Letter writers urge others in White Rock to consider the candidates and issues for a variety of reason before casting their votes on Oct. 20. (Tracy Holmes photo)

LETTERS: Voters lament in White Rock

Letter writers urge others to consider the candidates and issues before casting their votes

Editor:

I read every week in the PAN of discontent with our current local government.

I see, with great pleasure, so many concerned citizens offering to try to make difference by letting their names stand for election (84 run in Surrey, 30 in White Rock, Sept. 19). I am grateful.

Now, my point: you must vote. If you do not, stop complaining. Stop thinking you will be listened to because, like the voters of Ontario, after an election you must accept the bad decisions of those elected without your vote.

Your only chance to make a difference is on Oct. 20.

Support those independent candidates who intend to give every issue due consideration. We have seen what electing a slate had brought to our small city.

Lorraine Hand, White Rock

• • •

As a longtime White Rock resident, I am moved to write a letter expressing my utter disappointment with some of the conduct by people running in the upcoming city election.

I am shocked and saddened at the manner in which some of the candidates are behaving, particularly on social media.

I believe White Rock is a great city, and the vast majority of those of us who live here are respectful people who want the best for our families and those of our neighbours. To hear some of the vitriolic messages and outright lies being spread about sitting elected officials is disturbing, and I encourage the rational people of White Rock to vote on Oct. 20 for people who will represent our city with dignity and respect.

I’m heartened to see the candidates from the White Rock Coalition talking about the things that matter to the people of White Rock and keeping a positive message, not relying on fear tactics to try and sway votes. I suggest that we all take the time to look at the facts and decide who is best able to represent all of White Rock, not the special-interest groups who purport to speak for all. In my opinion, that is the people who are already doing a fine job moving this city forward in a progressive and positive manner.

Susy Tucker, White Rock

• • •

The very heart and soul of White Rock is at stake in the upcoming municipal election, and that is why it is very important to make your vote count for something.

The current coalition that has been running White Rock and making the big decisions has demonstrated a disdain for democracy when they decided to do away with question-and-answer periods at their meetings, to hold meetings where big decisions were made in secret, to ignore the repeated concerns of the majority of speakers at public meetings against highrises and the parkade, to devote city employees’ time to refute their critics and bite back at those who disagree with them.

Where was the openness? Where was true consultation? Where was democracy?

The seeming autocratic regime led by Mayor Wayne Baldwin is trying to continue on with Couns. Grant Meyer, Bill Lawrence, Lynne Sinclair and Megan Knight, along with new hopeful candidate Ernie Klassen ready to join them.

Remember, all it takes is four votes to put highrise buildings on the beach. That could happen if those in power consider the Official Community Plan as simply a guideline.

There are a lot of people running in the next election, and it has been suggested that some are only running to muddy the field and split the vote so the current coalition gets re-elected. So, before you cast your vote, ask the candidates where they are getting their campaign funds. Is it coming from real estate developers and their families? Where do they stand on in-camera meetings? Where do they stand on question-and-answer periods at council meetings? Where do they stand on highrise development? What is their vision for Marine Drive? What is their vision for our village? Are they even taking questions from the public?

Only one-in-three eligible voters cast their ballot in the last election. Your vote matters. Get out to vote and use it wisely. Get your friends out to vote as well. The fate of our whole community is at stake.

Sandra Byer, White Rock

• • •

I commend the actions of Erika Johanson and Darryl Walker from Democracy Direct in their presentation to counsel requesting a moratorium on highrises until the 15 buildings that have already been approved are completed (Mayor attacks ‘fearmongering’ candidates, Sept. 19).

Individuals running for office can’t be expected to know what is and isn’t possible as they’re citizens from varied backgrounds.

It seems that a simple way of countering future problems by a city council is by retaining a lawyer with this specialty.

What Erika and Darryl demonstrated, however, is intent to change what is presently happening in White Rock and the seeming uncontrolled development – or development controlled by developers and not its citizens – and it’s loss of character and charm.

Without initial intent nothing changes. It may not be possible to do everything we want as citizens, but let’s do what we can to take back control of this city!

RoseMarie De Paoli, White Rock

• • •

I have been reading headlines regarding slates of political parties Surrey First and Integrity Now in your Peace Arch News, and on Sept. 1, I received a brochure of a slate of candidates of Democracy Direct White Rock.

Do we really need slates of political parties in municipal elections?

I think the slate diminishes the healthy discussion process to look at every major issue critically before making a decision for the betterment of its community and the businesses.

Let me qualify first, because I have been a resident of White Rock for less than three years. I moved from Burlington, Ont. after living there for 45 years. I did experience a small city with its good location, committed council and managed development to become the best city to live in Canada, instead of severe winter storms.

We do enjoy the beautiful city of White Rock, and our daily walks to the promenade. Life is also easier with friendly neighbours, and every thing available at walking distance.

In my opinion, we should all engage in this election and elect a team of practical dreamers who can work together without petty politics to make this small city a dream city on the sea to live, work, retire, and where small business will thrive.

The city faces lot of challenges short- and long-term, such as infrastructure. Development and public review of the official community plan, water supply, tax burden.

Marine Drive is congested with crowded promenade trail. Accessibility of parking lots and new proposed five-storey garage location is a problem during the summer months, especially during the weekends.

The city will also face a challenge of population growth and changing demographics.

We may find solutions with the participations of region and, other stakeholders by electing committed members of council, and the mayor to steer the city in the right direction.

Nirmal S. Takhar, White Rock

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