Future looks ‘bright’: White Rock mayor

Baldwin highlights council's successes, priorities at state-of-the-city address.

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin delivers his state-of-the-city address at a business function at White Rock Community Centre. As attendees arrived Wednesday evening

The future of White Rock looks bright, according to Mayor Wayne Baldwin who delivered his annual state-of-the-city address at a business-sponsored function Wednesday evening.

Baldwin highlighted some of council’s successes from his past term in office, and outlined priorities for the current council.

At the outset of his 30-minute speech, hosted by the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin acknowledged a group of about 20 protestors outside of White Rock Community Centre, who were staging the second rally in recent weeks calling for Baldwin’s resignation.

“More than 200 years ago, Voltaire said ‘I disagree with what you say, but would defend to the death your right to say it,'” Baldwin said, noting his 15 years in the army meant he agreed with the sentiment. “While I disapprove of what those outside were saying, I will defend their right to say it in an appropriate time and place. But maybe not to the death.”

Baldwin described the “many successes” of city council since he took office nearly four years ago.

Among accomplishments, Baldwin noted increased rail safety and whistle cessation, changes to the solid-waste utility, successful arts festivals and events, an increase in community outreach and a near-complete tourism strategy.

Garnering applause from the audience of around 65 – including councillors and city staff – was mention of the city’s ongoing takeover of the water utility, which Baldwin touted as “the largest single expenditure in city history.”

Looking ahead, Baldwin made note of the Official Community Plan update (expected to be completed by December 2016), Johnston Road improvements (estimated to be finished by the end of 2017), increased ice time and waterfront improvements.

Baldwin also lamented on the city’s “physical challenge” of connecting people from uptown to the waterfront, and announced that city staff are exploring the feasibility of a funicular system.

“This is something that would be a waterfront attraction, as well as serve as a practical means of getting people, including those with mobility limitations, up and down the hillside,” Baldwin said of the “ambitious” project.

The subject of relocating the railway was also mentioned, as Baldwin acknowledged the scope of embarking on such a project.

“We recognize that this will be a long process, one that is not likely to be concluded in this term of office,” he said.

Baldwin ended on an optimistic note, saying that while change is inevitable, he believed it could be managed in a “constructive, transparent, collaborative and positive” manner.

“Get your sunglasses ready, because the future of White Rock is exceedingly bright,” he said.

Just Posted

Penticton athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Homelessness group puts pressure on White Rock council

Peninsula Homeless to Housing task force brought forward three action steps for council

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read

l -->