1. What community involvement have you had?
On my return from travelling abroad, I was surprised and alarmed that Canada appeared to be losing its identity and becoming American. I was chosen to be on an interim heritage committee to make recommendations to WV Council. I was totally committed to establishing heritage awareness, ran for Council and was elected in 1988. Also became the first council heritage liaison. Organized Heritage Week for Feb 1989 (and every year since). I have only missed about a dozen ccl mtgs since 1988. I’ve been on many, many council committees and on the boards of many local groups (ratepayers, streamkeepers, historical, heritage, etc.). In particular, was on Council’s Community Engagement Committee which established the very successful, and OPEN, Working Groups.
My company put DWV on the Web before the District did and I produce a newsletter, West Van Matters, reporting on each council meeting (including a quasi-transcript)
[Please note, heritage has five categories: palaeontology, archaeology, architecture, history/culture, ‘scenic’ (landscape/environment.]
Heritage Week in February 2015 is highlighting business nodes.
2. What are the top 3 issues facing West Van that need to be addressed in the next 4 years? What action would you take in these areas?
1 – Review of the OCP including housing and neighbourhood character (maintaining our park-like character)
2 – Protection of our environment: waterfront, streams, the Upper Lands (parks and boulevards, ie public property)
3 – Examination of the Budget including efficiencies (eg, outsourcing, cooperation with NV), staff’s higher salaries than the private sector, plus services (Important to note in surveys citizens often say they would rather pay higher taxes than lose or decrease services — no doubt residents have high expectations — user fees may be one solution).
3. Over the past few years, there has been much talk about rejuvenating Ambleside. What are your thoughts on that?
There’ve been studies, let’s get a Working Group with staff, business representatives, ratepayers, and local residents to plan and implement!
(Parking is a concern that ought to be dealt with asap.)
4. Incumbents: What has been your accomplishment in the last 3 years? What do you hope to accomplish in the next 4 years? N/A
5. WVD’s tax base is heavily tilted to residential property taxes. What would you do to broaden the tax base?
Perhaps WV has an expenditure problem rather than a tax base problem. The community made a conscious decision not to have industry in WV. Yes, residents pay about 92% of the taxes and business 8%. Ambleside needs rejuvenation, so raising commercial taxes would not be an option.
Again, have a working group with residents to put their heads together to see what can be done.
It is yet again a question of what residents are willing to pay for what.
6. Tell us about your ideas to support commercial development in West Van.
Have the commercial areas draw up a list (even a wish list) that could then be evaluated by residents/ratepayers, Council, and staff to see what could and should be acted on. Everyone will probably agree with addressing traffic and parking issues. Adjusting hours might help as well.
Beautification and free events may attract people and liven things up a bit. A joyous fun place to be!