Scott Kristjanson for Mayor of White Rock – Why I running for Mayor

Why am I running for Mayor?

As one of your White Rock City Councillors for the past four years, it has been my honour to serve the community. I am proud of all that we have done together, but there is so much more we can do. It would have been easy for me to run as Councillor again. I have built up a reputation for making strong data driven decisions. I read staff recommendations, but I am able to ask the tough questions to get below the surface and make the right decisions.

While I enjoyed being on Council with Mayor Walker and my other City Councillors, I believe I can provide stronger leadership to get Council and Staff working together to serve our community better.

I have a proven track record of voting according to the Democracy Direct principles of listening to residents, and following my fiduciary duty to vote in the best interests of the city. I make data driven decisions, I listen to residents and local businesses to ensure I understand the issues that affect people the most.

City Hall has become a toxic work environment under Mayor Walker. Staff attrition is at an all time high under Mayor Walker with almost 100% turnover of senior staff during our term as well as about 20% of middle management have left. That’s not right and it is not being addressed.

I believe I have the skills and work experience from working in business at Nortel Network and Amazon for almost 30 years. Let me bring that level of excellence to City Hall. During my 26 years in Nortel as a software engineering leader, I received awards for being on the first Continuous Improvement team in Nortel. We took on the task of improving work productivity and employee morale. When we started, employees spent 4 out of every 8 hours of the day setting up the lab and being unproductive. As a team, we took a deep dive into the processes involved and gathered data on where the time was being wasted. We worked together to make small changes to the process and measured the improvement to ensure we were going in the right direction. It was a team effort full of collaboration and team morale climbed as we started to see improvements. After a few months, instead of spending 4 hours to set up for the day, employees set up time was reduced to 5 minutes. The company saved money, we delivered to the customers faster, and employee satisfaction went way up. I believe I can bring that same spirit of cooperation and process improvement to improve city service and boost employee job satisfaction and retention. A win-win for staff and for our residents.

As your next Mayor, I want to focus on improving our city and creating a better community feel and quality of life for our residents and local businesses.

Our Official Community Plan (OCP) talks about Connecting to the Water. I would like to do more to help seniors and other residents travel easily between the waterfront and town center. In 2019, our current City Council met with residents to determine what our taxpayers priorities were. The top three were: Reduce OCP Maximum Heights, provide clean drinking water, and build a gondola or funicular connecting the waterfront to town center.

As a Council, we passed my motion to reduce building heights in town center from a maximum of 29 stories down to 12. We also opened the Water Treatment Plant started by the previous Council and our water has never been cleaner. But we made no progress on other priorities such as the creation of the gondola or restoration of solid waste pickup for stratas. I want to change that and as your Mayor, I will ensure we get these things done and more!


Why a Gondola to the waterfront?

We now have a large population in town center, but finding parking during the Summer can be almost impossible. Imagine being able to walk from town center, take a gondola near where the farmer’s market is, and take a scenic trip down to Marine Drive near the pier.

It can be paid for through our existing CACs and grants from TransLink to enable people to travel to and from the beach without using their cars. Imagine being able to take a gondola from the beach up to the Farmer’s market using a gondola. All those living in the town center could use the gondola to support our marine drive restaurants or enjoy the beach, without the hassle of driving and all the exhaust created as people search for a parking spot. Less cars means better air and less noise and pollution. Let’s make things happen White Rock.

Vote Scott Kristjanson for Mayor of White Rock.

I may be last on the ballot, but I hope I will be first on your mind on voting day Oct 15th. It is your city by the sea, and with Scott as your Mayor, you’ll definitely have your say. Together, we can get good things done.

My Platform

  1. Stick to reduced heights and density within our OCP. No spot zoning.
  2. Ensure we have clean Drinking Water at a lower cost
  3. Improve City Services
    • Rebuilding the relationships between City Council and Staff
    • Restoration of Solid Waste Pickup for Strata’s and Restaurants
    • Review and guarantee reasonable timelines for single family home approvals
      • Single family home approvals used to take 1 month in White Rock, under Mayor Walker it now takes 2+ years. My goal in my next term is to reduce this to 6 months with the eventually goal to get it back to one month in most cases.
  4. Use our cash reserves of $17M to improve our infrastructure
    • This money was paid by developers from the last council for bonus height. Let’s use the money paid to use by developers to make our city better. It has been sitting unused for 4 years. That’s your money. Let’s create a plan to use it to make our city awesome!
    • $4M in affordable housing 
    • $3M for the Helen Fathers Memorial Walkway
    • $10M left to still available for other amenities. I will work with residents to create a plan!
    • Improve our infrastructure, roads, and parks
    • Reopen Coldicutt Ravine
    • Create an Arts Hub to replace the Landmark Gallery
    • Build a gondola to connect Town Center to Marine Drive
    • Rebuild the West wharf on the pier
  5. Support Local Businesses and help them rebuild after the pandemic
  6. Help seniors stay in their homes by reducing taxes and retaining older affordable rentals
  7. Reduce taxes by eliminating wasteful spending and consultant fees
  8. Maintain the excellent relationship we built with our Semiahmoo First Nations neighbors
  9. Support new development within our city, but only if it makes are city more livable and is supported by the majority of residents who speak at the public hearing.

