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Candidate Tanya Cosgrave Meet & Greet

Uniting the Community Cited as Number One Priority

The sun came out on April 25, which made it a drier walk to the village's second meet and greet event in less than 48 hours. Tanya Cosgrave welcomed a crowd of a similar size to Jaime Cunliffe's event on Sunday night. Many of the faces were the same, with all the current council members in attendance, along with former mayors Karl Buhr, Brenda Broughton and Doug Pollock, as well as Cunliffe.

Local lawyer Ehsan Monfared acted as emcee for the evening. Cosgrave was introduced by long-time resident Pieter Dorsman, who noted that 24 years ago he bought his house from Cosgrave's mother, former realtor Flo Gienger. Dorsman said he was endorsing Tanya because election is about character, integrity and being able to make difficult choices, and he is convinced that she has those qualities and will encourage the council to work together for a better future. Trudi Luethy said she'd known Tanya since she was two, adding that Cosgrave's close family has given her strength, resilience and a genuine love for Lions Bay.

Cosgrave opened by leading a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday' to Craig Doherty, before thanking members of her team. "Ehsan, Peter, Glen, Brenda, and Mike – I couldn't have done it without you." She reflected on growing up in the village, and returning as an adult to raise her own children here. She cited her business experience with TAG Sales/Peak Golf as an asset, and added that she is an early childhood music instructor offering programs in Lions Bay and West Vancouver.

She spoke briefly about the issues raised as she campaigned door to door, including road noise, infrastructure needs in the village and dissention at the council table. "My hope is to bring some calm," Cosgrave said.

"It's no secret that I definitely know Mayor Berry and I sit on the Lions Bay scholarship committee as the vice-chair with Michael, so I've had lots to do with him," she added, whilse stressing she will still vote independently. She noted that she has relationships with many people in the village, and is open to listening to everyone. "My job is not to persuade you, it is to listen to you."

Mary Brown began the Q&A by asking about Cosgrave's familiarity with the Municipal Act, the Community Charter and Roberts Rules of Order. Cosgrave replied she was comfortable with Robert's Rules from her experience on the Scholarship Committee, and is somewhat familiar with the rest. She expects that as a new councillor, access to the by-laws will be provided, and will do her due diligence as needed.

Resident Marion Maxwell asked if the grooved pavement on the highway – designed to slow drivers down – would be brought back. Cosgrave said that Councillor Broughton has been working with the provincial government on highway improvements, and she was willing to support him in that work, including the possibility of installing sound barriers.

Mountain Drive resident Tom Caspersen asked about Cosgrave's stance regarding parking enforcement, in light of the spring deluge of hikers and the associated parking problems. Cosgrave acknowledged that not all residents support the current ticketing system, and said she'd like to see hikers directed to a parking lot. Oceanview resident Brigitta Shore said that her neighbours don't appreciate the new system at all, and cited the parking ticket her 80-year old mother received. She said she would like to see a parking committee that addressed the different needs around the community, and Cosgrave agreed that a blanket approach is not always the best.

Isleview resident Leslie Nolin, a member of an earlier parking committee, noted that a past survey showed that the residents most in favour of parking controls live in areas where it is most needed. Megan Knaak described the problems faced on Sunset near the trailhead, with hundreds of cars driving back and forth in search of parking, putting children and property at risk. Lower Kelvin Grove resident Kambiz Azordegan also spoke in support of a parking committee.

Long-time resident and former mayor Doug Pollock reminded residents that parking is by no means the most important issue, and that the community "needs to get together and work cooperatively."

This theme arose repeatedly. Matthew Klas from Brunswick Beach expressed his concerns about a seeming lack of transparency with the previous council and staff, referencing "decisions arbitrarily made, and secret deals." Cosgrave replied that transparency is paramount, and ideally she would like to see no closed meetings at all. "We've had a lot of staff changeover, and I hope we can move in a direction that is open and honest." In reply to a question from David Shore, Cosgrave said her number one priority is the council table and finding a way to work together for the betterment of the village.

Kristy Pappas stated she was happy that regardless who won, there would be a woman at the council table. She repeated the question she had asked of Cunliffe earlier in the week, wondering what council should do to build better relationships with staff, as well as performance management. Cosgrave replied that any time there is a change in government, there are people who are not comfortable with the change, and leave. She cited the importance of staff communication and exit interviews to provide valuable feedback.

