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.

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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White Rock City Council: Favoritism for the Few, leaves Frequent Frustration for Local Farmers and Residents Alike

White Rock Farmers’ Market start time too early?
The White Rock Farmers’ Market has been operating in Miramar Village Square since 2009 without a single noise complaint.
(See Peace Arch News White Rock Farmers’ Market disputes mayor’s ‘complaints )

The White Rock Farmers' Market has been operating in Miramar Village Square since 2009

The White Rock Farmers’ Market has been operating in Miramar Village Square since 2009

Yet Mayor Baldwin and City Councillors Bill Lawrence and Grant Meyer say that the Farmers Market 7am set up time is disturbing residents because one of their friends and fellow Coalition member, Cliff Annabelle, wrote the Mayor a single letter. Mayor Baldwin originally said that there had been many complaints over the years, then later admitted to PAN reporters that there are no other complaints on record. Just this one complaint, and in an instant, the rules for the Farmer’s market were changed because of this one complaint came from a friend of City Council.

If the Mayor and Council are so concerned about complaints, why did council ignore hundreds of complaints over the Vidal Street 12-Story Mega-Condo development that they approved? Or the White Rock Muffler Site Development’s excessive height? Or the sudden decision to move the location of the Evergreen Towers that needlessly destroyed heritage trees and impacted local residents and their property values? Or the hundreds of complaints over Omnibus Bylaw 2000 which allowed excessive heights on new buildings on the waterfront, blocking the view of all the existing residents and tax payers? Or the dozens of building permits that have destroyed heritage forests and allowed chain saws, jackhammers and trucks to disturb residents every morning at 7am?

Yet the mayor says “we have had complaints in the last couple of years” about the noise at the Market. Since when does one complaint constitute many? Clearly it does when it serves the Mayor’s agenda. Could this have more to do with White Rock City Council helping their fellow Coalition member while also sticking it to Councillor Helen Fathers who refused to join the Coalition in last years election?

Why is it ok for construction firms to start disrupting our city at 7am but not farmers? If only farmers could find a way to exploit local land to become rich so that they too could contribute to City Council campaigns. Perhaps they should build Condo Towers on their properties, then maybe our Council would listen.

Was this about Frustration with Farmers, or more about Friendly Favoritism for the Few? You decide.

Congrats to the Mayor and our new Council

Unfortunately, the Mayor and most of these Councillors are known for ignoring the concerns of citizens and doing what developers want. Another four years of towers, carriage homes, OCP Changes, neglect of infrastructure, and happy developers awaits.

Voters believed the Glossy Spin in the pamphlets and forgot what it was like at Public Hearings to be ignored by “the Boss” and all those Pro-Development City Councillors.

Happy for the Mayor and new City Councillors but sad for White Rock.

When candidates smear fellow candidates in a “moment of anger and outrage”, they soil us all. It is disappointing when voters condone such dirty politics and smear campaigns. David Bradshaw may not have been the perfect candidate, but all candidates deserve the respect of presenting their case to the electorate without mud. Voters deserve that too. Having thrown much mud, this new council can hardly be considered squeaky clean. Mud is difficult to wash off and this whole campaign has left us, and our White Rock, all a little more soiled.
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Meet with Candidates: David Bradshaw

It looks like there will be at least two candidates for the Mayor’s chair this year. That’s excellent news!

David Bradshaw entered the race this week for the Mayor’s chair. David decided to run because of how the City has allowed developers to run over the rights of Property Owners and virtually ignore the OCP and Bylaws. You may recall that David was recently in the Peace Arch Times complaining about how the City allowed developers to build over the OCP height restrictions, and that they were given specific permission by Mayor Wayne Baldwin himself. No one should be ignoring the OCP, especially the Mayor! You can read more about it here. Good luck David!

Here is what happened to David when the Mayor signed off to allow Tatla to exceed the agreed building height in front of David’s building:

“The buiding looked too high to me,” Bradshaw said as he observed work taking place just a few metres from his bedroom window. He said he was later advised – after pressing the mayor and chief building official for answers – “that the beam’s height was allowed to jumped by more than two feet from the 51.25-foot maximum that residents heard at the public hearing to 53.48 feet.”

“Just a few weeks later, the mayor signs off on 53.48 feet,” Bradshaw said. “How does that happen? There’s a whole series of exceptional allowances for this project and we can’t get any reasonable explanation.”

