WHITE ROCK â€” If you ask White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, his record says it all.
Just a week before the Nov. 15 election, the incumbent released his platform saying his past three years in office are the reason voters should consider him for another term.
â€œI think the top issue still remains dealing with the trains and public safety and the private water utility,â€ he said, referring to the rail relocation issue and the purchase of the cityâ€™s water supply from EPCOR.
Smart development is also top of mind for Baldwin.
â€œA lot of people are really upset about highrises, obviously thereâ€™s a lack of trust in the process but thatâ€™s not been an issue really,â€ he said. â€œWe had one real highrise application and a couple that got passed by the majority of council, but my point on this whole thing is that we should not be jumping into this highrise process until we go through the complete review of the OCP (Official Community Plan) within that Everall neighbourhood.â€
Referring to the 12-storey Cressey highrise that was approved for Vidal Street, Baldwin said he took issue with that particular development as not being right for the city.
â€œWe made a big mistake as a council in approving that Cressey project, that was not done right and I was really upset with that process, but thatâ€™s what the majority of council wanted,â€ he said, adding he wants to fight applications like that. â€œI donâ€™t think we should repeat that process and that we should go through a proper process that weighs all the issues in that neighbourhood â€” and thereâ€™s a lot of them.
â€œItâ€™s not just about no more highrises, thereâ€™s a lot of renewal that needs to be done.â€
Other key points Baldwin would want to focus on in a new term include maintaining White Rockâ€™s unique character as a beachfront community, minimizing taxation and controlling spending and maintaining the cityâ€™s high degree of public safety.
He said heâ€™d like to go through another OCP consultation process to update what the character and feel of certain neighbourhoods in the city should be.
â€œIf we come out at the end of it that thereâ€™s nothing higher than four stories then thatâ€™s fine too,â€ said Baldwin. â€œIâ€™m OK with that, as long as the neighbourhood and the people and public have a chance to weigh in on it.â€
Baldwin noted that despite some in the community claiming the contrary, White Rockâ€™s growth has actually been quite slow, increasing by 200 people â€œin a good year.â€
â€œOur finances are strong and spending is controlled. Our public consultation processes are honourable responsive and inclusive. I work for the betterment of all citizens in our community â€” connecting seniors, families, businesses, public services, social services and all those that love to come and visit our city.â€