I was born in Sydney, Australia. My parents had fled to Australia from Estonia during WWII. When I was three years old, our family emigrated to Canada and eventually settled in Toronto where my father enjoyed a career as a professor of Political Science and Economics at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University).
Politics was always a strong interest in our family. I majored in Political Science and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto.
I worked for several years in Toronto and then made a move to California, ultimately landing in the San Francisco Bay area/Silicon Valley where I worked as a consultant in the burgeoning information technology field. It was an exciting time!
In 2007, I decided it was time to move back to Canada and escape the hectic life of a densely populated city. White Rock was a perfect choice! I love this City by the Sea.
Being elected to White Rock City Council in 2018 has given me the opportunity to work on behalf of this city I love. I am passionate about this role and honoured to represent this community. I bring the following to City Council:
I value integrity and act on what I believe is right, even when it is unpopular.
I value honesty, and I am straightforward in discussions and actions.
I believe in accountability and act in the best interests of the community.
I understand stewardship and work to preserve the character of our city.
I understand the value of communication. I am active on social media, attend community events to meet and talk with residents, and I listen.
Some examples of what I have been doing
on behalf of White Rock residents
New Direction for Financial Planning
When I came to Council, I expected we would be met with a plethora of budgeting documents as we are held accountable for public spending. This was not the case. After many inquiries to city staff, I was surprised to learn that there was not a cohesive budgeting system. Funds for an automated budgeting system were included in the 2021 Financial Plan. It has yet to be implemented. I remain adamant that this is a priority.
In May 2021, I urged the City to follow the Government Finance Officers Association of BC standards for the Financial Plan, which was agreed to. This is a significant step forward! White Rock residents have the right to meaningful financial reporting.
Official Community Plan (OCP) Review
We inherited several high-rise developments and were elected on a platform to discontinue the unprecedented growth. It was a hard-fought battle, with not all councillors and city staff on board, but we were able to cap the building heights to 12 storeys in White Rock Town Centre. There are still issues that need to be resolved and must be addressed early in the next term.
Made-in-White-Rock ‘Affordable’ Housing
(Page 47 of the OCP)
I made a motion for the need to define what ‘affordable’ is. As a result, the Housing Advisory Committee, with the in-depth research of Greg Newman, Manager of Planning and Development, articulated a definition that was approved by Council.
Community Amenity Contribution (CACs)
The previous Council designated the approximately $13million collected as CACs from developers to be spent on an extension of the promenade westward to Coldicutt Ravine. This would have been an environmental disaster. As a result of my motion, the extension was removed from the list and the funds were freed up for more important projects such as the Emerson Park upgrade.
Dedicated Pickleball Courts
The White Rock Pickleball Community has been asking for designated courts at Centennial Park for over six years. I went ‘to bat’ for the Pickleball Community and now there are eight designated courts for this popular sport, four of which were upgraded to standard.
Revamping the Tree Protection Bylaw
Council requested the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) to review the existing bylaws and policies pertaining to private and public trees. They were inconsistent and outdated. As the Council liaison to the EAC, I suggested a thorough review was needed. The hardworking community members and city staff pulled together and created an excellent single document.