What I won’t do as your new Mayor

  • I won’t repeat what Megan Knight, Bill Lawrence, and Grant Meyer did as part of the White Rock Coalition when they took donations from developers and then approved over ten high rise buildings during their term. That included approving the 21 and 24 storey Elegant towers on Oxford Street even though 98% of all White Rock residents who spoke at the Dec 7th 2015 public hearing were against it.
  • I won’t do what Mayor Walker did in 2022 when he hired a pro-development consultant to undo all the good work we did to limit heights and density in White Rock. The city paid over $160k for this consultant who wrote the “12-Apostles of Affordable Housing” document that does nothing to create affordable housing. While it is written in rosy language of affordability, it is disingenuous and advocates for more height (25 floors) in Town Center, elimination of public hearings, and the eliminations of single family neighborhoods and encouraging 4 storey commercial buildings on every street corner and conversion of single family homes to triplexes without public hearings or a vote by Council. No wonder Darryl Walker left Democracy Direct! Because Democracy Direct was about being transparent and listening to taxpayers. The “12-Apostles” eliminates all this and more.
  • I will not do what Mayor Walk did and shut down public input by closing committees such as the Water Quality Public Advisory Committee that was an important opportunity for hearing concerns and addressing them. I will act with integrity to work with Council and staff to work together and focus on providing better quality services to taxpayers at reduced costs. I will ensure residents on committees have a voice to create positive change. Together we are stronger when we listen to all voices, not just those that agree with staff.

Why a Gondola connecting Town Center to Marine Drive?

  • Great question! It is contrary to my frugal nature but its a good long term investment.
  • First, as your Mayor, I would never take on a big project like this without public consultation.
  • A gondola would allow all new residents easy access to the beach without driving.
  • The gondola would ease parking at the beach by providing an alternate to driving.
  • This would help Marine Drive businesses by making their stores easier to access.
  • It would be a tourist attraction and another reason for visitors to enjoy our beautiful city.
  • By partnering with Translink and the Province, grants will ensure taxpayers are protected.
  • Partnering with Translink, long term we can use the gondola to transport commuters to the train station for rail travel to downtown Vancouver, reducing congestion on Highway 99. No commitment from Translink yet, but even the longest journey starts with that first small step.

The Official Community Plan

White Rock’s Official Community Plan (OCP) is available on the White Rock City Website here and was written in 2017. The OCP before it was written in 2008 and is also available on the city’s website here.

The Community Charter and Local Government Act dictate that the OCP should capture how members of the community want their city to look like in the future. While the ideas behind city planning are complex, the OCP should be written with clarity in mind so that the average residents can understand what the OCP says, and how it affects the future of their city, yet the OCP also needs to precisely describe that vision so that Council an City Planners and developers can use it to make good decisions.

One way we can do better as a community is to make the OCP more accessible to the public, so they can use it to make informed decisions about their homes and home purchases in the future.

 

 

Council Candidate Scott Kristjanson talks about Affordable Housing at the PH2H All Candidates Meeting on Oct 9th

Scott talks at the Sept 9th All Candidates meeting sponsored by Peninsula Homeless to Housing (PH2H) task force. In this talk, I speak about my background and why he started volunteering to help the seniors raise awareness of a proposed South Surrey Casino coming to White Rock, and how Mayor Baldwin’s “I am the Boss” speech during the White Rock Muffler Site Public Hearing convinced him to create the Facebook community page NoMoreHighRisesInWhiteRock so he could call out Council on their bullying of the public and to raise public awareness of issues and awesomeness within their community.

In 2012, whle at SFU as a PhD Candidate in Computer Science, I started attending Council Meetings in my spare time. I met a group of seniors who warned that a South Surrey Casino was being proposed by White Rock. I had friends who got addicted to a nearby casino, got into credit card debt, lost their home on Lake Simcoe, and got divorced. All because of Gambling Addiction.

