I’m writing to you today to share my negative experiences with the mayor of White Rock, Wayne Baldwin, and the city works yard.
In short, ongoing issues relate to noise – especially back-up alarms and compacting waste, smells, vermin and the extremely shoddy appearance of the yard, which is poorly kept. Further, the city regularly violates its own bylaws, with respect to idling vehicles, appearance of the property and noise. These issues have been going on largely unresolved for at least the past five years, and have previously been reported on by PAN.
I have attempted to get some answers from the city and mayor since the summer of 2014, but was largely dismissed and ignored. After much persistence, the mayor and city manager met with me in April last year. I was given the same empty promises and platitudes.
I was originally encouraged that some compromise might be reached; however, as the months passed with no changes, I sought updates and as before, emails were largely ignored.
In fact, all emails to the mayor went unanswered, with the exception of one, which I will address shortly.
One issue in particular is the location of two backhoes located at the southwest side of the yard behind a poorly constructed fence that is in poor shape and affords little privacy and no noise abatement. Noise includes engines, brakes, the scoop hitting the ground and the piercing backup alarm throughout the day.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I, of course, appreciate that the yard must operate to service the city, and my issues are not with the city staff working in the yard or operating the backhoes etc., but rather with the city’s failure to improve the setup and operation of the yard to mitigate theses issues.
Over the past couple of months, due to the inclement weather conditions, the activity at the yard – especially the backhoes – has increased dramatically and I have made the city aware. The mayor seems to believe that the poor weather excuses any noise and seems to be missing the point that the broader issue is with the yard itself. The need to operate the yard on an increased basis is effectively illustrating how poorly set up the yard is, which is located in the middle of a residential area.
On Feb. 4, I sent the mayor and city an email about this and I received the following email from the mayor, the only time he has ever responded directly to me:
“You have to be kidding! I find it difficult to believe anyone would be complaining about this at this time. Give your head a shake – Wayne Baldwin, Mayor, City of White Rock.”
This response speaks to the attitude of the mayor, a supposed elected public servant who is dismissive and, frankly, is rude. I’m astonished at the lack of action, updates, compassion and professionalism.
D. Carr, White Rock