Question & Answer Period

Question and Answer (QA) period is an opportunity for the public to ask Council questions or provide comments and receive answers or responses (if available) at Regular Council meetings.

There may be instances where the City is unable to provide an answer or response at a Regular Council meeting; however, questions and comments will be forwarded to staff and the response will be updated in this table when available.

Review Council and Committee Procedure Bylaw, No. 2393, which provides the rules of procedure for Council and Committee Meetings. 

Submit a Question:

If you are unable to attend in-person, submit your question by:

  • Email to clerksoffice@whiterockcity.ca with "QA period" in the subject line
  • Questions must be submitted before 8:30 a.m. on the Wednesday prior to the Regular Council meeting. 
  • Questions and/or comments are noted in the Regular Council agenda and if a question/ comment is received after this deadline but before noon on the day of the Regular Council meeting, it will be provided 'on-table' to Council at the meeting.

If there are any questions, please contact Corporate Administration at clerksoffice@whiterockcity.ca or 604-541-2278.

Questions and Answers (Regular Council)

DateQuestion/CommentAnswer/Response
2024-02-26No Q&A submitted for this meeting.
2024-02-12There will be a Peace Boat Tour off the West Coast of the US and Canada who have noted interested in stopping at the White Rock Pier. Are they permitted to tie up at the pier?Due to the noted size of the sailboat they would be able to tie onto the pier for a few hours (high tide) but not overnight, they can also anchor off of the pier as it is federal waters, at their own risk.
2024-02-12Questions regarding moving the City Council Chambers to the AnnexFull questions with staff responses can be viewed here.
2024-01-29Questions were asked surrounding a previous delegation regarding the budget/ financial plan process. An inquiry was made as to whether this information was formally considered by Council, and if so, when?
Staff noted the following: Your delegation, presented on July 24, 2023, has been thoroughly received by Council. It is important to clarify that Council is under no obligation to act upon delegations it receives. Consequently, no specific actions or decisions were taken regarding the suggestions you proposed. Council is appreciative of your input and considers all viewpoints in its deliberations. However, in this case, your points, while duly noted, did not result in any subsequent Council action.
2024-01-29Further support was noted in support of Council sending a letter to the federal government in support of a ceasefire in Gaza. The speaker noted she wants to be a voice for the children and would like a ceasefire for the benefit of the children involved.

Council considered this request later in the meeting. 

In accordance with Council's Procedure Bylaw, delegations are not permitted if they are on a subject that is beyond the jurisdiction of Council. No further action was taken on this request.

2024-01-29A request was made for Mayor and Council to allow a delegation and a letter to be sent to the federal government in support of a ceasefire in Gaza.

Council considered this request later in the meeting. 

In accordance with Council's Procedure Bylaw, delegations are not permitted if they are on a subject that is beyond the jurisdiction of Council. No further action was taken on this request.

2024-01-15Questions regarding Daytime Warming Centre:

  • Why has Council endorsed $360,000 of the COVID-19 recovery funds to pay for this?
  • Why not fund this from the Emergency Fund Contingency Reserve set up in 2023 from the 2022 operating surplus?
  • Why not use that reserve to pay for the Daytime Warming Centre in future years instead of increasing property taxes?

(View full submission)

Staff have noted the City did not set-up an 'Emergency Fund Contingency Reserve' in 2023.  The new reserve that was established in 2023 was the Growing Communities Fund reserve, which was set up to hold the Growing Communities Fund grant received in 2023. Perhaps the writer is referring to the unallocated accumulated surplus amount for 2023 of $3.4M. If so, according to Finance policy # 307, "The transfer of a portion of the General Operating Fund accumulated surplus balance to current year operations can only be used for emergencies, non-recurring operating expenditures, or early debt repayment expenditures." The expenses related to the Warming Shelter do not meet this criterion.

2024-01-15Questions regarding 2023 operating surplus:

  • Why does Council wait until financial planning process is almost complete to learn operating surplus amount?
  • How is Council able to make informed decisions about the financial plan for 2024 - 2027 if they do not have access to the operating surplus from 2023 budget?

(View full submission)

Staff have noted that best practice, in a best-case scenario, is that budgets would be approved before the fiscal year starts, meaning before January 1 of the year, at which time operating surplus would not be known as the current year hasn't ended yet. Most BC municipalities do not approve their budgets until sometime in the 1st quarter of the year.   The City of White Rock is aiming to do the same and have its budget approved in early March 2024.

 As the City's year-end is December 31, the year-end work can only start in January. This early in the year-end process, operating surpluses are not yet known as it is only after the year-end work that these are finalized.  This is why they are not available until after the year-end work has been completed and are discussed as part of the audited financial statements.

