. The consequent , and in my opinion, unnecessary, over- reaction by Transport Canada created issues with fencing, crossing safety, and excessive whistling that we are still wrestling with, and again which will not be concluded before the election.
Together, all these rail issues, along with the forecast near-future increase in rail traffic, made it necessary for me to bring to Council a resolution to seek to have the rails relocated from our waterfront.
Finally, we worked through a three week city worker strike in the spring . This set us back in the completion of our goals, but in the long term will save the taxpayer money.
So needless to say, it has been a fully packed three year term.
What has been accomplished? To name a few, there have been a number of Forums to engage the public on issues such as: Acquiring Epcor, Waterfront Revitalization, Rail Safety and Dangerous Goods, and Public Art.
I have worked to model a high respect for the processes of local government and the public. I have been open and accessible to the public, and on many occasions have gone to people's homes to discuss their personal concerns.
I encouraged the initiation of : the acquisition of the EPCOR Water Utility; the relocation of the BNSFR rails from our waterfront; a renewed emphasis on the Arts And Culture; the revival of the Spirit of the Sea Festival; an emphasis on Special Events in the community such as the RCMP Musical Ride, the Snowbirds Airshow, the Moon Festival, The Upcoming Diwali Festival ,Semiahmoo Arts Party on the Pier, and the International Artist Day Festival.
There has also been huge boost in public art such as the Richard Tetrault mural in Centennial Park, and the Elizabeth Hollick mural on the Coast Capital Theater. There will soon be a bronze statue in front of the museum.
I have made a point of working on increasing community pride by publicly recognizing the individual efforts of our citizens in many fields of endeavour including: the arts (performing and visual), athletics, business, and community work and volunteerism.
I want to thank all those who expressed support to me over the last three years. There were a number of times I have spoken to most of you. Your feedback was encouraging and our discussions were helpful and interesting.
I feel I have kept my election promises to you, to provide:
- positive leadership,
- progressive, honest, and ethical governance, and
- fully engage the public in our governance processes.
I ask for your continued support in the upcoming campaign. I have unfinished business to conclude and need your help to be able to do so.
If you are able to help with door- knocking, help arrange condo or neighbourhood meetings, put my sign on your lawn, or can donate funds to allow mail outs, newspaper ads etc., I would love to hear from you.
You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , phone me at (604) 535-0432 or, stop by the house and let me know in person.
Mayor Wayne Baldwin,
White Rock Matters.