WHITE ROCK â€” The race is on for the White Rock mayorâ€™s chair.
While current mayor Wayne Baldwin seemed poised to win by acclamation going into the 2014 civic election, a quick filing of paperwork Thursday (Oct. 9) led to a new challenger arriving on scene.
That challenger is David Bradshaw, a resident whoâ€™s appeared before council in the past and wasnâ€™t satisfied with what heâ€™s seen at city hall.
â€œDemocracy is all about choice and I think the community deserves a choice, thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m running,â€ he said. â€œIf thereâ€™s an acclamation it means the electorate agrees with what youâ€™re doing and that canâ€™t happen because thereâ€™s so much disagreement out there, so weâ€™ll have a good old-fashioned democratic process debate.â€
Baldwin said he fully expected someone else would come forward to challenge him.
â€œIn the past thatâ€™s always been the way it has been, I donâ€™t think weâ€™ve ever had an acclamation that I recall,â€ said Baldwin. â€œSomebodyâ€™s always come in at the last minute.â€
Bradshaw appeared before council earlier this year to question the city about their policies protecting residents from worksite contaminates such as silica dust, asbestos and the like. At the time he was concerned with the lack of response from the city after he and his neighboursâ€™ homes were inundated with particulates from a nearby construction site.
â€œThatâ€™s what kind of got me going, the more I dealt with the city the more I realized how disorganized and confused they are and how they do not have the level of service in relation the number of taxes people pay,â€ he said.
Baldwin said he doesnâ€™t know Bradshaw personally, but remembers him from his dealings with council.
â€œHe has an issue with the building department and I guess that has prompted him to seek the mayorâ€™s chair,â€ Baldwin said.
Having moved to White Rock two years ago, Bradshawâ€™s professional past includes being president of a provincial union, manager of Vancouverâ€™s police union and having run an independent workersâ€™ compensation law practice.
On top of structural organization at city hall, Bradshaw said he also wants to curb development of highrises in the area and bring taxes more in line with the services residents receive.
â€œThe mayor should be a good listener and listen to what the community has to say,â€ he said. â€œThatâ€™s one of my strengths as a listener, a councillor and advocate to listen to the resident and I donâ€™t think this mayor listens to the community.â€
For his part, Baldwin wished Bradshaw the best in the race and is looking forward to meeting with residents on the campaign trail.
â€œYou have to put your dues in and I always think if youâ€™re going to be the mayor, you should have some background in the community and some community involvement,â€ he said.