1. What community involvement have you had?
I grew up in West Vancouver. My first job was delivering the NS News. I learned to sail at Hollyburn Sailing Centre. I learned to ski at Cypress.
Since returning to West Vancouver to raise a family, I have been active in the community. I am a Director of the Community Centre Services Society. I am a member of Council’s Community Engagement Committee. In addition, I have attended Council regularly over the past two years.
2. What are the key issues facing WV and what action would you take in these areas of concern?
There are a number of key issues arising in West Vancouver.
Most West Vancouver residents are concerned about tax levels and municipal spending. I would push District staff to consider all ways to make District operations more efficient and cost-effective. I would ensure that more information about taxes and spending is made available to the public, earlier and in a digestible form. I would also seek to create a forum for thoughtful, informed debate in the community on these matters. To these ends, I also support the appointment of a Municipal Auditor.
Another key issue facing West Vancouver is appropriate development. Going forward, the community requires a broader mix of housing alternatives to meet the needs of its members. Ambleside also requires commercial development to be reinvigorated. I would support development projects that fit in to West Vancouver, that meet the needs of its residents and that will be assets to the community in future. I will also insist that Council take the lead in the development process.
Finally, West Vancouver is facing a number of issues relating to neighbours such as British Pacific Properties, Park Royal, Metro Vancouver, and the Squamish Nation. I would take steps to build respectful and constructive relationships with these neighbours to better protect West Vancouver’s long term interests.
3. How do you achieve a balance of competing interests within the community?
I will use my expertise in dispute resolution to constructively resolve contested matters in West Vancouver. More specifically, I will first create a respectful atmosphere by listening to all perspectives with an open mind. I will then seek to find compromises that meet the needs of all parties. Finally, if compromise is not possible, I will use my judgement to make hard decisions in the best long term interests of the community as a whole.
4. Do you have expectations of change in the relationship between West Vancouver and the GVRD and between West Vancouver and the Provincial Government?
West Vancouver’s relationships with Metro Vancouver and the Province will always be somewhat dynamic. In dealings with these more senior levels of government, I would advocate strongly for West Vancouver’s interests. More specifically, I would protect West Vancouver’s ability to govern its own lands and affairs. I would also seek to ensure that West Vancouver pays no more than its fair share of the costs of regional initiatives such as the sewage treatment plant.
5. What management and organizational skills do you bring to this position?
I bring a number of management and organizational skills to this position.
In my work as a lawyer, I have managed large teams and large volumes of work in high stress environments. I am skilled in mediation and negotiation. I have experience in human resources, including the performance review and hiring processes. I have extensive experience working in a government setting and working with other levels of government. I also have experience governing several non-profit organizations, including overseeing the budgeting process.