Hello and welcome to Scott Kristjanson’s blog.
Who am I?
I am a proud member of the White Rock community who wants to work with City Council to make our City By the Sea even better!
- a Computer Geek & Software Project Manager with 35 years high tech experience
- someone who knows how to work with people to accomplish great things
- Husband, Father, Labradoodle Owner, and a good guy
- UBC Grad in Computer Science with Electrical Engineering electives, PhD Candidate at SFU in Computing Science
- Graduate of Algonquin College Wine Appreciation, Wine and Food Pairings, and Sommelier Program
- Graduate of Rosewood Studios Fine Wood Working and Cabinet Making courses
- Studied theatre, singing, cooking, wine, art, woodworking and cabinet making
- Chess Player (Candidate-Master level), Cribbage Player, Euchre Player
- Runner – 6 marathons, Scuba Diver, Sky Diver (Broke both feet!), Golfer, Skier
- Lover of the Arts, dabble in acting, singing, panto, and painting.
- I have been on stage at the White Rock Playhouse and volunteered at five different theatre companies both on and off stage
- I enjoy our many Art Galleries and will miss our friend and Artist Serge who moved out of his waterfront studio due to paid parking killing his business. I love his work! He has moved to Langley.
I used to believe that White Rock City Council was doing an excellent job when I first moved to this town, and then I started attending City Council meetings. What I have seen at City Hall concerns me. The Mayor and City Councillors have consistently ignored the people of this community when it comes to excessive development and increased density. As the mayor said recently in the Surrey Now, higher density is coming to White Rock whether residents “want it or not!”. Well Mr. Baldwin, the residents of White Rock do not want increased density at all costs. What they want, is a city council that listens to residents, and not just to developers!
City Council’s focus on increased development has me concerned about the future of White Rock as a place to raise families. Growth is needed, but it needs to be done gradually and with consideration for current residents, and without losing the feeling of community that makes White Rock such a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
City Hall needs to listen to the concerns of residents rather than focus on the needs of developers and their short term interests in profit. The Official Community Plan (the OCP) is not just a guideline to be ignored, it is required that good government stick to the OCP and change it only when supported by the community. Let’s ensure growth is done sustainably to maintain our city’s unique ambiance while providing excellent shops and services and Art Galleries and Theatres to draw in all the people from surrounding communities as customers and friends, without the need to over expand White Rock’s resident population.
My priorities are:
- Development and Towers are out of control in White Rock and it is pushing out local businesses and residents alike. Our city is a mess created by the White Rock Coalition who plan to approve a dozen or more 30+ story highrises along North Bluff, and ten highrises along Marine Drive. We do not have the infrastrcture to support this mess and they are destroying our parks and our community in the service of developer greed.
- Council should focus on the needs of residents not developers, and not approve more towers until our water, our hospitals, schools, roads and city services can keep up with the proposed growth, while still fostering a healthy environment for our local businesses instead of forcing stores like BuyLow out of businesses.
- We need to switch to clean and safe metro vancouver water as recommended by Fraser Health in 2013. Instead of spending $25M+ on trying to clean up this contaminated water, we connect up to Metro Vancouver water and safe money while also protecting our health.
- Provide incentives for local business to invest in their businesses by reducing their taxes, eliminate pay parking, and encourage shoppers from South Surrey and White Rock to shop in White Rock. A strong local business community helps everyone in White Rock.
- Return City Council’s focus to enhancing our community, our beach, and our waterfront areas as well supporting and promoting the arts and theatre within our community.
- Work closely with Transport Canada and those in Ottawa to move the trains out of our city for a safer community. Working with large corporations like BNSF and Transport Canada can be done, but it takes a win-win attitude of cooperation and mutual benefit. You cannot make progress by dictating solutions and being “the Boss”. The Mayor needs to understand that.
More about me:
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 have created and 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Thanks for visiting,