 As is standard practice, the public will be notified of the year's operating surplus when Council is made aware.

 As was stated in the CFO's Letter of Transmittal for the 2022 Financial Statements, page 3 (part of the Jun 12, 2023, Agenda package), the $18.7M surplus that the writer is referring to is the consolidated surplus and before any of the budgeted transfers to reserves have been considered. The General Fund surplus was $12.8M. From that, the planned (budgeted) transfers to reserves of $9.3M left the city with an unallocated surplus of only $3.4M.  The majority of this amount was transferred to capital reserves. The writer is encouraged to read the CFO's Letter of Transmittal.


2024-01-15
Inquiry regarding building permit wait time.
Staff response was provided directly to the writer due to the subject matter containing personal information about a specific permit application.
2024-01-15
Suggestion for upgrades to be made along beachside walking path by railroad tracks between Oxford and Bayview streets, to make path more accessible.

Staff noted that it sounds like the person is referring to the beachside strip of land on the south side of the train tracks from Oxford to Bayview.

Given the proximity of this area to the ocean environment and sensitive dune habitat it is currently being maintained in its natural state as much as possible, with occasional invasive plant removal work by staff and partnership with the Lower Mainland Green Team.

We will take this feedback into consideration and will assess the area with this in mind.

DateQuestion/ CommentAnswer/Response
2023-12-11Concerns were noted regarding unfinished work in the area on Finlay, Russell and Maple Street (temporary curbs and sidewalks in asphalt need to be replaced with concrete, man holes in front of Altus have a dip and affect traffic, Russell and Finlay sinkholes, hydro poles need to be looked at)Resident was encouraged to report any issues through the City's Request for Service portal. This allows for staff to properly investigate complaints and concerns throughout the City.

Staff provided the following information following the meeting:


Finlay Street, Russell Avenue, Maple Street alignments:
BC Tel needs to be removed from poles (Hydro is off)

The pole identified is a terminus pole and is required to remain. The development is fully serviced underground for all third party utilities.
Curbs and sidewalks in asphalt as temporary needs to be concrete.
This is temporary work completed by neighbouring development at 1539 Maple Street, and will undergo full restoration by that developer, before the project is considered complete.

Finlay and Russell guy on Hydro pole not needed, so it should be removed.

Anchor requirements are as per BC Hydro/Telus Requirements. Some may be temporary once neighbouring development at 1539 Maple Street start undergrounding work for their associated development.
MH’s in front of Altus (Hydro) have a dip and affect traffic.
Any offsite settlement has been noted as a deficiency with the developer and will be corrected before further bond release.

Russell and Finlay sinkholes.
This is temporary work completed by neighbouring development at 1539 Maple Street, and will undergo full restoration by that developer, before the project is considered complete.

Small sample there are sidewalks that are in asphalt.
This is temporary work completed by neighbouring development at 1539 Maple Street, and will undergo full restoration by that developer, before the project is considered complete.
2023-12-11

Would City Council again consider requesting that city staff investigate a collaborative initiative for the Bright Walk in White Rock for 2024? (Read full submission)

Council approved Bright Walk last night as class A event for 2024. Regarding participation in future events, we encourage you to submit a special event application for 2025.  This process is a standard requirement for all external parties looking to organize events in our city.
2023-11-27Can the Mayor ask Metro to delay the decision relating to air quality and the biofuel plant?Comments were noted.
2023-11-27Will there be a referendum for the proposed Community Hub?Staff noted this is not expected as the City does not anticipate having to borrow for this project. 
2023-11-27Health and safety concerns were noted in regard to the Semiahmoo First Nations biofuel facility. Concerns with monitoring emissions were noted as it was stated there will not be oversight on SFN land.Comments were noted.
2023-11-27Safety concerns were noted with the proposed biofuel facility - how will White Rock respond if there is an emergency?Staff noted there is a Response Plan with Surrey and SFN and with Surrey Fire Services. 
2023-11-27How will White Rock monitor the emissions of the proposed biofuel plant? What will happen if the emissions exceed the permitted safety amounts - how will this be addressed? Comments were noted.
2023-11-27Concerns were provided about the proposed Biofuel site and the source report provided for the project.Comments were noted.
2023-11-27A question was asked regarding the Biofuel Plant proposed on Semiahmoo First Nation Land - what was discussed at the meeting with SFN? Opposition to this project was noted.No information to provide. Comments were noted.
2023-11-27

1. Would City Council consider introducing an amendment to the report before it is received that either removes the "important note" or places the information in a more appropriate context?

