Ah, I see by your headline in last Friday’s paper that Mayor Linda Hepner and her Surrey council have actually listened to the concerns of its residents and changed their mind on running a frontage road along 8 Avenue.
It is promising to note that, unlike the rather closed-door, predetermined White Rock council’s style of city management, that the public can, through consultation, open discussion, public hearings where they actually listen and good old common sense have a real say in their communities development.
Somehow, it seems the City of White Rock has lost its way, along with this the understanding that real progress should in fact both improve and add to its citizens quality of life here on the Peninsula.
As a longtime resident of the city, I now find myself looking up at 20-plus-storey towers.
Did we really want another West End in our small city ? Did we not have water that was the envy of most others? Now our ‘expensive’ system, with its rather colourful, distasteful quality, is nothing more than a sad joke to them.
And now talk of a parkade planned right smack in the middle of a very congested access area to the beach at a cost of $9-13 million, that will be left virtually empty for eight or nine months of the year and then will be left to be a point of contention to the locals who are left to patronize the beach’s restaurants in the off-season.
One is left to wonder how we can continue to elect city councils that apparently, for the large part, have no idea how to protect, foster or to enhance this very special and beautiful ‘small resort town’ that we are so fortunate to call home.
The fact seems to escape them that people come here to ‘get away’ from the big city life, rather than to become part of it.
I believe our 60-year ‘experiment’ at independence has run its course. It is well past time for White Rock to return to the folds of the progressive, forward-thinking and growing realm of Surrey.
Our city councils cannot continue selling out to developers, cannot keep our tourists away by raising parking rates and cannot build parkades in a misguided effort to fund our increasingly out-of-reach infrastructure. We can no longer afford this luxury of ‘aloneness’ with the small tax base here in the City of White Rock.
Couple this with the seeming inability of our elected officials to understand how to both maintain and grow our city in a positive way. We need proper stewardship to ensure this unique area we call home remains the place we all want it to be.
It does seems Hepner and her Surrey councillors, unlike our own in White Rock, are at least listening.
Barry Cameron, White Rock