Re: Time to replace city hall: report, March 13.
Yes, Mr. Bottrill, I agree that it is well past time to not only replace city hall, but, alas, to shut it down altogether.
As much as many of us here in White Rock have developed a certain “arrogance” concerning our independence from Surrey, it is well past time to end our little foray into oneness.
I will admit that at one time we had a real chance to grow into that eclectic, small seaside resort community that many in the past had envisioned. Instead, we now find ourselves “selling out” to developers and speculators to pay those expenses, which as a small city we can no longer afford, and that goes hand-in-hand with increasing taxes.
Some of those expenses include the previous council’s decisions on a overpriced and rather inefficient water system, a “white elephant” masquerading as a parkade down near the beach that will remain empty for most of the year, and on businesses, both along the waterfront and uptown, that are closing their doors.
Along with this, as a small city we pay for both our own RCMP detachment and fire department, as well as library, when all three are available less than a mile away in South Surrey.
I do admit that the current council is not totally at fault, but the damage is done as we waver back and forth between pro- and non-pro-development councils
As the old saying goes, there is strength in numbers, and we as a small city, can no longer afford these expenses on our own. And here we are now with a pier that needs repair along with the cost of cleanup around it. So no, Mr. Bottrill, we do not have $16-20 million to replace your building, nor are we as a city, able to keep up with the upcoming expenses that will befall our small city.
For better or worse, at this stage we have squandered our chance to build that small piece of paradise that we envisioned back when we first sought our independence so many years ago.
It is now high time to put our future and finances in hands that will provide both a fresh and more consistent approach to our growing pains and rejoin the City of Surrey.
Barry Cameron, White Rock