2. Would City Council ask City Staff why no "comments" from the survey have been provided as part of the report?

3. Would City Council ask City Staff why question #8 in the survey did not provide an option for "comments" and/or for one of the responses to be "reduce spending"?

(View full submissions.)

Thank you for your email and for bringing your concerns to our attention regarding the budget survey staff report.  

Regarding the "important note" in the report, it is indeed a fact that 163 survey responses, representing 0.8% of the population, are not statistically significant for a population of our size.  This note is included to provide context to Council and the public about the scale of the survey’s responses.   However, it’s crucial to understand that despite this, all information gathered through the survey is presented to Council for consideration.  Every response is valued, and the opinions of the 163 participants are an integral part of our budgetary discussions.

Addressing your specific questions:

1.    Amendment to the Report: City Council does not amend reports provided by staff.  Reports are prepared and presented by staff as a matter of process and contain factual and contextual information to aid in decision-making.

2.    Inclusion of Comments: Comments from the survey are indeed a part of the report, included in Appendix B.  These comments are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the community’s feedback and have been duly incorporated.

3.    Survey Question Suggestions:  Your suggestion regarding the inclusion of an option for “comments” or a response like “reduce spending” in question #8 of the survey is appreciated.  We recognize the value of such feedback in enhancing the effectiveness of our surveys.  This suggestion will be considered for inclusion in next year’s budget survey to ensure a broader range of responses.

2023-11-06Concerns were noted at the homeless count in the area. A warming and an overnight shelter is needed. Encouraged White Rock to with with the City of Surrey on this initiative. Comments only, no response provided.
2023-11-06Support was noted for the motion on the agenda later in the evening in regard to a warming centre in White Rock.Comments only, no response provided.
2023-11-06Support for the warming shelter motion later in the agenda was noted. It was further suggested that the Kent Street Activity Centre be used for an overnight / daytime warming centre. Comments only, no response provided.
2023-11-06

My question today is in reference to the cost of the "warming shelter" for White Rock this winter.

My recollection is that last spring City Council approved approximately 3.6 million dollars of the operating surplus for 2022 to be allocated to a new "Emergency Reserve Fund".

Is it not possible to allocate the required $480,000 for the 2023/2024 warming shelter cost from that "emergency reserve fund"?

The 2022's surplus has been fully allocated and is not available for the purpose of funding the warming shelter. While Council could consider using the anticipated surplus for 2023 to fund the warming shelter, I must advise against this as it is not staff’s recommended approach, nor is it sound financial practice to support ongoing operational expenses with surplus funds and/or reserves. We propose that the warming shelter service, which we have provided for the past two years, be integrated into the City’s base budget for continuous funding and support. The reliance on one-off, annual allocations has consistently put both Council and staff in precarious positions. This approach hinders our ability to organize the necessary service provisions in a timely manner, leading to last minute preparations and introducing uncertainty for the community members who rely on these services.

2023-10-30Concerns were noted on the proposed biofuel facility on the Semiahmoo First Nations Land, noting many from the Chinese community are concerned with this proposal relating to pollution and the safety for residents. Would like to see a better understanding of the potential project impacts.The City will be providing a letter to Metro Vancouver providing an overview of the concerns noted from the community. The City of Surrey may also do this. The proposed biogas facility is beyond City boundaries and jurisdiction as it is located on Semiahmoo First Nation land.
2023-10-30Concerns were noted on the proposed biofuel facility on the Semiahmoo First Nations Land relating to chemicals, safety and long-term damage for residents living nearby.The City will be providing a letter to Metro Vancouver providing an overview of the concerns noted from the community. The City of Surrey may also do this. The proposed biogas facility is beyond City boundaries and jurisdiction as it is located on Semiahmoo First Nation land.
2023-10-30Concerns were noted on the proposed biofuel facility on the Semiahmoo First Nations Land in terms of the company (should be reviewed), the close proximity to the train tracks (possible land instability) and concerns with the pollutants to the air in the area.The City will be providing a letter to Metro Vancouver providing an overview of the concerns noted from the community. The City of Surrey may also do this. The proposed biogas facility is beyond City boundaries and jurisdiction as it is located on Semiahmoo First Nation land.
2023-10-30Resident appeared to discuss a 2023-2024 warming shelter. It was suggested that a proposal similar to what Toronto has done for a Temporary Community Connection Centre be considered in the rear parking lot at Semiahmoo Mall.It was noted that staff is working with the City of Surrey staff on the warming centre. The resident was thanked for providing the information. 
2023-10-30

1. Would City Council please ask City Staff to provide our community with the six month interim financial statements for 2023?

