WHITE ROCK – Mayoral candidate David Bradshaw has unveiled his platform, citing a "community first" approach to the direction he wants to take White Rock.
As the only candidate challenging incumbent Wayne Baldwin, Bradshaw said his campaign would be focusing on three key issues: quality of life, the Official Community Plan (OCP) and tax reduction.
For the first point, Bradshaw said he’d like to see the essence of White Rock’s community preserved.
"We’re a beach community, not a highrise community, not a community about putting outside interests before the people living here," he said. "I am in favour of hearing from the community as much as possible in any ongoing administration, that includes referenda if necessary to engage where the community’s feelings are at on important issues."
That extends to development, said Bradshaw.
"I want to encourage development that harmonizes with the community’s values as opposed to strictly commercial interests," he added.
As for the OCP, Bradshaw said he feels the current administration has been selective at best in following the document.
"I don’t think the current administration is following it and I think they’ve created many diversions in order to avoid it," he explained. "There are too many zonings and a particular zoning called ‘comprehensive development’ allows developers to do anything they can get away with, so I want to see the OCP followed as the highest priority."
Finally, Bradshaw would like to see an increase in city services while at the same time reducing taxes for residents and businesses alike.
"I have a feeling once we get into the books, we’ll find ways to do both," he said, acknowledging the challenge. "I think the operations at the present time are very inefficient and ineffective and if we increase efficiencies there’s a good chance of doing both."
Bradshaw likened the current state of city hall departments to silos, in that they don’t seem to work together.
"The planning department is a world unto itself and the engineering department is a world unto itself. There’s a total lack of co-ordinated effort and that needs to change," he said. "If tax reduction is not possible, then we definitely need an increase in services. Why is our garbage now being picked up every two weeks instead of once a week? People are paying higher taxes and getting less service.
"I don’t think the current administration is listening to the community, I don’t think they are protecting the community in the areas that they should be and I don’t think they are providing the services they should be providing based on the current levels of taxation."