Hall-abaloo over city plans

Editor:

Re: Action on new city hall ‘long overdue,’ June 28.

Comments by veteran councillor Mary-Wade Anderson on the perceived need for a new city hall seemed quite supportive.

Editor:

Re: Action on new city hall ‘long overdue,’ June 28.

Comments by veteran councillor Mary-Wade Anderson on the perceived need for a new city hall seemed quite supportive.

However, comments by White Rock residents to me, when discussing the proposal, raised a lot of other needs that should be filled.

This raises the question: does White Rock have an existing plan of capital development? In this day of professional management of municipalities, we would think such a planning tool is essential for effective management.

It is an outrage, in my opinion, that defects, such as improper heating and worn carpets, exist at city hall. Shouldn’t such basic needs be part of an ongoing maintenance plan?

Larry Fagan, White Rock

• • •

Re: New hall a city-wide decision, July 5 letters.

The expected gaggle of no-birds has predictably risen to honk against a new city hall without analyzing the issues.

The highest and best use of the current city hall site – now including recently purchased property on Pacific Avenue – is not an aging building of no historical significance requiring significant functional upgrades.

Space to consolidate city services can be arranged in existing or planned developments in the Town Centre area, recently the subject of the design charette. Alternatively, a land swap could be arranged wherein land in the Town Centre would have a developer exchanging land, possible in a community amenity-charge negotiation.

The result will be a more rational use of land with a civic focal point in Town Centre. A purpose-built city hall is unlikely, however a mixed-use structure similar to communities throughout B.C. makes economic, functional and aesthetic sense.

The assertion that council does not have the authority to make such decisions is, frankly, a sophomoric view of democracy. A mayor and six councillors were voted in to guide a corporation with budget spending projected at $30-36 million per year over the next five years. This document is readily available online under Bylaw 1933, for which there were public hearings with less than a dozen people showing interest.

This is not high school. Council and staff are running a business. And as shareholders, the White Rock citizens have a responsibility to be informed, attend meetings and vote before honking no, no, no.

Larry Robinson, White Rock

 

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