2. If the interim financial statements are not available, could City Council ask City Staff to provide the operating surplus for the first 6 months of 2023 and the cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, 2023

Staff noted these questions were answered previously by staff and will be provided on the website. (View full submission with staff response on page 2))

2. We are currently transitioning to a new financial system. Once established, it will provide quarterly financial reports containing the specifics you're interested in, as noted by Ms. Garty in her October 16th email, confirming ongoing developments. For the time being, anticipate receiving the requested information during our year-end presentation to Council, which is typically held in the first quarter of the year.
2023-10-30When will the City inform the public regarding a warming site this year? (View full submission.)Staff are working on this topic; once specifics are determined it will be noted
2023-10-30Question surrounding warming shelters in the City -  if the City of White Rock Rec centres/ Library will be open for warming in the daytime? Further question as to the shelter budget of $80,000 (View full submission.)Staff noted that the City does not decide on use at the Library, there is not the staff to offer a daytime warming centre at the City's recreation facilities, and believes the figures for this use have always been $75,000 to $80,000 set aside for this use but would need to check
2023-10-16Concerns were noted with the lack of public consultation and potential harmful pollutants for White Rock residents for the Biofuel Plant proposed on Semiahmoo First Nation Land.Staff noted this is not a City of White Rock project and has no jurisdiction on this project. It is proposed by the Semiahmoo First Nation on their land.  They are working with Metro Vancouver and due to this the City has been asked to comment, later this evening the agenda has been amended for discussion on this matter. 
2023-10-16Concerns were noted with the process to obtain a building permit due to a tree covenant on a property Staff noted that an email had been provided previously on this topic which addressed these concerns.
2023-09-25Is the City of White Rock going to provide a similar survey and consultation opportunity for the Budget 2024 process?Yes, staff is working on this and will have more information to be provided in the near future.
2023-09-25Concerns were noted with traffic at the crosswalk by Blue Frog Studios on Johnston Road. A request was made to consider implementing lighting for the crosswalk, or to re-paint the lines so this is more visible.Staff noted that this will be part of phase 3 of the Johnston Road update; however, in the meantime repainting the crosswalk could be considered.

It was also noted that residents can utilize the Request for Service on the website to report issues they see in the City.
2023-09-25What is the status of a daytime warming shelter for 2023/2024?The Mayor informed that the City is working with the City of Surrey on this, this is actively being worked on, we are waiting to hear back, this item is on Surrey Council agenda for this week. 
2023-09-11

Would members of City Council, not City Staff, please explain how rescinding the terms of reference and axing IO committees is going to increase participation in our Municipal Government? 

In accordance with Council’s strategic priorities this Council have established a Housing Advisory Committee and a Public Art Advisory Committee where Terms of Reference for each were also established ensuring those priorities are addressed with the utmost of importance.  

The polices on the agenda are to rescind previous terms of reference for previous committees, not established by this Council

In regard to the Finance and Audit and the Governance and Legislation Committee, these were established previously as Standing Committees of Council.  These matters will instead now be brought directly to Council at the regular Council meeting.

2023-09-11

Permissive Tax Exemptions – questions around the requirements for this to be granted for the Centre for Active Living (stated that the Division of Family Practice would not be a not-for-profit organization).

Staff noted that the Division of Family Practice at the Centre for Active Living (CAL) is an umbrella organization that works to improve the health of the community by helping residents in a number of ways (examples: helping residents find a family doctor, identifying health needs in the community, attracting doctors to our community). It was clarified that the Division of Family Practice at CAL is not doing clinical practices at that location.
2023-09-11City staff working in the basement of the Annex Building –it was suggested that space be found for these staff upstairs at the Annex Building or elsewhereComments noted.
2023-07-24When will the promenade be fixed and reopened after the damage caused last week?Staff noted it should be open now. 
2023-07-24Stated that additional clearing on the "hump" is needed - unable to see the ocean from the view points in the area and this is important to consider during tourist season.Staff noted that work in the area has been done and that the funds allocated to this project within the budget ($10,000) have been spent.
2023-07-24Discussed tree cutting on the "hump" - is necessary to keep trees growing in that area to mitigate the risk of a slide.Comments only. No response required.
2023-07-24Thanked city staff and the RCMP for their support of White Rock Pride events over the past weekend. Would love to see more banners in the city supporting this as seen in other areas.