So I attended the Casino meeting and got involved when I learned that this excellent group of seniors had no website to help get the work out. So I volunteered my time, created the No Casino in South Surrey Facebook site, the NoCasinoSurrey website, a twitter account, and I became the Vice-President of the NoCasinoSurrey association.

I ran the social media campaign for them as a volunteer, and combined my research with others to produce a 42-page report called All That Glitters is not Gold for Surrey Council in 2012 that showed how Casinos hurt society, are being used to launder drug money, and also showed that  BCLC was likely targeting White Rock Seniors.

We presented our findings to Surrey City Council at the Public Hearing in January 2013, and Mayor Diane Watts agreed with us that a Casino would be a negative impact on Surrey residents quality of life and would increase crime, and the Casino was defeated. Meanwhile, Mayor Baldwin would not even discuss the matter in White Rock Council meetings.

Since 2012, I have spoken many times in White Rock Council meetings and Public Hearings. I have spoken about affordable housing, how tax dollars are being spent on helping developers rather than on providing infrastructure, about how building towers pushes people out of our community, and the need to switch to safe and clean Metro Vancouver drinking water as recommended by Fraser Health in 2013, and by the White Rock Safe Water Alliance in 2013, and the White Rock Lead, Arsenic, and Manganese Working Group.

Little Things Matter: Our children and White Rock’s unsafe drinking water

Watch this short 7 minute video that Dr. Lanphear presented last night in White Rock on the dangers of even small amounts of lead and arsenic in our White Rock drinking water.

There are NO safe levels and fetuses and the young are being placed at risk because the city wants a “cash cow”. That’s not right!

White Rock water has far higher levels of both of these toxins in our drinking water than the maximum amount allowed. Their plans to reduce the levels will do little to help our most vulnerable residents: our children.

Fraser Health recommended in 2013 that we switch to Metro Vancouver water which has ZERO lead and arsenic.Council chose to ignore that recommendation and continue to use lead, arsenic, and manganese contaminated White Rock well water because it was a “cash cow”. That’s not right!

#VoteSmart on Oct 20th because #HealthMatters.
Vote for Democracy Direct because your health and the health of children matters.

Thank you to Dr.Lanphear and thanks to Ross Buchanan for bringing White Rock this important information about the impact of our drinking water on our health.

My Commitment to Our Community

I have been in White Rock since 2010 because I believed that this White Rock would be a great small town community to raise my  family.  Since 2012, I have helped various community organizations by donating my time and energy to help community groups get the word out by creating websites, Facebook pages, and twitter accounts for them. As I learned more about the issues, I created my own community pages to help educate the public, and learn from them by reading their comments and answering their questions.

I have spoken at Council Meetings and Public Hearings dozens of times. I have reminded Council that their Fiduciary Duty is to act for the benefit of residents and local businesses, not out of town developers and certainly not themselves. I have raised concerns about approving new towers without sufficient infrastructure or public support. I have raised questions about water quality and how increased development is making housing less affordable and pushing long time residents out of their own city.

I have watched as the Mayor bullied residents, cut off their mic, called in the RCMP to intimidate residents for stating their opinions during public hearings, and I have watch this council approve developments where 98% of White Rock residents who spoke, including a former Mayor and a former councillor, all objected to the project.

I love White Rock, but it has changed far too much over the last four years. This change has not been positive, and it is driven entirely by greed. I worry that excess development is destroying our city, that need for better infrastructure is being ignored, that our water is unsafe to drink with excessive levels of arsenic, manganese, lead, and glyphosate.

I believe our  beautiful city is being mismanaged and exploited, having gone from virtually debt free four years ago to now being over $30M in debt. Clearly all this development, and all the taxpayer money that goes into subsidizing developers, is not helping to reduce our taxes, but are increasing them.

Something in White Rock stinks, and it is not just the water! By voting smart, we can elect a council that listens to residents, local businesses, and responsible developers to create a positive long term vision for White Rock that works for everyone, not just a few. With the right vision, White Rock has all the natural beauty to become BC’s next Carmel, Cannon Beach, and Steveston all rolled into one. Can we fix this? Together, YES WE CAN!

Here are some of the websites that I run, or that I support within our community.

NoMoreHighRisesInWhiteRock on Facebook since 2012

  • Providing the community updates on what our Mayor and City Council are doing, both the good and the bad, and calling out their lies when they do. This site is concerned with the excess development that is destroying our community, and driving out local businesses, and about the lack of clean safe drinking water in White Rock, and that we do not have enough water to fight a large fire.

