Q&A – Henderson

1.    What community involvement have you had?  &  2.    What are the key issues facing WV and what action would you take in these areas of concern?

Community involvement: I’ve always tried to keep an eye on all significant issues arising in West Vancouver. I’ve been politically aware for 40 years. Back in the day, I was involved with a group (headed by Don Graham) that saved the old growth forest on Cypress Ridge threatened by a proposed golf course. I was also involved in forcing a referendum on the twin towers at Marine and Taylor Way. Unfortunately, in that case, council of the day [ in back room meetings] had gone too far with the process: the people of West Van voted “no” to that development but it was allowed to proceed in order to avoid a costly lawsuit. Remembering that fiasco increases my concerns over the 1300 block Marine Drive.
More recently I spoke against the Evelyn Drive project, warning that adding more cars to our usual gridlock at Taylor Way and Marine isn’t common sense. The proposed tower on the White Spot property could be the nail in the coffin: it’s like West Van’s aorta is blocked with cholesterol and city hall is considering opening a Fish and Chips stand. Most recently I fought to save our boat ramp. My friend Dave Steele and I spoke at the meeting, along with a few hundred concerned citizens, questioning the logic of removing public access to the ocean and replacing it with the odor of “deep fry”. That was a classic case of a communication breakdown between city hall and the citizens enjoying the boat ramp. They should have been the first people consulted.

3.  How do you achieve a balance of competing interests within the community?

It is vital that we consult with all groups involved when deciding even minor decisions.  Business, seniors, baby boomers, yuppies and newly arrived all have equal rights.
The only fair and democratic solution is through compromise negotiated in a totally open and transparent environment.

4.  Do you have expectations of change in the relationship between West Vancouver and the GVRD and between West Vancouver and the Provincial Government?

I plan to be doing a lot of fast learning on these topics. In general, I am sure that operating efficiencies within the GVRD can be improved. Provincially, the biggest issue for me is the new “super ” ferries …not so super to me. Since the start everyone has been affected by the surge of thousands of cars racing to and from the Nanaimo ferry. If an accident occurs between Taylor Way and Londsdale, our main arteries turn into parking lots: no one can go anywhere including emergency services.  A friend told me recently that the number of cars crossing our  rapidly aging bridges is over 10,000,000 per year. The super ferries should be operating at a new terminal, south of the airport. The construction of a new facility would be a great boost to the construction industry. I feel that with the cooperation of the Provincial government, this is an achievable goal.

5.   What management and organizational skills do you bring to this position?
I have worked over 35 yrs in construction. I left Simon Fraser Univesity in 1971 to find “the truth” and travel around the world for 2 years. Shortly after returning, my friend Paul Carroll and I started Carroll- Henderson contracting. Next I partnered with a high school buddy, Ross Hedley to form Tekton Construction Services Ltd. Ross went back to school to get his MBA and I carried on.
At my peak I had 10 employees and a dozen different sub-trades. Through the mid 80s’ until 2002 my work was high end renovation projects, custom homes  and some commercial projects [restaurants and stores]. I consider myself a good communicator: some times cheerleader, some times marriage counselor… I spent years mediating between my customers,  architects and engineers. I’m a good project organizer and can be a team player or take charge if called upon.

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