Because of my long history as chair of the City of Whitehorse’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee, I feel a responsibility to share my observations on the eve of our civic election.
First, I only have two committed votes this year, one for Dan Curtis and one for Robert Fendrick. Mayor Curtis’s commitment to PDAC and its work has been, in my opinion, sincere and heartfelt. Robert was responsible for a good number of city projects, including the much needed lifts in City Hall, and was our go-to guy when we needed advice and a balanced opinion of what was reasonable and/or couldn’t be done. I can’t say enough about my respect for both of these gentlemen.
Second, George White, Helen Strelioff and I have resigned from PDAC, and I have been informed that there is one more resignation to come.
Over the years the committee has focussed on being solution-based and supportive when it comes to the issues we’ve dealt with, and we’ve been proud to have both advocated and helped the city put out some fires. Nevertheless, and try as we might, there have always been a number of senior city managers who have either dug in their heels and ignored our recommendations, or have gone a different direction without explanation or consultation on whether it was an acceptable alternative.
It must be pointed out that most of these issues have not been about spending money. They have been about setting standards that would ensure accessibility at places like the Pepsi Centre, universal access to
the transportation sector, flex housing so that future Yukoners can age-in-place without having to move into a long-term care facility, and something as simple as proper crosswalk design, so that everyone can navigate our city safely. To quote one of my co-members, “They are doing things because they can, not because they should.”
Our experience with the new city manager indicates that this trend is likely to continue with more vigor, and after attempts to influence our agenda and the way the committee operates, we decided that enough is enough.
So I am voting for Dan and Robert because they have proven to me that they understand the commitment needed to move this city forward, and aren’t afraid to do find a way to make it happen. Meanwhile, I will be putting my energy where the attitude is, “Let’s be pro-active and get ahead of the curve,” instead of “Let’s see how many complaints we get.” As a taxpayer, that’s how I want my money spent.