Disrespect from ‘the boss’
Re: Backlash follows project approval, March 14.
On March 11, citizens, concerned about the handling of the proposed development of the Muffler Shop at Oxford and Marine Drive, attended the White Rock council meeting.
Mayor Wayne Baldwin spoke out against the previous council’s handling of the situation. He then went on to take issue with what some of the concerned citizens said about the proposed Muffler Shop development during the public hearing held Feb. 25.
This was very disrespectful to these citizens who, in good faith, spoke to council about their concerns of the handling of this site.
Whether the citizens were right or wrong is not the point. The point is that the mayor broke with the established rules by expressing his concerns about what a citizen said at a public hearing. He was entitled to ask questions, but not to enter into a debate regarding the merits of what was being said.
When other citizens made this known, Baldwin said, “I’m the boss!”
I would like people to know that some of our citizens were hurt by the mayor’s comments. It took time to canvas neighbourhoods and to get up the courage to speak into a microphone to express their concerns. To then be chastised by the mayor during the public hearing, and then again in the following council meeting, is unacceptable.
In my opinion, it would be helpful for Baldwin to take classes in “effective communication.”
Sandra Sammartino, White Rock
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I’m not sure which I feel more strongly – a heavy heart or anger.
White Rock council approved the new plans on the muffler-shop lands by a vote of 4-3.
Such confusion surrounded the second purchaser’s plans, that even someone like me – who has a university degree and faithfully attends council meeting – had a very difficult time understanding the presentations. Seemed like a lot of smoke and mirrors in the architects’ presentation, with perspective drawings just one of the things that muddled the reality.
After the last of numerous public hearings, where 134 showed up to voice their opposition to this second set of plans, the project was accepted, despite the fact Coun. Al Campbell had received surveyors’ plans that led to questions about the development, Coun. Louise Hutchinson pleading that there was a strong need to clarify information and Coun. Helen Fathers doing a stellar job leading this meeting and suggesting that since new information had been brought forth, council had the duty of due diligence to look into these matters again.
Not so, according to Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Couns. Larry Robinson, Bill Lawrence and Grant Meyer. It seems these voters’ questions were unimportant to them.
I hope the voting public pays attention to who on their council is looking after the concerns of the residents of White Rock first and developers second.
Susan Potzold, White Rock