The central issues facing West Vancouver remain the same as they were during the last civic election four years ago, only they have become more pronounced.
Municipal spending continues to increase at an unsustainable pace. This is particularly worrisome as the provincial government is further encroaching on the principal tax base of municipalities, namely property taxation. As well, given the fact that the population of West Vancouver has actually decreased in the last four years means that the increased absolute costs of the municipality are being spread over fewer people.
Services provided by the municipality must be done in a more productive and timely manner.
Traffic congestion throughout Metro Vancouver continues to increase. Short and long term solutions must be identified and acted upon. On the North Shore the municipalities must act together to deal with this critical issue. It is having a profound impact on everybody.
Housing affordability is impacting everybody, whether directly or indirectly. In West Vancouver we must provide more appropriate housing options for our aging population, many of whom want to downsize from their house to a condo. or townhouse. Lack of affordable options for workers on the North Shore is also creating a labour shortage for many employers located on the North Shore. In order to attract workers, many businesses must increase their wages and salaries. All these incremental costs are ultimately passed onto the consumers living on the North Shore.
The primary responsibility of Council is to serve the needs of the residence and businesses of the community. When I listen to these folks the primary concerns centre around the three subjects noted above plus, in the case of business owners, the failure to move forward on revitalizing the Marine drive business corridor.
The time for further action on these and other issues is now.
– Jim Finkbeiner