Alex Browne photo Comments from discussion groups kept Coun. Scott Kristjanson busy jotting down summarized points.

Alex Browne photo Comments from discussion groups kept Coun. Scott Kristjanson busy jotting down summarized points.

Round-table discussions help city of White Rock to set priorities

Mayor and councillors gather feedback, ideas from residents

A public consultation meeting on council’s strategic priorities Wednesday night drew close to 70 residents to White Rock Community Centre eager to brainstorm ideas about where the city should be headed.

Over pizza, pop and cookies provided by the city, participants threw out their ideas on everything from the city’s economy and its social development, to environment, governance and infrastructure.

The almost three-hour exercise, involving round-table discussions facilitated and recorded by all city councillors, was to be repeated Thursday morning at the centre.

In addition to obvious priorities – such as repairing White Rock’s storm-damaged pier – councillors also heard suggestions on improving communication between residents and city leaders, improving transportation and parking, consolidating garbage collection, improving and streamlining infrastructure, encouraging greater business viability and boosting arts and social activities that help promote the city’s appeal.

Coun. Erika Johanson said she was not surprised by comments and suggestions she heard at the meeting.

“We were going door to door during the election campaign, and these things are pretty much what we were hearing,” she said.

Mayor Darryl Walker, who introduced the meeting and observed discussions – along with staff including chief administrative officer Dan Bottrill and corporate administration director Tracey Arthur – said he was pleased by the attendance, which allowed for groups of 12 to 14 people at each table.

Walker said that sheets summarizing residents’ ideas, which were noted down by councillors, would be transcribed by staff, who would consolidate points to whittle down duplication.

“Feb. 8 is when council will start looking at this,” Walker said noting that the information would be compared with “what we as a council, ran on.”

“It’s a great level of involvement, a really good start,” he told Peace Arch News, after opening remarks in which he encouraged residents to tell councillors what they feel the community should look like.

“There are no dumb questions and no dumb answers,” he told the crowd.

Professional local government consultation facilitator Gordon McIntosh, of North Saanich, who was overall leader of the meeting, told PAN he was also impressed by the engagement of participants.

“It’s a very contributory atmosphere,” said McIntosh, who had travelled to White Rock after facilitating a meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon, that morning. “You go to some of meetings where people are there with placards.”

“There were a lot of ideas, a lot of feedback,” Coun. Christopher Trevelyan said. “Bringing the public out and listening to them was what we promised to do, and this was a meaningful first step.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Alex Browne photo Public consultation facilitator Gordon McIntosh offers advice to discussion groups.

Alex Browne photo Public consultation facilitator Gordon McIntosh offers advice to discussion groups.

Just Posted

Surrey-White Rock MLA-elect Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA-elect Stephanie Cadieux have each been given a portfolio as an Opposition critic. (Contributed photos)
BC Liberals give Halford, Cadieux critic responsibilities

Surrey South and Surrey-White Rock MLAs to help keep eye on majority NDP government

Ed Holden owns and operates The Christmas Store at Potters, located on 48th Avenue in Surrey. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
‘B.C. Buy Local Week’ kicks off with urgent plea to holiday shoppers

‘Local businesses are just hanging on,’ says organizer of the week-long campaign

teaser
Contest-winning Christmas card revealed by Arts Council of Surrey

Watercolour painting by Andre Paulhus to grace cover, with verse written by Andre Paulhus

File photo
Man, 68, charged with arson, assault and threatening in Whalley summer fire

David Thind charged in connection with a house fire in the 13000-block of 112A Avenue on Aug. 28

(Delta Police Department photo)
Scam-savvy North Delta couple help would-be victims avoid Bitcoin fraud

Mike’s Convenience Store owners have stopped several folks from being scammed at their Bitcoin ATM

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Fatty Legs co-author responds to Abbotsford class assignment on residential schools

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
Judge hears Langley development case that could end in mayor, councillors booted out of council

The conflict of interest case was launched by local voters a year ago

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Harbour seals rest on log booms at Flavelle Mill in Port Hardy. With recent announcements the mill will be getting rid of the log booms, Dr. David Rosen sees an opportunity to study how the disappearance of this highly-frequented refuge for the seals will alter their behaviour in Burrard Inlet. (Photo supplied by David Rosen)
What the heck is going on with marine mamals in Vancouver waterways?

UBC researcher asks why they’re returning, and what role we’re playing

Most Read