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Meet Your Candidates

Part Two: Tanya Cosgrave and Jaime Cunliffe face off in by-election

This is the second in a two-part series introducing this year's by-election candidates. Part one can be found HERE. The Watershed will cover all candidate events in the lead-up to the by-election.


The Perpetual Problem of Parking... and Taxes


When asked by The Watershed about village parking concerns, Cosgrave, who has adopted 'Bring Lions Bay Together' as a campaign slogan, says she is interested in seeking volunteer support. "I would consult a community member who has expertise as a planner, on traffic planning, I suggest a Parking Committee be re-formed to review this situation and provide us with some thoughtful ideas to mitigate the stress on the village residents, particularly residents that are strongly affected."


Cunliffe takes a different approach. "Parking has always been an issue in Lions Bay, and Covid brought it to a boil, which informs the current parking by-law structure. The new parking by-law and enforcement was put in effect to balance peaceful enjoyment for the residents while welcoming visitors. It had become obvious that our low fines and lack of enforcement left us dealing with blocked fire hydrants, crowded roads, and obstructed driveways with no meaningful recourse. Lions Bay is now a visitor hotspot, and without adequate visitor parking bylaws and enforcement we face the same fate as Deep Cove. Ours offers a viable and profitable revenue stream, and we’d be silly not to charge visitors for parking.

Watershed readers asked how candidates would respond to the complaint that villages taxes are too high. "Tax rates are actually a complicated issue as there is so much variation between municipalities," says Cunliffe. "Compared to other municipalities around us, Lions Bay's rates are actually low. However, we are currently facing a large infrastructure deficit, so we will need to look at ways to fund our infrastructure without becoming too burdensome to the taxpayer. This a challenge due to our lack of a commercial tax base, as commercial customers typically help offset the burden on residential taxpayers because they pay more."


Says Cosgrave, "The continual escalation of taxes is not sustainable. Effectively utilizing our current tax levy, prioritizing, and streamlining expenses, while taking advantage of government grants for necessary projects is required."


Infrastructure Issues


At a recent Council meeting, outgoing councillor Norm Barmeier voiced his concern over the Village's outstanding $10 million in pending infrastructure upgrades that are not covered by grant money. The Watershed asked how candidates would address the looming question of these projects, and which they would prioritize.

Cosgrave notes an infrastructure plan has already been completed by an engineering firm. "The plan requires review, prioritizing based upon community infrastructure replacement needs, and evaluation. I would utilize the volunteer expertise of an Infrastructure Committee with their broad-based skillset."


When asked what projects she would like to see prioritized using the one-time infrastructure grant recently received by the village, Cosgrave refers back to her earlier response. "With a reviewed infrastructure plan and infrastructure committee expertise, I’m sure that grant will address the issue or issues that take priority."


For her part, Cunliffe points to her experience. "While on our previous Council, we established an infrastructure levy to address these concerns as well as support any applications for infrastructure grant money as we need to provide a portion of the project cost along with federal and provincial contributions," she says. "Also Council and our community need to be open to creative revenue stream ideas, like parking revenue and other viable options."


With respect to the infrastructure grant, Cunliffe mentions the updated 2021 updated Infrastructure Master Plan. "It has a ranked list of projects that would need to be vetted by public works, council, and the infrastructure committee. My own hope would be that the Bayview DWIP project (Drinking Water Improvement Project) would rise to the top of the list. This is a shovel-ready project that would provide the required amount of water flow to our school in the event of a fire."


Council Protocols and Procedures


Regarding their familiarity with council protocols such as Roberts Rules of Order, the Community Charter and village by-laws, both candidates have experience in different venues.


"As as vice chair of the Lions Bay Community Scholarship Foundation Board, we employ Roberts Rules of Order," notes Cosgrave. "I am in the process of reviewing the Community Charter. As a newly elected councillor, it is my understanding I will receive a package with relevant village by-laws included. I will have full access to all village by-laws as necessary. Although I have not served as a councillor before, I have attended numerous Council meetings in 2022 and 2023, keeping myself abreast of current issues and feel I would be an asset at the table. The Village also is guided by its Procedural By-law."


Cunliffe says: "My first experience with Roberts Rules was as vice president of the Four Sisters Housing Cooperative in 2008 and I carried that experience through as PAC chair at École Cedardale for several years. And of course, my prior experience as councillor with Lions Bay Council, on the Howe Sound Forums, and with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) resulted in my understanding of the required rules and procedures for a functional and effective team."


Why Run for Council Now?


The Watershed asked both candidates why they chose to throw their hats in the ring at this time, and if there was anything else they'd like to share with village residents.


Cosgrave says she is running for council because she has "the expertise to ‘Bring Lions Bay Together’, employing my knowledge, relationships, combined with my ability to critically think, work hard, and using a respectful professional friendly approach." She reiterated that she would be impartial at the Council table. "I'll endeavour to work well with everyone on behalf of the community and Village of Lions Bay. I commit to attending each Council meeting, while doing my due diligence to be prepared in advance. I am enjoying going door to door meeting people and leaving my platform card at each home in Lions Bay."


Cunliffe says that her objective is to re-engage a respectful dialog and get Council back to work for residents. "It's disappointing to see four years of hard work grind to a complete standstill. What was a respectful and engaging council has now deteriorated, to the detriment of our residents' best interests. I was raised to be a listener, a learner and a doer–not a 'sit-on-the-sidelines' kind of person. My upbringing taught me to show up, speak up and get my hands dirty. I encourage everyone to please ask questions, attend meetings, review videos of the last few meetings, and pay attention to how ineffectively current Council is functioning. This is a very important by-election for our community. I would love to hear your thoughts and answer your questions."


 

Tanya Cosgrave's platform can be found at her website: tanyacosgrave.ca and she can be reached at tanya4council@gmail.com





Jaime Cunliffe's platform can be found at her website: jamiecunliffe.ca and her Facebook page. You can reach out to her at voteforjaime@gmail.com





Follow The Watershed as we cover developments in the by-election as they happen. We encourage respectful discourse, and encourage you to leave your comments below, or email your thoughts to editor@lionsbaywatershed.ca


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2 коментарі


Невідомий учасник
22 квіт. 2023 р.

I am hoping the candidates will be addressing the unusually high expenditures for Village staff over the past few years. Our little village of 500 odd homes spent a whopping $1,454,938 in 2021. The village of Anmore of 688 homes spent only $902,531 in 2021. The last time the Village of Lions Spent that amount on staff was in 2015. Why did we have so many staff? The Village used to run very efficiently and fiscally responsibly (in 2011 $766,800 was paid out) Inflation between 2011 and 2021 was only 17% So why the extreme increase in staff and in staff pay? Look at the annual financial reports - shocking numbers and waste - wake up residents - new counci…

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Jan Jaye
Jan Jaye
21 квіт. 2023 р.

The bylaws are on the website. It is hard to understand why a councilor would need someone to provide bylaws to them including the "Procedural" bylaw (it is more correctly the council "Procedures" bylaw). We need experience on the council right now and also background knowledge and continuity because we have lost so many people

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