Further noted support of the maintenance of the "hump" area.
Comments only. No response required.
2023-07-24Why are trees on the "hump" and BNSF land being cut down - what is the cost of this for taxpayers over the last 15 years? Concern was noted with potential slides due to the cutting of trees.
2023-07-24Comments regarding infrastructure and multi-family solid waste collection services for major development projects (View submission.)Comments only. No response required.
2023-07-24Question surrounding tree cutting/ maintenance of the hump (View full question)
2023-07-24Question surrounding agenda item 6.2.e - Time Extension for Development Permit 400 - 1454 Oxford Street (view full question here)Answer provided by email and can be viewed HERE.
2023-07-10Question was asked on the current public hearing process for the City and why a recent public hearing for 1454 Oxford was waived by Council.A public hearing for 1454 Oxford took place on May 15th. After that time it was found there was a typo in the bylaw. This has been corrected under a new bylaw number which Council directed staff to waive an additional public hearing for as the bylaw is consistent with the OCP and a Public Hearing has already taken place.
2023-07-10Comments were noted on the proposed changes for question and answer period. Would like this to continue so residents have a way to reach out to Council.

Safety concerns for the missing mirror at Buena Vista and Beachview were echoed. 
Comments only. No response required.
2023-07-10Safety concerns were noted with the removal of a mirror at Buena Vista Avenue and Beachview Avenue. It was noted that this continues to be a safety issue that is not being adequately addressed. Does not want to wait 6 months for a Traffic Safety study to address this situation.The Mayor noted she has met with the resident at the site to discuss this matter. A traffic safety study is coming forward in the fall (will not be 6 months away).
2023-07-10Concerns were noted with the proposed changes to question and answer period.Comments only. No response required.
2023-07-10Concerns were noted with the time it has taken to acquire a tree permit with the City, A request was made to have a sit down meeting with staff to discuss this matter furtherStaff will follow up with the applicant.
2023-07-10Comments provided on proposed changes to Question and Answer Period.

Question: Councillors Partridge and Cheung, why did you really propose this amendment? Is this move really an effort to “improve administrative functionality at city hall” or is it designed to make it more difficult for people to Participate in Democracy in White Rock?
Comments noted. No answer provided at this time.
2023-06-26How are we supposed to review the Year End Report and provide meaningful commentary or questions if we only have a few days to work withI’m assuming you are referring to the 2022 Annual report which was available for review for the public as of June 9th and an opportunity for public participation was provided last night (see 6.2b agenda item for details without time limitations).   For other agenda items, if Council feels that there isn’t sufficient time to review the information provided by staff, they could always defer consideration of the decisions to a future meeting by majority vote.   Typically, information is provided at agenda publishing with ample time to review, however there is always going to be cases where time constraints require staff to provide information on-table.
2023-06-26How are residents and tax payers of White Rock supposed to review all the material related to the city council meeting this evening and ask questions that are restricted to a 2 minute Q/A periodCouncil’s procedure bylaw currently allows for 15 minutes for Q&A for all meeting participants ~ Each speaker will be given two (2) minutes, the speaker will be given one (1) opportunity to ask a question or make comment(s) during this time.  In the circumstance there is still time from the original 15 minutes remaining and there are no further speakers a second opportunity may be provided.   Q&A can be extended to 15 more minutes at the end of the meeting by Council majority vote.   Council could always direct staff to change the Procedure Bylaw
2023-06-12Staff/ Council were asked to investigate if grant funding could be utilized for the decaying hillside/ ravine behind a residents property.Funding is not identified for stabilizing the hillside backing into five properties on the south side of Marine Drive.
2023-06-12Comments were provided on:
  • Safety concerns with the mirror taken down at Buena Vista Avenue and Beachview Avenue
  • Federal funding available for municipalities to assist with staffing - suggested this could address issues with building permit wait times
  • Council Code of Conduct Bylaw - question if this bylaw is being upheld. 





Staff is aware of the federal funding and will continue to look into this. It was clarified that funding is not the issue, it is finding qualified staff to apply. Council will be meeting to discuss the Growing Communities Fund Grant at the Special Council meeting on June 19, 2023.
2023-06-12Safety concerns were noted with a mirror that has been taken down at the intersection of Buena Vista Avenue and Beachview Avenue.Staff have corresponded with the residents. The intersection of Buena Vista and Beachview is added to the list of ten locations under review as part of the ITIMP follow up study on speed and traffic safety. We expect to report the results to Council in the Fall. If the consultant recommends safety improvements, we will carry them out following the report. If the recommended improvements involve curb realignments or other significant budget items, we will include this project in the 2024 budget submission.
2023-06-12Concerns were noted with the longer wait times for building permits and the amount of permits that staff is processing per month. Can Council address this issue?
Concerns were also noted with a covenant on the residents property and an outstanding building permit application.

