What community involvement have you had?
I have provided event management services as a volunteer for the North Shore Coho Society / Coho Festival for the last seven years and West Vancouver Community Day for the last three years. I assisted the planning and management of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise’ Spring Fling in 2008. I have also volunteered a great deal outside of West Vancouver over the last decade.
What are the key issues facing WV and what action would you take in these areas of concern?
If elected I will listen to employees of the district, the businesses and most importantly the citizens to see what the real key issues are. The following are what people have been telling me they feel are the key issues. I have left out the Bus Shelters.
A. The various business districts need to have a plan made by the communities they are in, the business that are located there and the city. Each community needs to have its own Village Plan that defines and promotes their unique attributes and a map for future development to follow. If we can improve our business districts, especially Ambleside, the district will have a new revenue stream from new taxes and the citizens will have much improved services.
B. West Vancouver needs to work with developers to increase the variety and number of housing styles other than single family. Lionsview’s recent survey found that 40% of seniors expect they will have to leave the North Shore to find suitable housing. This often means moving away from family, and their social support system, which impacts their physical and mental health. At the same time new buyers that are trying to enter the market and cannot afford single family units are buying in our neighbouring municipalities Vancouver and North Vancouver. I am not suggesting mass subsidized housing rather types of accommodations that are more reasonably priced but market value.
C. The next municipal government needs to go back to a more transparent way of conducting itself. The citizens need to be included in the decisions that affect them. It is more difficult to have more stakeholders when it comes to making big decisions but it is the right way government to conduct itself.
D. Community based events that promote the arts, entertainment and community spirit need to be encouraged and supported by the district. Community events are an important part of developing community spirit, improving collaboration and add to the quality of life for the families who live here.
How do you achieve a balance of competing interests within the community?
The best answer is to first get a consensus of what the community believes is in its best interest. From this point all stakeholders need to meet and work to find the common ground that all interested parties can live with and is in the best interests of the community at large. It is harder than it sounds but it does work.
Do you have expectations of change in the relationship between West Vancouver and the GVRD and between West Vancouver and the Provincial Government?
The relationship between both Metro Vancouver (GVRD) and the Province is not negotiable and membership is not optional. With future infrastructure costs such as sewer and water from Metro Vancouver that could be in the billions, the relationship could become awkward. West Vancouver could try and get more members on the various committees to give us a better chance that decisions that affect our community are more in our favour that less.
What management and organizational skills do you bring to this position?
I have managed numerous establishments in the restaurant and hotel industry over the last twenty years and understand the needs of our business communities and what they need to succeed. During this time I have had to deal with many levels of both provincial and municipal governments. I have worked on many committees and boards both volunteer and business and have been very successful in providing these groups with strong leadership and creative problem solving. I also listened well to the various teams I have worked with, earned their trust and respect and was able to keep everyone on the same course. I have been successful forging strong relationships with business partners. I am honest. I care about people. I get the job done!