Mayor calls in RCMP to Remove Speaker at Public Meeting

The Mayor called in the RCMP once again at last night’s City Council meeting when he was upset with the public statement made by this senior. The Mayor and developer (who sits on the OCP Committee himself) and Lynne Sinclair objected to the statement. No White Rock citizens in the audience found the remarks out of line and supported Margaret Woods. Audience members questioned Mr. Baldwin’s demand that Margaret apologize or leave. Mr. Baldwin refused to answer questions from the audience about what specific words he objected to.

After an extended recess in which the Mayor waited for Margaret Woods to leave after having been denied an opportunity to speak further to the matter, the Mayor then instructed staff to call in the RCMP to remove Ms. Woods, and two constables arrived quickly.

RCMP Arrive on Mayor Baldwin's Orders    RCMP Arrive on Mayor Baldwin's Orders to Access the Situation

To the credit of the RCMP constables, they refused the Mayor’s request to remove Margaret Woods. She had said nothing wrong and had the right to state her opinion in a public meeting.

Mayor Baldwin was visibly upset during the Sept 28 City Council public meeting when Ms. Woods stood her ground to excercise her right to her opinion during the public hearing on a proposed Monster Home on Marine Drive, and the Police refused to take action against a member of the public that had done nothing wrong. With the unexpected recess over, the council meeting continued without incident or further drama. Mayor Visibly Upset After RCMP Refused to Take Action

Kudo’s to Margaret Woods for standing up for our right to stating a personal opinion at a City Council Public Meeting, and Kudo’s to the RCMP for coming so quickly and handling the whole mess so professionally!

White Rock can be proud of our citizens and of our RCMP.
Unfortunately, the Mayor’s behaviour was not something to be proud of. Mayor Baldwin should apologize to Ms. Woods and to the citizens of White Rock for his rash and bullying behaviour towards a member of the public. As least that is our opinion. What’s yours?

So what was all the fuss about?

As a quick summary: Margaret questioned why a Western Red Cedar on the property was being preserved. Given the already poor track record of clear cutting trees in White Rock by both developers and the City of White Rock, was the Western Red Cedar actually going to be protected, or was it just being preserved during the approval process as an excuse to build up the ground level by an additional 7 feet, thus giving the owner an additional 7 feet of improved view beyond what current zoning allows?

That sounds like a valid question and concern expressed by a citizen of White Rock during a public meeting on the proposed 12000 sq-ft home on Marine Drive overlooking the tracks. Other concerns expressed that night included concerns with the large amount that the house and pool were set back towards the slope and whether an assessment had been made on excess loading on the slope and landslide risk. I also mentioned that in 2013, Mayor and Council made maximum heights relative to Natural Historical land heights in Omnibus Bylaw 2000, and thus even if the developer added 7 feet of height to his property to protect the tree, this does not allow him an additional 7 feet in height according to the Mayor’s own bylaw.

Hope that helps. This is paraphrasing from the meeting. May have missed or misinterpreted something. The video from the City Council meeting is the most accurate way to hear what was said.

Monday’s City Council Meeting – Kudo’s to Some, Not so much for others

A very successful council meeting on Monday! The Community held a fantastic Rally of over 100 citizens who made it clear that “We are the Boss” and want our City by the Sea back under Citizen Control. The Peace Arch News article by Mesilla Smalley was excellent but held back a few punches too.Peace Arch News Photo - Residents Rally for Baldwin to Resign - Melissa Smalley Photo

The Metro Vancouver Planning Managers confirmed (several times) that White Rock controls its own grown targets through the OCP, which they emphasized IS the Law, while the Regional Growth Strategy is JUST a guideline. They also reduced the growth forecast for White Rock from 7000 to 3500. Kudo’s to Councillor Helen Fathers for seeking clarification and getting it very clearly stated from the Metro Van reps. No Kudo’s to Mayor Baldwin who tried to lead the witness and get them to say that the RGS was legally binding, which the Metro Van team made clear that it was not.

Kudo’s to City Planning Manager Karen Cooper who confirmed that given the new numbers, all required growth can and should occur in the designated city center high density zone specified by the OCP. Councillor Grant Meyer and Lynne Sinclair asked for clarification in an attempt to justify further future developments in various single family areas outside of the downtown core. No kudo’s to them, but kudo’s to Councillor Bill Lawrence and Megan McKnight who remained silent and appeared to fully accept the new direction. Let’s hope their votes reflect that in the future!