Council and staff are aware that there are concerns in the community regarding building permit application timelines. Council and staff recognize how these timelines are affecting applicants, as a result the following actions are underway in an effort to reduce these timelines:

1.    Council authorized funds for 2 new positions in the Building Division this past budget cycle. We are actively recruiting for a newly created Building Official III position, and to fill two vacant Building Official positions, and have recently filled a newly created clerical support position for the Building Division  – there are also two more positions in the strategic plan to be filled before 2026 (based on budget approvals).

2.    Council also authorized funds to contract consultant services to help alleviate the file volume.  This contract has been awarded and the contractor is now reviewing building permit applications.

3.    We are now also utilizing casual building staff to help with the backlog of applications

With respect to the covenant concerns and the specific details surrounding the residents property it was requested that the resident follow-up with staff. 

2023-06-12

Was City Council aware of the approximate size of the Operating Surplus for 2022 when they made the decision not to do a department-by-department review of the 2023 financial plan on February 13 of this year?

If not, why not and if yes, why wasn’t using a portion of the 18 million dollar operating surplus considered as a way to avoid the 2.5 million dollar property tax increase for 2023?

I refer back to my response below on the make-up of the surplus and note that the $18M amount is inclusive of the utility funds and does not include planned transfers to reserve funds for capital asset improvements.
2023-06-12Since the financial statements confirm that there is an amount of 3.5 million dollars in unallocated operating surplus from last year, will City Council allocate these funds to a Property Tax reserve that would be used to offset a property tax increase for 2024?The City does not typically allocate all of the operating surplus, after transfers to reserve funds, to offset future year’s property taxes because these represent the City’s contingency funds.  As mentioned in the CFO Financial Statement Letter of Transmittal, these funds are purposely kept unallocated to help protect the City against unanticipated events that can trigger deficits.
2023-06-12

Alternatively, will City Council commit to mandating a Financial Plan Review to discover ways to utilize the 2022 unallocated operating surplus of 3.5 million dollars to achieve a 0% property tax increase in 2024?

Council has received question 3 – from staff perspective, and although this is possible, and Council could direct staff to use capital for operations, it is not based on sound and responsible accounting practices as “saving” one year would come at a much higher cost the year after.   The only way to achieve a 0% property tax increase is by cutting services/people. 
2023-06-12

According to the KPMG audited financial statements for 2022, there has been a sizable operational surplus totaling more than 30 million dollars over the past two years.

In addition, the City of White Rock has in excess of 154 million dollars in cash and cash equivalents (instruments that can be readily converted to cash) in the bank. See Freedom of Information #2023 – 30.

Since City Council has recently approved a five-year financial plan that will see total tax increases in excess of 9 million dollars, will City Council consider forming a Financial Review Advisory committee to make recommendations on a Participatory Budgeting process that would provide for greater community input to the annual five-year financial plan?

You are referencing to a $30M operating surplus over the past two years.  For clarity, the 2022 surplus was $18.7M and the 2021 surplus was $11.2M.

It is important to note that these surplus figures are consolidated surplus figures, meaning that they include any surpluses in the utilities as well (e.g. sanitary sewer, water, etc.).  Further, these surplus amounts, as stated on the Statement of Operations, are before any of the budgeted transfers to reserves have been made.  These transfers to reserves are all “below the line” and are not included in the surplus funds noted on the Statement of Operations.

The CFO Financial Statement Letter of Transmittal, which was included as Appendix B in the Director of Financial Services corporate report titled “Draft 2022 Audited Financial Statements”.  On page 3 of the transmittal letter, a graph has been included which breaks down the surplus between the general fund and the utility funds.  Furthermore, the first paragraph under this graph states that the surplus amounts provided are prior to the planned transfers to reserve funds, such as asset improvement funds.  After the planned transfers are made, the unallocated operating surplus for 2022 is $3.4M.

These transfers to reserve funds are necessary in order to fund asset improvements to city infrastructure, such as maintain the water system, maintaining roads and sidewalks.  Without these funds, city infrastructure would not be able to be maintained as there would not be funding for it.  This is also mentioned in the CFO transmittal letter.

The practice of putting funds into reserve funds is similar to a homeowner putting money away to pay for a new roof.  The saving money part is similar to the City moving the funds into reserve.  When the asset is upgraded or improved, i.e. a new roof, the funds come out of the reserve to pay for the cost.

The cash and cash equivalents value of $154M includes cash accounted for in reserve funds.  These funds are needed to fund operations and capital asset improvement costs.