A resident who identified herself as Stephanie asked how Cosgrave could see herself remaining independent when she campaigned with Berry in the fall, and since Broughton helped install her signs. Cosgrave reiterated she had spoken with both individuals she knows on the council, and told them she needs to be completely independent while sitting at the table. "If Councillor Abbot has a good idea on the other side of the table, that's where my vote will be. I'll vote for what's best for the village."

Trudi Luethy asked about the status of Lions Bay school, and wondered if there was a dip in enrolment. Cosgrave replied that in her experience, student numbers ebb and flow over the years. She said she enjoyed being a student herself, as well as having her own children attend, and will do everything in her power to get the student numbers up.

When Jonathan Wreglesworth asked how she planned on balancing Lions Bay's environment with its infrastructure requirements, Cosgrave replied that since she is not an expert in the environment or in engineering, she would rely on village expertise. She cited resident Ruth Simon's work for the environment, and Karl Buhr and the Infrastructure Committee as resources.

Tina Schneider asked the candidate's stance on the Province's intent to resume glyphosate spraying to control broad-leafed plants. "I am quite passionate on the health and wellness front," said Cosgrave, adding she will work to ensure the village is exempt from spraying.

Liz Bell asked why Cosgrave, who is running on a platform of bringing the village together, did not attend Cunliffe's event. Cosgrave insisted she made the decision "out of respect for Jaime," who had chosen not to participate in an all-candidate's meeting. Cunliffe spoke up to say that the all-candidate's meeting had been mishandled by the CAO, and that the organization of the event by a private resident who was one of Cosgrave's supporters led to her decision. Cosgrave then turned the mic over to David Shore, who explained his intentions in organizing the event, including seeking out an impartial moderator. Cunliffe reiterated that a private resident should not have been involved in the organization of the event, and so she decided not to participate. Cosgrave said she disagreed with this decision.

Craig Dougherty noted that he is in the process of organizing a coffee event at Lions Bay Cafe for the two candidates, and asked Cosgrave for her vision for keeping seniors in the community. Cosgrave said that while she is all in favour of sustainable development, the village has an Official Community Plan (OCP) that doesn't support major development. "We need to be respectful of the community as a whole." When Marion Maxwell asked about an historic plan to move the works yard and replace it with senior's housing in Kelvin Grove, Cosgrave said she believes the plan is no longer under consideration due to the unsuitability of the site.

Glen Dodd thanked everyone for coming before noting that he too bought his first house in the village from Cosgrave's mother. He said that while there are two good candidates in this election, he feels Cosgrave is the strongest. "I still refer to the village as 'Heaven on Earth', he said. "And this is an important election, so I need everybody in this room to get out and vote."

After the event, Cosgrave said that she felt the discussions around parking, road noise, infrastructure and the overwhelming desire to unite as a community were both enlightening and encouraging. "I felt that this evening, our community was once again united behind a common purpose – our community. "

She said she was grateful for those who have supported her journey, and to the community members who attended the event.

[Editor's note: Due to a microphone problem, Matthew Klas's comments were partially muffled, and have been edited accordingly.]

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The previous council's neglect of residents' wishes to stop the overspending brought a majority of Lions Bay residents to call for changes.

Any council needs an uneven number of participants to make clear decisions. I’m looking forward to this being fulfilled soon with a constructive thinker.

We need a balance within the council discussions with fresh and very positive attributes that Tanya has.

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brenda broughton
brenda broughton
01 may 2023

Tanya, will hit the ground running. She is bright, committed to serving Lions Bay, experienced in getting things done, over-delivering along with elevating any project or process that she is involved in.

Tanya, knows Lions Bay very well. She prepares for meetings and participates actively in discussion, with an openness to listening to, and considering everyone's input. She is engaged in life and is engaged in any meeting or discussion.

Tanya will welcome speaking with all community members.

Tanya is inclusive and will 'Bring Lions Bay Together'.

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Jan Jaye
Jan Jaye
26 abr 2023

Cosgrave has now commented twice that if she is on council the bylaws will be provided to her or similar. They are online and freely available, I am shocked she does not know this. We do not have time for a learning curve with a new person. It is my opinion that we need someone who has been on council, can hit the ground running--without having to swot up basics-- and get to work immediately doing the business of council

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Contestando a

This comment is like saying because you don't know where the washrooms are, you can't do your job properly. We need someone who is going to get the job done. Not someone who is going to get caught up in pettiness. And Tanya has already shown she's the candidate with that intention. Tanya has my vote.

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