Quality of Life Matters.
Erika Johanson for Mayor of White Rock
White Rock Community Matters is the perfect descriptor to express my priorities on City Council. It is about our community, our residents, and our continued enjoyment of our unique and precious space on this earth. It is about thoughtfully examining and understanding the long-term ramifications of City Council’s decisions. It is about residents first, not developers.
Much has been accomplished in the past four years, but there is much to be done. We need to have strong stewardship to ensure we stay the course, to ensure we maintain a people-first mandate, and that future development is cautious and measured.
Overview of My Top Priorities for Improvements in our City
All residents want their taxes to support basic services in an efficient and cost-effective manner and expect their elected City Council to govern expenditures. Currently, the Annual Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan are not available for Council review and approval until well into the fiscal year. Furthermore, there are no department-level budgets in a format that can be reviewed by Council. The untimely and incomplete communication of fiscal information communicated to Council must change.
Communication and Cooperation
The City Council and city staff must work cooperatively to effectively manage our city. As well, residents and businesses must have access to the process for input. Currently, Council is prevented from communicating directly with staff members other than the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). This simply cannot continue.
Improved Efficiency at City Hall
We must work to streamline processes and eliminate redundancies. To this end, we must automate processes and improve the clarity of policies, bylaws, and staff responsibilities to avoid confusion and the consequential extra work it creates for residents, developers, and city staff.
Comprehensive Housing and Environmental Plans
Previous development plans have resulted in White Rock becoming one of the top 10 most densely populated municipalities in Canada. As well, our current land-to-build ratio in our Zoning bylaw allows for monster homes; this diminishes available permeable surfaces needed for water to reach our aquifer. City Council, as city stewards, must incorporate research and long-term consequences into city planning.
The Business Community
I have often been told it is difficult to do business in White Rock for a variety of reasons, often starting with City Hall. Businesses are essential to a thriving community, and we can do better. Currently, we do not have any metrics on how well businesses are doing. I support the Economic Development Strategic Plan to improve the business experience in White Rock. The main points are outlined in my Platform.