Mayor & Council has received your comments regarding a Financial Review Advisory committee.

2023-05-15Concerns were noted with charges/ fines for an unregistered suite and the process to follow to register a suite with the city.Staff noted that there is a $250 for an unregistered suite for the purpose of using services. Staff will reach out to the resident directly to discuss this matter further.
2023-05-01None
2023-04-17Concerns were noted with the City's Tree Management program in relation to building a new home at 15829 Prospect Crescent.Staff noted they are aware of this issue and that a response will be provided by email later this week. 
2023-04-17Concerns were noted with parking issues for a business owner on Marine Drive. Access to his business requires access through another property which is a concern. Would like staff to look into what can be done to properly address this issue.Resident was encouraged to reach out to the Engineering Department to see what can be done to address the issue. 
2023-04-17Comments on the Centre Street Walkway project - what is the scope and when will the project be started? Concerns were noted with a letter that was sent to properties with encroachments on Centre Street and the timeline for removal. Staff noted that Council gave direction to remove the encroachments and that a report would be coming back to Council within the next few months with a project scope for Centre Street (project design/ what can be done up to $100,000).
2023-04-17Question regarding the financial plan "Waterfront Asset Improvement" and the pier restoration budget. View full submission.

The resident's question refers to page 225 of the agenda package: Parks - Asset Improvement Financial Plan.  For further clarity, a detailed list of the Waterfront asset improvement projects is on the following page, page 226, of the agenda package.

The pier restoration project has not been abandoned.

The resident is correct that a line item must be included in the financial plan in order for government to give consideration to a grant application (made by the City) for the item.

As has been discussed at previous meetings, and as noted on page 88 of the agenda package, note 5, the carry forwards for incomplete capital projects have not been included in this version of the financial plan.  Once the financial audit has been completed, the financial plan will be updated to include the carry forwards and it will be brought back to Council.  The pier restoration project is one of those carry forwards.

Note: carry forwards for incomplete projects to do affect the current year's (2023) property tax increase.

2023-04-17Question surrounding the budget, how the tax rate was accomplished and what the non-market fund is. View full submission

Non-market fund refers to the non-market change in the tax rolls.  It is the result of new construction/development as well as changes in zoning and exemptions.

Yes, it is the same source of funds as the $125K voted on by the Finance & Audit Committee in February 2023.  In February 2023 we had an updated, but not final, revised roll report from BC Assessment, which led to the inclusion of the additional $125K in the financial plan.  The City has since received the final numbers from BC Assessment, which led to the additional $113K being added into the current (April 17, 2023) financial plan.

At the March 27, 2023 Finance & Audit Committee meeting we started with a property tax increase of 7.3%.  At that meeting it was resolved to remove free weekday parking at the waterfront during the winter months, which was a $75K change and reduced the property tax increase to 7.02%.  Since then, we have received the final revised roll which added the $113K of non-market change revenue mentioned above and brought the property tax increase down to 6.59%.

2023-03-27The owner of Buena Vista Lodge attended to voice concerns with Fraser Health removing the funding to the lodge. 12 beds will be lost which means there will no longer be a mental health facility left in White Rock.

An additional speaker echoed the concerns on losing this for the community. Residents in the building are White Rock residents, their families live in White Rock - they should not be moved. Council was encouraged to do anything they can to ensure that this does not happen.
Council supported a resolution directing staff to provide a letter of support for Buena Vista Lodge to be sent to Fraser Health and the Ministry of Health as soon as possible.
2023-03-27Further concerns were noted with the conditions of the sidewalks and gardens along Johnston Road. Uptown should not be neglected. It was further noted that the  sidewalks are a mix of brick, asphalt and pavement - is this temporary?Staff confirmed that the asphalt sidewalk - 1400 block of Johnston - is temporary until new utilities are put into the area (expected to be done in summer, 2023).
2023-03-27It was noted that the sidewalks and gardens along Johnston Road and the nearing side streets are not being kept up. Having more of a focus on the uptown area is needed. Pictures submitted for reference.Staff thanked the speaker for their comments and noted that the city is always looking to improve. It was further noted that there is a Request for Service area on the website and encouraged members of the public to submit a ticket if there is an area that seems unsafe (uneven sidewalks etc.)
2023-03-13

A resident spoke in support of fees for Freedom of Information requests.


Comments only - no response provided.

2023-03-13Intersection safety at Buena Vista Avenue and Beachview Avenue. Previously there had been a mirror to assist with visibility which is no longer there.Staff confirmed that the mirror was broken in the storm and that the city would not be re-installing this as it is not up to safety standards; however, staff is looking at other solutions for traffic safety in that area.
2023-03-13Parking fees in the city and a lack of accessibility for City buildings. Comments only - no response provided.

