Q&A – Jim Finkbeiner

Jim Finkbeiner

1.  What community involvement have you had?
Coached soccer and baseball for many years. Director Mt. Seymour Youth Centre–built facility to accommodate Mt. Seymour youth. Served on Board of several not for profit organizations including Simon Fraser Alumni Assn., Zajac Foundation and Board of directors of Cap. golf club.

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?

A. Financial–spending per capital in WV already at elevated levels. Compensation makes up very significant % of budget. Municipality faces increasing infrastructure replacement costs and potential significant underfunded pension obligations. No sacred cows in addressing future potential financial shortfall. Real compensation must come down over time; increased productivity from employees; change culture throughout organization; sacrifices must potentially be made by all stakeholders in WV and, if so, they must be fair, and be seen to be fair;  outsource services where possible; share services with other municipalities;  consider sale of underutilized surplus assets; just say no to most proposed new initiatives; expand commercial tax base. All this will take time and in the face of limited short term scope to effect change. This is a long term project and the leadership must come from the top.
B. Traffic congestion-this problem is bad now and will only get worse going forward. Long term solution must involve third crossing to Vancouver/Burnaby and include rapid transit. We need to start process now including dialogue with other North Shore municipalities and provincial gov’t. We are just kidding ourselves if we don’t accept that a third crossing with rapid transit as part of the solution. Encourage more people to work closer to where they live. ie. more office and commercial in WV., more carriage houses, work with other municipalities to address common N.S. congestion issues.
c. Critical priorities-develop set of critical and essential issues facing community and prioritize them. Then clearly communicate them to the residents of WV to get their input and agreement. Without support of community it will be difficult, if not impossible, for municipal officials to take appropriate action. We all, to varying degrees, live in an era of entitlement. Combination of A. and C. provide insurance against unforeseen “black swan” events in the future.

3. Over the past few years, there has been much talk about rejuvenating Ambleside. What are your thoughts on that?

Ambleside rejuvenation-given all the time this initiative has been analyzed and debated, surely it is time to move forward and start the redevelopment .If done properly this project could be a huge success for WV. Will attract commercial and business activity, keep more workers on North Shore, increase tax base.

 4. Incumbents:  What has been your accomplishment in the last 3 years?   What do you hope to accomplish in the next 4 years?
Not applicable.

5. WVD’s tax base is heavily tilted to residential property taxes.  What would you do to broaden the tax base?

Broaden tax base-see 3 above. Also provide additional commercial and office space in WV, subject to demand. Provide additional community parking which should increase business activity in WV.

6. Tell us about your ideas to support commercial development in West Van.
Support commercial development-speed up approval process if project conforms to Official Community Plan. Support projects by providing expedited services required by municipality. Develop more community parking. Make WV business friendly.

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