Personally, I had my own Mayor papers filled in and was ready to submit my own papers to run for Mayor this afternoon if no one else signed up first. We cannot let Mr. Baldwin continue to believe that we agree with his bullying and complete disregard the OCP and his contempt for citizens and their need for a healthy community governed by an OCP that limits excessive growth and protects our community and our property values.

Mayor Wayne “I am the Boss” Baldwin needs to go in my opinion. We need a Mayor who will listen to everybody including residents, developers, and business to come up with solutions that benefit the entire community, not just greedy developers and the politicians that they support.

For a list of the Candidates, click here.

Bad Governments are elected by Good People who DO NOT vote!

Be one of the good ones! Vote this year and bring some friends!

Remember what Mayor Baldwin told residents during the contested White Rock Muffler Public Hearing back in 2013?

He told residents to be quiet because he was the boss and he was running the meeting. Then he said, “If you don’t like it, there’s an election coming up on November 15th 2014. You can have your say then.”
White Rock Muffler Public Hearing

Well Mr. Baldwin, Winter is Coming. And so is November 15th.
It’s time for residents to have OUR say!

It only takes 2500 votes to win the Election in White Rock.
Mayor Wayne, I am the Boss, Baldwin wants you to think you cannot change City Hall. He is wrong. Together, we can!

Read about the White Rock Muffler Site Public Hearing in the Peace Arch News here.

Spread the word and get at least one friend who wants sustainable growth without high density to FOLLOW this page too. In a few weeks, we will be posting the voting record of each of the candidates along with a summary of which Candidates accept money from greedy developers.

Our Facebook page has 476 Likes. If everyone of you vote for Change, and if we each get 4 friends to vote for Change as well, we can send Mr.Baldwin and his Pro-High-Density slate away and stop them from turning our City by the Sea into another Whalley or Newton. Nobody wants that! That’s bad for business and its bad for residents.

Mayor Baldwin says that Towers are coming “whether people like it or not”.
Sorry to disagree Mr. Baldwin, but they are coming only if you get re-elected. You and your council refuse to listen to residents and refuse to abide by the OCP as required by law. We need leaders, not bullies.
White Rock Excessive Development Upsets Residents

Remember to vote this November 15th for change.
Together, we can fix City Hall this November.

Bad Politicians get Elected by Good People Who Do Not Vote

Remember that High Density Towers only helps Developers and the Politicians they support!
Densification increases taxes and crime and congestion on our roads. Our schools are already over-crowded and wait-times in the Emergency room are way too long as it is. By ignoring the OCP, Mr. Baldwin puts the value of our homes at risk. Do not be fooled by hype. Densification makes affording a single family home impossible and raises the cost of homes for new home buyers. It does not help with affordability. Look at the data. Years of Densification have increased our taxes, not lower them.

Mayor Baldwin promised action on the Trains as well. All we got were fences, midnight train horns, coal dust, and broken promises. I asked Mayor Baldwin why they could not at least restore the under-the-track tunnels to provide safe access to the beach. They used to be there but were removed to add a couple of parking spots. Check out what he said here. His answer was ridiculous, insulted the intelligence of everyone in that room, and showed a complete ignorance of basic science.

Lots of Promises about Trains, but all we get are fences.

Lots of Promises about Trains, but all we got were fences!

Remember the proposed South Surrey Casino that BCLC tried to force on us last year? Research tells us that people who live within 10 kms of a Casino are the most impacted by the adverse affects of gambling, and Seniors who visit Casinos are the most vulnerable to gambling addiction. Crime rates for Burglary and Assaults double within 5 years of a Casino being built in areas around a Casino. We (at NoCasinoSurrey) fought this hard (I personally donated 350 hours of my time to help) and finally won thanks to Mayor Watts and Surrey City Council and the support of the community. But we had NO help at all from White Rock City Council. You can see the details here and read the full report by here.

What did Mayor Baldwin do about White Rock being targeted for a Casino?
Nothing! He said that it did not affect White Rock.
The facts are that residents within 8 kms of a Casino, and especially seniors, are at highest risk of getting a gambling addition or becoming a victim of a crime! White Rock city center would have been less than 3 kms from the Casino. It would have affected White Rock even more than Surrey. But White Rock ignored the issue while Surrey agreed that the new Casino was a bad idea.