CAO Dan Bottrill confirmed that Councillor Dave Chesney was improperly censured earlier this year based on the Respectful Workplace Policy 405, which at the time did not apply to apply to City Council members, and thus could not be used to justify a Censure. Congrats and Kudo’s to Councillor Chesney for clarifying this important point with Mr. Bottrill and the City.

And great news that Texor has withdrawn their application to build a 15 story Mega-Condo at the Corner of North Bluff and Nichol. This might not be the last that we have heard of this development, but we applaud Texor for taking the concerns of residents seriously and withdrawing their application for now.

And finally, a warm welcome to our new RCMP Constable who attended the City Council meeting on Council’s request. He is new to White Rock and we appreciate his support and protection. While the constable appeared to enter council chambers on queue when Baldwin publicly insulted residents, kudo’s to the constable for quickly leaving Council Chambers when requested to do so by the general public.

White Rock – A City in turmoil as Citizens Call for Mayor Baldwin to Resign

White Rock council was greeted by a crowd of over 100 protestors yesterday requesting that “BALDWIN RESIGN NOW”, over comments Mayor Baldwin made in the Peace Arch News falsely stating that White Rock was legally obligated by the Regional Growth Strategy to absorb 7,000 new residents in the coming years. This statement was proven false in the Peace Arch New which quoted numerous sources including the Regional Growth Strategy itself.

Baldwin refused to back down from his unsupported and false claims, and instead lashed out at Councillor Helen Fathers for pointing out that the growth targets are non-binding goals.
Crowd of Protestors Calling for Baldwin to Resign Now

Read about the Protest and City Council Meeting in the Peace Arch News
Peace Arch News Photo - Residents Rally for Baldwin to Resign - Melissa Smalley Photo

METRO VANCOUVER reps were on hand during Monday’s Council meeting to bring some clarity to the community on request of Mayor Baldwin and Council. Try as Mayor Baldwin might to lead the witnesses, the MV Reps repeatedly made it clear that the Regional Growth Strategy is NOT legally binding, but is instead just a potential forecast and is subject to change as dictated and controlled by each municipality itself. They went on to say that each municipality sets their own growth targets and that it is the OCP that is legally binding, not the Regional Growth Strategy.

Allan Neilson, Metro Vancouver’s general manager of planning, policy and environment, and Elisa Campbell, Metro Vancouver’s director of regional planning, surprised Mayor Baldwin and Council by saying RGS is just a goal, the OCP is the Law, and they have revised White Rock Growth forecasts down from 7000 to 3400 additional residents by 2041

Allan Neilson, Metro Vancouver’s general manager of planning, policy and environment, and Elisa Campbell, Metro Vancouver’s director of regional planning, surprised Mayor Baldwin and Council by saying RGS is just a goal, the OCP is the Law, and they have revised White Rock Growth forecasts down from 7000 to 3400 additional residents by 2041

Kudo’s to the Metro Van Reps for not being bullied. In fact, they pointed out that the current growth target of 7000 was deemed to be too high by White Rock City Council, including Mayor Baldwin himself, who in 2013 requested that the target be reduced to more reasonable numbers. The RGS has now been amended to a lower goal of 3500 new White Rock residents by 2041 as requested by Mayor and Council themselves. This came as quite a surprise to City Planner Karen Cooper and Mayor Baldwin himself. Strange how the Mayor missed this fact even though he sits on the Metro Vancouver Board and would have been there for this decision!

During the City Council meeting, Mayor Baldwin angered many in the gallery by noting there was “a lot of lack of knowledge on the part of the public, because it’s something that’s very complicated.”. Several in the crowd shouted out in response to Baldwin’s remark, calling for the mayor to “respect your citizens.”

Soon after, a uniformed RCMP officer entered the Council Chambers and glared at the Citizens in the gallery in an apparent attempt to intimidate the crowd. Citizens were outraged and Ken Jones raised a motion of order, requesting that the RCMP Officer remove himself from Council Chambers. The RCMP Officer left, having served as an apparent warning to Citizens that Mayor Baldwin “is still the boss”… for now.

The Protest Group released a statement to the press calling for the resignation of Wayne Baldwin from his elected position of Mayor of White Rock, stating that through his actions, Wayne Baldwin has demonstrated that he does not have the best interests at heart for the overall good of the Community and they believe that he is no longer fit to serve the Public as Mayor.

You can read the full Press Release by clicking here.

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