2023-03-13Homelessness and addiction in White Rock – what can Council and staff do to address this issue?Staff noted that homelessness is a concern for everyone in B.C. Council supported the implementation of a daytime warming shelter, which runs through the end of March. Council also made a commitment to work with staff to seek help from higher levels of government to continue to look at ways to address this issue.
2023-03-13Support was noted for the White Rock BIA and the work they do for businesses and the community.Comments only - no response provided.
2023-03-13

Concerns were noted with the proposed fees being implemented for Freedom of Information requests.

Comments only - no response provided.
2023-03-13Regarding job descriptions of city employees - would it be possible to provide a list that combines a description of each of the 180 positions complete with the salaries associated with those positions in time for the next Finance and Audit Committee meeting? 

Note: Question was submitted both on table and in person at the meeting.
View staff response and the full question.
2023-03-13Comments regarding multi-family solid waste collection (view full submission)Comments received for information
2023-03-13Comments regarding Council's endorsement of the City of Langley's proposal to tax multi-family home owners at a higher rate than single family home owners. (view full submission)Comments received for information
2023-02-27Further information was requested regarding the breakdown for the 2023-2027 Financial Plan in regard to labour and expenses for each department. View full question.Staff provided a labour breakdown..
2023-02-13A request was made to include development and promotion of Arts and Culture in White Rock as a Council Strategic Priorities focus area.It was noted that this has been addressed within the strategic priorities document under Section 1F, and that an annual report card on the Cultural Strategic Plan is anticipated to be presented to Council late March / early April.
2023-02-13Comments received on the 2023-2027 Financial Plan public input process, including a request that Council consider including a "public forum" for questions about the plan between February 13 to March 13, 2023. Concern was noted with the "What We Heard" report from staff being presented to Council at the same meeting where the Financial Plan Bylaw is to be considered for its initial readings.It was noted that this request for a public forum will be considered at the appropriate time, given the Financial Plan timeline. 

View Revised Time Table for Public Input.
2023-02-13Concern was noted around many City roads needing repair. It was asked when the City will be able to allocate funds to do this work.Staff noted that a request for $500K annually for repaving roadways has been included in the Five Year Financial Plan to be considered by Council in March. The City will be carrying funds over this year to make a total program of slightly more than $1M. Additionally, there are further paving works associated with utility upgrades scheduled this year, such as the paving of Thrift Avenue west of Johnson Road to Vidal Street.
2023-02-13A question was raised regarding discrepancies in numbers on a list of City staff positions and job descriptions that had been provided to the previous Council in 2022.Upon the new Director of Human Resources beginning with the City, a review of the City's workforce was conducted, utilizing the information provided to Council as a starting point. Upon review, it was determined that there were 163 regular positions. This was verified against the organizational chart and by speaking with Managers/Directors to determine where if the numbers in the spreadsheet were less than the workforce report, why those discrepancies existed. The additional 17 FTE (full time equivalency) were found to be seasonal and casual positions who worked part time and temporary hours, that when combined were equivalent to full time hours. They are found within departments such as Parking, Recreation and Culture, and Engineering and Municipal Operations, who use casual and TFT seasonal staff during peak times. 
2023-01-30Council was asked to consider negotiating a master contract with a private waste company to assist those living in multi-family dwellings.Council provided direction at the January 16 Council meeting to remain with the status quo for garbage pickup, whereby multi-family and commercial solid waste collection is privately managed.  Based on the RFP response multi-family buildings would pay equal or possibly more if the city were to take this on as a city-managed service.
2023-01-30Concern was noted over permit issuance backlogs and what can be done to expedite the process.

Staff noted that within the 2023 budget there is a request to hire two (2) new positions within the Development Services Department which would expedite the current process. Hiring for these positions cannot be done until after the 2023 budget is approved by Council (the deadline to approve the budget is May 15, 2023; however, this could happen sooner).

Later in the evening Council endorsed a resolution to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to hire temporary contracted Building Official services to assist staff with building permit application reviews in all application streams in order to reduce current building permit backlog.

2023-01-16A request was made for the City to change back to a city managed garbage pick-up program for all White Rock residents.A corporate report on this topic was discussed later in the meeting. View Report and meeting video.
2023-01-16What is the City's planning process in order to address inflation and growth?Staff will be bringing the budget forward in February. The City has five (5) year plans but will be looking further than this to balance the needs of community with the needs of the infrastructure in White Rock.