White Rock Safe Water Alliance on Facebook and website since 2015

  • Providing the community with specific information about water quality issues in White Rock, and the health impacts of our water’s excessive levels of arsenic, manganese, lead, and gyphosate, much of which comes directly from our wells that draw from the Sunnyside Aquifer that is being contaminated by run-off from local blueberry farms (pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers) and natural occurring heavy metals. Fraser Health recommended in 2013 that White Rock stop using its wells, and connect up to Safe and Clean Metro Vancouver water. Mayor and Council instead decided to keep using our well water because it was a “cash cow”. Since then, water rates have doubled, and they have spent over $25M on water treatment that has yet to improve our water. Meanwhile there are six valves along North Bluff that connect us to Metro Vancouver water. We could have safe and clean drinking water today simply by turning on those six valves. Vote for Scott, and I will make that happen because providing safe and clean drinking water is a city’s job #1.

NoCasinoSurrey website and No Casino in South Surrey on Facebook since 2011

  • When I learned from Terry McNiece that there was a large Casino being planned for South Surrey, I volunteered to help the group NoCasinoSurrey by becoming their official Geek-in-Charge of all their social media including the website, facebook page, and twitter accounts. I volunteering over 300 hours of my time, to run their social media campaign. Being a University PhD student at the time, I lent my research skills to the group, and combined with three other brilliant members of the group, we created a 47 page report to council on the effects of gambling on society, on personal health, and on the local economy. We presented our findings to Surrey Mayor Diane Watts in 2013, and to our delight we successfully convinced Council to reject the proposed casino.

The Impact of Arsenic, Lead, and Other Metals in our Drinking Water

Want to get the facts on your Drinking water rather than political spin and lies? Attend this free talk, The Impact of Arsenic, Lead, and Other Metals in our Drinking Water, by Dr. Bruce Lanphear who is a respected Professor of Environmental Health at Simon Fraser University.  Brought to you by our good friend Ross Buchanan and Sponsored by The White Rock Lead, Arsenic, and Manganese Working Group.

37904306_10217099983957475_95084532914454528_o

Dr.Lanphear's Talk

Is White Rock Water safe to drink?

The answer to that question depends on whether you ask a politician or a scientist!

During the 2017 Annual Financial Statement public hearing, Mayor Baldwin was once again caught misleading the public.

 

According to the city’s own records, if you can believe them to be accurate since Fraser Health provides no independent oversight, arsenic levels exceeded the guideline limit of 0.01 mg/L twice in 2017. And, according to the metal results, manganese levels exceeded the Maximum Allowable Concentration (MAC) guideline limit 31 times.

2017 Annual Report
In what can only be described as a poorly rehearsed scripted show, CAO Bottrill first claims that he is not aware of arsenic ever exceeding max allowable limits. Then Mayor Baldwin asks him to confirm that it never exceeded limits, and Bottrill echoed back “correct”, despite having just said that he was not actually aware of the numbers, and despite the city’s own data showing that limits have been exceed multiple times.

#VoteSmart on Oct 20th. White Rock deserves better and your #HealthMatters

Read all about it in the PAN by clicking on the image above, or clicking here.

Want to get the facts on your Drinking water rather than political spin and lies? Attend this free talk, The Impact of Arsenic, Lead, and Other Metals in our Drinking Water, by Dr. Bruce Lanphear who is a respected Professor of Environmental Health at Simon Fraser University.  Brought to you by our good friend Ross Buchanan and Sponsored by The White Rock Lead, Arsenic, and Manganese Working Group. 37904306_10217099983957475_95084532914454528_o

Dr.Lanphear's Talk

 

Thanks Ross! And thank you Dr. Lanphear!

Mayor Falsely claims Moratorium on future highrises illegal. Even the dogs don’t buy that one!

Councillor Dave Chesney made a motion in Council to put a moratorium on future development of highrises in White Rock. As you may recall, Mayor Baldwin and CAO Bottrill claimed that such a move would be illegal. Mayor Baldwin and Bottrill are clearly wrong, and their claim of  “ultra vires” is laughable. It is not even a legal term. Saying it in Latin does not make it true.
Dave then amended his motion, to ask for a legal opinion on whether or not a moratorium on future developments was legal. Mayor Baldwin and his White Rock Coalition rejected this motion as well. Clearly they know that the Mayor is wrong, and a legal opinion would certainly say so, otherwise they would not block Chesney’s excellent request!
Of course it is perfectly legal, and if Council will not do what is right because they are beholden to developers, we the people still can. Sign Democracy Direct’s petition to put a moratorium on future developments, and you can make a difference.
Vickie and the Petition
Lots of taxpayers are wanting to sign the Petition for a moratorium on future highrises, including ones with fur at the City Hall today. If you would like to sign the petition you can go to democracydirect.ca where it is online or sign it at the White Rock Market on Sundays from 10 AM to 2 PM.
#VoteSmart on Oct 20th because who represents you matters!

