White Rock Farmers' Market moved to its current location at Miramar Village Plaza beneath two highrises in 2009.

White Rock Farmers' Market moved to its current location at Miramar Village Plaza beneath two highrises in 2009.

LETTERS: Conflicts about over concerns

Residents respond to White Rock council's decision to move the start time of the farmers' market.

Editor:

Re: Frustration over market start time, Jan. 29.

Whether one is a fan or a critic of the White Rock Farmers’ Market, no one can deny it provides a unique vitality and sense of community often lacking in our city.

So when our city council decides to refuse to grant an exemption to continue to allow the market to begin setup at 7 a.m., residents should ask a number of questions.

Farmers’ market president Sandy VanDeKinder has said there have been no noise complaints for 14 years and this is essentially what the city-staff report to council said, supporting a startup time earlier than 8 a.m.

So why did Mayor Wayne Baldwin declare that there had been a number of recent complaints? If Baldwin had received complaints himself, why did he not direct them to the appropriate city staff personnel for handling?

The mayor is also quoted as saying he was not sure why the early start time was allowed in the past in the first place; but the market began its operation during his lengthy tenure as city manager.

In denying the request to continue setup at 7 a.m., council suggests they were doing so in sympathy of residents who might have their sleep disturbed on the 21 Sundays of the year the market operates.

If so, how is it that council can, through bylaw, continue to allow construction activities, no matter how loud, to commence at 7 a.m., six days a week, 52 weeks a year, if peace of residents is the motive behind the market time?

More questions jump out when one sees who wrote the one letter of complaint that council relied on to justify their decision. It was none other than Cliff Annable, a longtime pal of Baldwin who ran unsuccessfully for council on the White Rock Coalition slate, in partnership with current councillors Megan Knight, Bill Lawrence, Grant Meyer and Lynne Sinclair.

Anyone who knows anything about White Rock politics knows that neither Coun. Helen Fathers nor Coun. David Chesney are among the inner clique of Baldwin and the coalition councillors. Fathers was absent for the vote on the market start time and Chesney excused himself because of his association with the market.

How is it then that Baldwin did not consider himself also conflicted, due to his long association with Annable? How is it then that Knight, Lawrence, Meyer and Sinclair did not also consider themselves conflicted because of the letter from their running mate, and excuse themselves?

Is the new way to get our new council to work for you to simply get an unsuccessful coalition candidate to take up your cause with his friends and associates? If so, would Mr. Annable please write a letter and ask that the noise bylaw be amended so that construction activities can start no sooner than 8 a.m. and end by 8 p.m?

Dennis Lypka, White Rock

Re: Market disputes mayor’s ‘complaints,’ Feb. 3.

Is White Rock Farmers’ Market’s 7 a.m. start time too early? No! Too Noisy? Certainly not!

The only frustration about this is the apparent favouritism shown by White Rock city council.

A farmer’s day starts early, and residents need to purchase their vegetables early to prepare a good meal.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Couns. Bill Lawrence and Grant Meyer say the 7 a.m. market setup time is disturbing residents, because one of their friends – recent White Rock Coalition candidate Cliff Annable – wrote a single letter. Baldwin originally said there had been many complaints over the years, then later admitted to a PAN reporter there are no other complaints on record. Just this one complaint.

And in an instant, the rules were changed.

If the council is so concerned about complaints and noise, why did council ignore hundreds of complaints over the Vidal Street 12-storey mega-condo development they approved? Or the White Rock Muffler Site development’s excessive height? Or the sudden decision to move the location of the Evergreen towers that needlessly destroyed heritage trees and impacted local residents and their property values? Or the hundreds of complaints over Omnibus Bylaw 2000, which allowed excessive heights on new buildings on the waterfront, blocking the view of existing residents?

Could this have more to do with White Rock council helping their fellow coalition member, while sticking it to independent Coun. Helen Fathers, who happens to be the market manager?

Scott Kristjanson, White Rock