more 2008 platform details

At this stage of a campaign, it’s easy to see what everyone agrees on. And in this campaign, it appears there’s a lot we all agree on.

We all are passionate and dedicated to our community. We all agree that the greatest value and measure of a community is its people. Environmental stewardship and jobs top most lists. And it seems everyone is “listening”.

There is consensus that the current Council is not functional. Everyone wants there to be a more conciliatory approach with more effort for building consensus. It seems generally agreed that the City needs to improve how public dialogue happens in the community.

We also all want more and better sidewalks, public transit and more convenient ways to get to the beach. We are concerned about keeping our roads and sewers to a higher standard of maintenance. And it is agreed that the City should make it easier to be green, and should lead by example.

I also share this vision.

The following are some ideas and goals I have for achieving that vision.

economic development
I believe we shouldn’t be afraid to have more tourism activities on the beach.

We should break free from the assumption that the gasoline-fueled private automobile will be the primary method of transportation forevermore. We should be planning and accommodating other ways to get around.

special needs housing
There needs to be a new approach to the past model of creating housing for disadvantaged people. There are ways to do it without heavy government subsidies. It just takes some creative thought and willpower to actually follow through.

Building codes should require a few simple things that would make homes more accessible for future owners who might develop a disability and have less impact on the environment.

There has to be better ways for City Council to talk and learn with citizens. There are a number of suggestions on the books, they just have to do it.

effective development policies
There are development policies that could be in place that would be far more effective than what’s on the books now. Arguing about height is wasting time and energy that could be far more productive. Despite the fear mongering, there is no tsunami of highrises approaching. Unfortunately, while everyone’s been distracted with those theatrics, there are smaller buildings that, cumulatively, are having more impact than towers. Our policies should be based on principles that actually affect the health of residents rather than political brokering of arbitrary numbers for height of a few buildings.

If re-elected, there is a list of things I want to work on (random order).

  • Hold Planning Assemblies with the two cities, Translink and Health Authority
  • Develop a tree planting program
  • Pass the tree protection bylaw
  • Create community workshops or speakers series on emerging issues
  • Hold more ‘town hall’ type meetings with open agendas
  • Study the viability of an environmentally responsible marina
  • Pass a bylaw that permits Neighbourhood Electric Vehicles
  • Convert as much of the City fleet as possible to cleaner fuels
  • Build a children’s park on East Beach
  • Enhance walkways connecting the town centre and beach
  • install more public art, work toward creating a sculpture park along the waterfront or Johnston Road
  • Install bulletin boards for promoting local events
  • Create new rules to make new buildings more accessible, energy and water efficient
  • Write policies for getting more housing for people with special needs
  • Adhere to the Public Art Policy
  • Work with Translink to improve beach service
  • Develop principled population-density policies based on walking distances
  • … and a lot more.

Essentially, I’d like to finish what I’ve started — implement the recommendations I wrote in the Social Strategy, Interim Cultural Strategy, Waterfront Parking Task Force Report, and Housing Diversity Task Force Report.

5 Responses to “more 2008 platform details”

  1. lisa Says:

    Visit lisa

    have you ever heard of a ship called the Titanic?

    it was built according to regulations.

    20 lifeboats were what the regulations called for and that is what was installed. The ship could have held 32 lifeboats, but it was decided that esthetically the extra 12 would “clutter” the deck, and were “displeasing artistically”, also, they were not necessary due to regs.

    In todays world the White Star line would be out of business due to massive lawsuits. The White Star line continued on for decades afterwards because the ship had been built to regs.

    the regulations were 12 years old, and only covered ships being built up to 200 feet smaller than the titanic… no ship had been built that big before, thus no regs existed to cover the design change. After the inquiry, one British BOT reccommendation was that ships carry enough lifeboats for all passengers.

    Labourors who brought forward questions on the design from their own knowledge and experience of stucture and materials, and questioned lifeboats while they were building the titanic were fired – and ostricised for being “troublemakers” and not “team players”.

    questioning regs and policies is a good thing, developing new regs and policies for todays world is a good thing.

  2. S.O. Says:

    Visit S.O.

    Matt …

    I recently received your booklet in my mail box. It was dissapointing. It was filled with mights, maybe’s visons and other very non committal type statements.

    I would like to know what exactly is your work experiance that prepares you to be a councilor. What about your past prepares you for this position of responsibility.