Walking White Rock streets now a danger, senior says

I spoke to many seniors today who have complained about how they have found it so difficult to walk along Johnston through all the construction. Three seniors have described how they have fallen and hurt themselves on the gravel.

Meanwhile, there are those who support Mayor Baldwin and his Condo-Coalition’s destruction of our city who claim that all this development is about making our sidewalks safer and that I am over-reacting.

Johnston Road Dangerous

It is laughable to say that this construction was about fixing the unsafe sidewalks. This is about greed, and having White Rock residents pay for that greed. The sidewalks were safer before the construction and there was only a small stretch that needed repair. Two seniors have already reported being injured in falls here during the construction.

If this was about safety, why did they rip up both sides of Johnston at once instead of leaving one side usable by seniors at all times? This is about rushing to get the development done before this council is voted out on Oct 20th. To get it done, they are doing it all at once so developers get what they need for their towers before we can prevent it.

If this was about sidewalk safety, there was only about 30 feet of unsafe sidewalk on the East side by the old Penguin Meats location. That could have been fixed at a fraction of the cost while also keeping seniors safe. This is about building water and sewer capacity for the new towers that the majority of White Rock residents opposed.

This project is costing tax payers $9M but the developers are only paying half the cost. Tax payers are paying the other half. We get only $500k per tower in development fees. In order to pay for it, we would need 18 towers along this three block stretch of Johnston. The first block is costing tax payers $3M and with three towers being planned here, developers are only paying half: $1.5M. That’s not right.

Mayor Baldwin’s response to Ms.Egger after walking the street himself?
” I will send a message to staff about dealing with it ASAP”.
Who then goes on to blame other councils, even through Baldwin was CAO at the time and was credited for getting Bosa pushed through council in 2005.

That’s not good enough Mayor Baldwin!
Good management accepts responsibility and would have planned for safe development from the start, not think about it as an after thought after people get hurt and go to the media.

A good Mayor would never have allowed both sides of the street to be torn up at the same time, and a good Mayor would have honored their fiduciary responsibility to White Rock residents, and not approved these towers that the majority of residents oppose now, and opposed in 2005.

This Council is to blame, and this Mayor and his Council must take responsibility for it.

Click on the picture above to read this Peace Arch News article and it is clear that safety for seniors is not a priority. Shame on Council! #VoteSmart on Oct 20th.

Johnston Road Destruction - June 14th 2018

City Council approves adding Chloramine to your drinking water, ignoring health and environmental impacts

The City’s presentation on Chloramine isn’t science, its Fake News and political spin at its worst, because it adversely impacts our health and the health of our beach’s marine life while trying to falsely paint this toxic plan as a positive step.

The way to get rid of the brown muddy water is not to hide it with Chloramine, that is known to cause toxic health problems with humans (due to leaching lead from older pipes), and known to be deadly to marine life since Chloramine does not dissipate like chlorine does (Surrey tried Chloramine several years ago, and stopped once it killed all the salmon fry in the nearby creeks).

Don’t be fooled by someone telling you that it is safe to add more Chloramine to your drinking water because trace amounts of chloramine already exist in your water. That’s not science, that’s Fake News!

Blood Components - Science. It reduces the stupid

The adverse effects of chloramine that the city failed to mention in its presentation:
a) leaches lead from city and domestic plumbing;
b) destroys rubber and plastic plumbing elements (gaskets,
toilet flappers, etc.);
c) corrodes copper pipes, joints and tanks, causing leaks within
walls and floors;
d) showers burns the skin of those with sensitivities;
e) causes respiratory problems;
f) shower vapor causes anemia and other blood disorders;
g) adversely affects the immune systems of the sick and elderly;
h) has been found to cause leukemia;
i) is harmful to babies of pregnant women;
j) cannot be used mixing infant formula;
k) has affected thousand of children’s brains across the world;
l) effects on human health have not been adequately researched;
m) effects on city and household distribution systems have not
been adequately researched
n) kills plants and insects and degrades soil;
o) kills fish and other marine life;
p) is identified by Health Canada and World Health Organization
as a significant risk compared to chlorine;
q) cannot be removed by retail filter products;
r) removal requires an special and expensive special whole-house
filtration system; costing thousands of dollars
s) is neither required nor preferred by Fraser Health.

You can read more at the White Rock Safe Water Alliance’s website here