Open letter to White Rock mayor and council.
When you laugh at Margaret Woods when she is asking questions of council about why much of the 50 per cent premium we pay on taxes in White Rock goes into the $44 million slush fund, you are laughing at all of the citizens of White Rock who have exactly the same question.
When you snicker at Woods when she is asking why the city is sitting on $44 million of taxpayers’ money in reserves and continuing to raise taxes, you are snickering at the citizens of White Rock.
When you mock Woods when she is asking why you falsely call reserves “mandatory” – when in fact they are clearly “discretionary” – you are mocking the citizens of White Rock.
When you disrespect Woods, you disrespect the citizens of White Rock, who are in fact your employers.
Is it any wonder that many of the citizens of White Rock feel the way they do about addressing council?
My sense is that your behaviour produces exactly the results you are looking to achieve. The behaviour of mayor and council strangles community engagement and blocks the citizens of White Rock from participating in the kind of public process that the Community Charter is intended to achieve.
Each and every council member who sat there June 22 and allowed this treatment of a citizen of White Rock to continue without calling Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Coun. Lynne Sinclair on it is guilty of enabling this sad and sorry treatment of a citizen who asks questions.
Is it any wonder you have the problems with staff morale and the culture at city hall that you do?
Your behaviour models to all how they should treat citizens. You send a very clear message to all of the employees of the city and, quite frankly, your staff is much better than that and do not want to treat people that way. Nor do they want to work in an environment where that kind of disrespect to citizens is modelled by the leaders and is at the heart of the culture.
Baldwin and Sinclair owe Woods a sincere public apology at the next council meeting.
Ross Buchanan, White Rock