With the election only a few days away, I would like to offer some thoughts on a wish list for the candidates and the new council to consider.
Proceed with the approval of a high quality development on the property next to the Beach Club, ensuring that there are significant public amenities that provide access to the beach and walkway. Integrate the ocean-front with the downtown core.
Do not spend public funds to purchase this private property, estimated to be $15 million.
Work towards the construction of a pier at the end of the walkway that would facilitate access to the ocean. Include a small restaurant on the point at the end of the walkway.
Explore ways to get rid of the Surfside RV park, and replace it with a quality eco-resort that allows access to the estuary for the public and preserves this environment. This would allow for the extension of the boardwalk to the Englishman river and eventually to Rathtrevor park.
Get started on a downtown revitalization initiative that would involve a re-designed and built transportation plan.
This could include converting the four-lane Island highway from McMillan to McVickers to a two-lane road with on-street parking.
Create a ring-road around the downtown area from McMillan to Jensen and complete the Jensen extension to McVickers.
Convert the Alberni highway from the Chevron gas station to Jensen to a one-way street going west, reverse Craig street to one-way towards the water, consider other traffic flow ideas and create a downtown park to provide a community gathering area.
Work with the downtown business community, citizens groups, and the chamber to refresh and plan the downtown core area to make it a more attractive area to shop and visit.
Change the leadership in city hall by hiring a new CAO with fresh ideas and energy.
Create an economic development commission to develop a new strategy for economic development that attracts new business and young families to the area, and provide employment opportunities for local citizens.