WHITE ROCK â€” Come December, residents will see three new faces grace the council table in the City by the Sea. With two newcomers and a returning former councillor, the three mark a shakeup of just under half of the current council makeup.
Former councillor and White Rock BIA president Lynne Sinclair will mark her return to the table after having served as a councillor from 2008 to 2011.
â€œIâ€™m really pleased to be back on council and I think weâ€™ve got a really good group to work with,â€ she said two days after being elected. â€œI always say the people are right, they decide and Iâ€™m really pleased.â€
Sinclair said she would be tendering her resignation at the BIA, which she had discussed with the organization prior to running.
â€œI had taken a leave during the election before I filed my papers and I could be in a conflict of interest in terms of some of the issues going forward so I think it would be best for myself and the BIA to sever that relationship,â€ she explained.
Sinclair served with the group for the past two years, and said despite leaving she hopes to continue her work to help promote business in White Rock.
â€œI really enjoyed it and believe very much in shopping local and I want to live in a town where I can do my shopping, I donâ€™t want to have to go somewhere else,â€ she said. â€œI think thatâ€™s a really important part of livability.â€
As for working with Mayor Wayne Baldwin, whom Sinclair ran against and was defeated by in the 2011 election, she said she was looking forward to it.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t personal, it may have felt personal at the time but it wasnâ€™t,â€ said Sinclair about campaigning three years ago. â€œWayne and I have worked together a number of times over the years especially when I got involved with the BIA and I think heâ€™s done a good job. This is a mayor who is very competent and I appreciate that and I think weâ€™ll be a good team.â€
Another familiar face around city hall, but not on the other side of the council table, is newcomer David Chesney. Having been an active community member for years as editor and founder of the White Rock Sun website, Chesney had put his name forth in five previous elections, always remaining a position or two away from being elected. Proving persistence pays off, Chesney will finally have his opportunity to serve the residents from a decision-making point of view.
â€œHad I got my ass kicked I would have walked away years ago but there was always that support there,â€ he said. â€œI delivered my message as straight clean as possible and I stayed out of the mud. I wanted to stay positive and thatâ€™s what I hope for in the coming term as a councillor. I donâ€™t want negative energy.â€
Chesney said heâ€™s ready to get down to business as soon as heâ€™s sworn in Dec. 1.
â€œI hope we can go in and throw our jackets over the back of our chairs and do the best we can for the people of White Rock,â€ he said. â€œThatâ€™s what weâ€™re elected to do, weâ€™re public servants, weâ€™re civil servants and I take that with a great deal of pride.â€
Top of mind for Chesney will be densification and development, which he said he heard plenty of concern about during his campaigning.
â€œThatâ€™s simple, we have a town centre area where the highrises are supposed to be and thereâ€™s no wiggle room for me on that,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m not going to be approving and voting for any (highrise) development outside of the town centre."
Chesney said he also hopes to be a voice for the people at the council table.
â€œThere are so many great ideas that Iâ€™ve heard from people that live in our community that theyâ€™ve felt frustrated that nobody will listen to them,â€ he said. â€œWell Iâ€™ll listen to them now and will try to act upon those things.â€
Asked about what heâ€™ll do with the White Rock Sun, Chesney said heâ€™ll continue to run the online news site and hopes to now include a â€œcouncillorâ€™s reportâ€ to breakdown for residents what theyâ€™ll be doing at the council table.
â€œEver since I started the paper Iâ€™ve asked anyone on council to do some kind of council report so Iâ€™ve put that offer out there time and time again and nobodyâ€™s taken me up on it,â€ he said. â€œI think if anything, me being on council will give me the opportunity to disseminate the council news and notes in a timely fashion.
â€œI didnâ€™t start the White Rock Sun to use as a stick to hit people with. If anything Iâ€™ll be a little more conscious in my editorials, but I donâ€™t know to be honest. To me, what happens at White Rock council is a small portion of what the White Rock Sun is all about.â€
Finally, fellow council newcomer Megan Knight was out of country and unable to be reached by the Nowâ€™s deadline. Knight first ran in the 2012 White Rock byelection and came second to winner Bill Lawrence. Knight and Sinclair are part of the White Rock Coalition along with incumbents Grant Meyer and Lawrence. Chesney ran as an independent, as did incumbent Helen Fathers.