    Apart from you outlandish ideas about smoking and protecting tree’s what are your thoughts on ways to assist everyday hard working people … or how do you plan on making it easier for them to live in White Rock.

    I must say I’m a little leary to be voting for a “proffesional volunteer”


  3. Matt Todd Says:

    Visit Matt Todd


    You don’t have to guess how I might perform my responsibilities as a councillor because I’ve already served 6 years. My record is of challenging the status quo, consistently staying focused on achieving goals, making decisions based on facts and principles, and doing research beyond what is provided.

    Every candidate has a different set of work experience. Mine is of retail management, food service, TV production, tour merchandising, and B&B management. But I think what is more important is a candidate’s ability to process new information, identify the roots of a problem and not just the symptom, and make principled decisions.

    If you read my booklet again, you will find that my record of service includes some important improvements for quality of life in White Rock.

    For example…
    - We now have a secondary suite registry. This provides lower cost housing in the suites while also creating another stream revenue to help the homeowner pay their mortgage.

    - We now have detailed plans on how to improve issues of transportation. That will make streets safer for people walking, kids riding their bikes, and people driving to work.

    - Many people find City decisions mysterious and they come up with all kinds of conspiracy theories or dismiss them as being not “common sense”. I have advocated for ways for the City to better communicate with citizens so they can learn along with councillors so that more people understand the decisions.

    - You may think protecting trees is outlandish, but when asked why they like White Rock, most people list the natural beauty. Trees are a huge part of White Rock’s natural beauty and an important part of our west coast ecosystem. Protecting trees protects very reason people come here.

    - I also don’t see what’s outlandish about following our Chief Medical Health Officer’s request to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. He explained that it will reduce visits to their overworked emergency ward and ultimately prevent deaths from what remains a top cause of preventable death in BC. Perhaps you think it’s outlandish because you don’t have a child with asthma or parent recovering from a heart condition?

    - I have also drafted directions on how the City can provide for a diversity of housing to ensure people of all ages, incomes, and abilities can live in White Rock.

    The reason I can’t honestly promise anything is because I am only one vote on Council. Any candidate that promises you that they will get one thing or another done is either lying or doesn’t understand how it works.

    A professional volunteer I may be, but my record on City Council is that I have been the most effective and productive. There are councillors who are better educated and have more experience, but yet, they have achieved far less than I have (and didn’t even show up much of the time).

    In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what a councillor’s work experience is if they’re not using it in their City responsibilities.

    Despite what everyone agrees was a dysfunctional City Council, I still got a lot done. No other incumbent candidate can honestly make the same claim. Look to my record of service for proof of my ability to be effective in my responsibilities as a City Councillor.

  4. Dan Eriksen Says:

    Visit Dan Eriksen

    One high rise is to many. There is no reason the population should increase and cause increased stress on the existing infrastructure. Growth does not equal increased revenue to cover maintenance.

  5. Matt Todd Says:

    Visit Matt Todd

    Mr. Eriksen, please substantiate your claims.

    If one highrise is too many, then White Rock has no less than 15 too many, some built in every decade since the 70s. I don’t believe the previous 15 have caused any more harm to White Rock than the subdivision of the west side or hillside zoning for large houses on cottage lots or the small lot subdivisions south of the hospital.

    The question isn’t whether the population should increase, it is whether it will continue to increase. And since anyone not in a state of denial will see that more people will continue to move here one way or another, the question then becomes, what is the best way to accommodate them?

    Growth provides critical mass to support public transit and local commercial districts. If growth does not equal increased revenue to cover maintenance, neither does stagnation.

    The reason for providing for growth but in a high density form is to create neighbourhoods that support a walking lifestyle. The reason for highrises is to accommodate that density in a less crowded feeling neigbourhood.

    Some people laugh when I say that towers feel less crowded than shorter buildings, but I challenge anyone to find me a neighbourhood that achieves a 4.5 FAR that doesn’t have a strong feeling of containment.

    People keep telling me they want an “open feeling” when they are uptown. I know it is counter-intuitive, but towers provide more openness than the 4-9 storey buildings that would be required to accommodate the same density.

    I’m not just wishing it to be so. In fact, 8 years ago I would have argued against growth and highrises. But I’ve walked hundreds of streets all across North America and Europe over the past 7 years studying urban form and function. It is from this experience that I have come to believe that the answer for White Rock’s town centre is high density housing, and that the core of the town centre should be towers.

Leave a Reply

If you want to use XHTML tags, these ones are allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>