Friday, November 14, 2014

West Vancouver: Some observations on the forthcoming election

A number of years ago then Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones invited me to participate on a panel looking at alternative housing choices for West Vancouver residents. Through a series of events, I ended up redeveloping three single family lots next to the Rec Centre, West Van United Church and other amenities into a 9 unit infill development, known as Hollyburn Mews

At the time it was very controversial, with over 150 speakers and letters in opposition. However, it was approved by a 4-3 vote with Shannon Walker, Michael Evison, Trish Panz and Pam Goldsmith-Jones in favour. Today, I think everyone, including the councillors who voted against it and most of the people who spoke against it agree it has been a positive addition to the community.

Sadly, in the 2011 election, Michael Evison was not reelected. However, the new Council, including  newcomers Craig Cameron, Mary-Ann Booth and Nora Gambioli went on to support a number of much-needed new housing initiatives including guidelines for coach houses throughout the District

Unfortunately, a number of councillors in the forthcoming election appear to want to take a step backwards in order to preserve West Vancouver just the way it is. I worry that if they are elected projects like Hollyburn Mews and new rental and ownership apartments will not be approved.

You can read about the list of candidates here

West Vancouver is finally heading in the right direction when it comes to new housing choices. For this reason, I am hoping Craig Cameron, Mary-Ann Booth, Nora Gambioli, and Michael Lewis will be returned to Council.

I also hope that Michael Evison will be elected back on Council.

Three other candidates warrant consideration. Peter Lambur is an architect and planner who could offer a much needed voice when it comes to the need for new community plans.

While I do not know her, I am told Joanne Baxter would be a good addition to Council.  I also do not know Jim Finkbeiner, However, I know of him as a former successful business executive who could bring important skills to Council.

While I appreciate my support for West Vancouver candidates may be the kiss of death, (none of them have asked for it!)  I do hope that these observations may be of interest and helpful to those trying to decide who to vote for tomorrow. 

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