Messages from the Mayor
By the end of this term, I will have had the distinct honour and privilege of serving this community for a combined total of 30 years - 23 years as the City Manager for our spectacular seaside community and 7 years as Mayor of the City of White Rock, which means I have attended more than one thousand (1000) meetings of City Council!
After being elected to a second term as Mayor of White Rock, in December of 2014, I made the decision that this term was going to be my last term in Office. So, I would like to take this opportunity to publically announce that I will not be seeking re-election.
As a community volunteer, I have spent many hours participating and engaging in youth activities like coaching soccer, basketball, softball, baseball and track to name a few, as well as numerous community and international activities with the White Rock Rotary Club.
To help create a much-needed venue that allows our kids and grandkids to thrive by playing sports, I chaired the fundraising for the multi-use structure for the South Surrey Athletic Park baseball fields. I also chaired the fundraising and oversaw the construction and the operation of the Rotary Fieldhouse in South Surrey Athletic Park. It is incredible to see people using these venues to their full potential.
Arts and culture play an important role in our community, and we are lucky to have so many talented people on the Peninsula. This is why I supported the fundraising for the construction of the Coast Capital Playhouse.
I also look back with pride on the contributions I have made to the City while serving as both an employee and as the Mayor of this great community.
As City Manager, with the approval of City Council, and the assistance of longtime City employee, Doug Stone, I conceived of and oversaw, the construction of the promenade. I also initiated: the purchase of the lower half of Centennial Park and the lower half of Rotary Park; the construction of the first Gold Leeds Standard building in BC (the Works Yard Building); and the purchase of the land for the new Fire Hall, and its subsequent construction. During those years the City received nine provincial and national awards for innovation and excellence, and our Financial Reserves for infrastructure renewal were created and grown.
As Mayor, I am honoured to have been able to represent the City on the Metro Vancouver Board, the TransLink Mayor’s Council, the Executive of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, and as a Trustee on the Municipal Pension Plan Board.
During this term, I am most proud that Council took the bold step to move forward and acquire the water utility. Without this action, we would not be in a position to initiate the processes we have taken to improve our water quality and supply. I want to take this opportunity to thank our Federal and Provincial partners who awarded the City a historic first - nearly $12 million dollars in grant funding through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund to go towards our water treatment plant, which will be up and running by March 2019.
Council will continue to ensure the City’s infrastructure is updated in other areas as well so that White Rock remains a great and attractive place to live, work and play for generations to come. For example, Council is in the process of providing a host of community amenities such as the Parkade, additional parkland, and the renewed Memorial Park and Pier Washroom upgrades. There will also be other projects that will be completed or nearing completion by the fall such as the revitalized Johnston Road, the All Abilities all Levels Playground in Centennial Park, and the updated and safer railway crossings on the waterfront.
The City’s future is bright. There is a swell of optimism and positive change occurring which, while uncomfortable for some, is the way of the future. The City’s finances are secure. We now own our water utility. Our financial reserves are appropriate and substantial. We are in the process of receiving tens of millions of dollars in Community Amenity Contributions that, as per the Local Government Act, can only be used for community amenities. This allows us to improve our White Rock at no cost to the taxpayer - something which has never before been possible.
I want to thank Council for working with me during this term - it has been an honour to serve with you. I know you have always acted honestly with the best interests of the City in mind. I would also like to thank the Senior Management Team under the leadership of Dan Bottrill, and all the City Employees for their support and for working so hard to make this City a better place to live, work, and play.
I would be remiss if I did not also recognize the many citizens who volunteer to make this community better. Our community would not be what it is without your participation. Thank you for your support. For those of you who stepped forward to sit on one of our City Committees, it has been a great honour to work with you to help guide our City’s governance. We owe you a sincere debt of gratitude.
Finally, I want to especially thank my family, and in particular my wife, Jane, for their steadfast and unwavering support over these years - I could not have done this without them.
Thank you for the opportunity and the honour to serve as the Mayor of the City of White Rock. I am confident that the groundwork that has been done over the past seven years will truly benefit the work that future councils will be doing. It is time for the torch to be passed.
Mayor of the City of White Rock