What kind of Mayor ignores the concerns of local residents like this?
A Mayor should represent the people, not special interest groups!

White Rock needs change now!
We do not need 4 more years of Mr. Wayne “I am the Boss” Baldwin

Vote for Change on November 15th!

Bullying in White Rock

It is anti-bullying day.
What better day to discuss bullying done by City Council and the Mayor?

I was very disappointed during Monday night’s City Council meeting to see Mayor Baldwin shutdown legitimate questions by Mr. Dennis Lypka during question period. I like Mayor Baldwin and voted for him during the last election. I would not do that again. Has he forgotten that his role is to listen to residents, no matter how uncomfortable those questions may be for City Council to hear?
We need a Council that Listens

Kudos to Councillor Alan Campbell and Helen Fathers who raised some excellent points about the proposal and why they opposed it. The current plan needlessly impacts neighbours and deviates from the original plan which would have provided more patio space and green space for Evergreen patients, while also protecting the old growth trees and not impact views for neighbouring properties. This proposal is flawed and not in the best interest of the patients or nearby residents.

Councillor Helen Fathers and Alan Campbell stood by residents and patients by voting against this change to the OCP. I will vote for them. The others including the Mayor voted for this very flawed plan that eliminates outdoor patio space for patients, destroys old growth trees and residents views in the Belaire. All to save some money for the developer while cost residents millions in property values. Patients and Residents need to come first, not developers. We need a change at City Hall this November. Please vote for a Council that puts residents first, not developers.
Evergreen Baptist Care Home Parking Lot

Here are the questions that Mr. Lypka wanted to ask Council in his own words. If you want answers to these questions, I suggest you email Mayor Baldwin and City Hall and demand answers.

1) What analysis did City Staff and Council do of the affects and impacts that the Evergreen Project would have on adjacent homeowners and on the Community before approving Bylaw No. 2045?

2) If an analysis was done, when will that analysis be made available to the Public?

3) If no analysis was done, can Council please explain how it can adopt Bylaw No. 2045 and still carry out its duty to good governance for the benefit and well-being of the community?

4) City Staff and Council have been aware since November of the many process failures and defects associated with the Evergreen Project, all of which have been advantageous to the Developer. Can Council please explain why they have failed to ensure that these failures and defects were promptly addressed?

5) Bylaw No. 2045 contains known errors, defects and inconsistencies which both City Staff and Council have been made aware of in writing for weeks. Can Council please explain why they would ignore these facts and not correct the proposed Bylaw before voting to approve Bylaw No. 2045?

6) The Director of the Planning & Development Services City Staff that Council relied upon for the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045 was dismissed for cause in January 2014. Some of the dismissed Director’s work such as the Medicinal Marijuana Zoning was held back in the approval process for further review. Can Council please advise why the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045 were not similarly held back for further review?

Dennis had this to say after being shut down during Question Period:
If these questions and the other proper questions that other citizens tried to ask last night somehow made Council feel uncomfortable, that is unfortunate. But Council’s personal discomfort is not sufficient justification to deny citizens their right for an opportunity to speak and refuse to allow the questions to be addressed to Council at Question Period under the terms of Bylaw No. 1860. Remember, as I tried to remind Council last night, Question Period has been the only time when citizens have ever been allowed to ask Council any questions whatsoever about the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045. Two (2) minutes each of questioning from a few citizens to Council with the cameras turned off is hardly any sort of gruelling inquisition or nefarious, in depth second guessing of Council’s decision. But Council’s actions in this regard are consistent with the City’s pattern in its handling of the Evergreen Project since the Evergreen project was first brought to public light in late October of 2013. Once more, this is just another paving stone in the long, bumpy, bumpy road that is the history of the Evergreen Project.

Let’s not forget what happened to residents on Vidal Street or on Bishop Hill. Vote for a Council that supports the wishes of residents, not developers. The Rally on Vidal with Lilians Sign
White Rock Bishop Hill with Chris Small

And let’s not forget about the White Rock Muffler site development where hundreds of residents voiced concerns. During that council meeting, the Mayor told residents who had concerns that he was the Boss, and that if residents did not like it, then there was an election coming in 2014 and residents could express their views then. That is not good enough Mr. Baldwin. We expect more from our Mayor. Let’s remind the bullies at City Hall about that in November on election day.
Residents View Proposed Development on old Muffler Site