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Letter: Burnaby city hall plan shows council is out of touch

Renovation of existing premises would be a better option, given its central and easily accessible location, reader says.
Burnaby City Hall.


Editor: After seeing another mailout from the city I don't think the staff and council are hearing the message from the population of Burnaby. 

Metrotown is a terrible location for doing cty hall business.  It's not central, is too busy and densely populated for anyone to get to by car. Yes, by car. I would expect a large portion of daily city business is done by builders dealing with permitting issues. Unfortunately, they need to drive from jobsite to jobsite since transit doesn't work for that.

City hall is currently very central, and easily accessed. Many people I know, myself included, don't believe the current building or buildings are in as poor condition as is being said in the pitch for a new hall. I believe the old building can be renovated, added to or replaced in phases. There are plenty of beautiful, well-watered lawns and gardens in the current location where additions or replacements could be built in phases. I hear that possibly the courthouse building is being vacated. If that's correct, there'll be plenty more space to occupy or redevelop. 

At the open house I attended, a planner said that a highrise is needed as the replacement and couldn't be built in the current location. Why a highrise? How many floors of staff do they need? This planner also said they are understaffed making set up of the open house difficult and that there is no plan for the current city hall location once it's vacant. Some planning that is. It's hard to believe that the electric car charging facility at city hall was approved and built with a plan to move to a new city hall in the works. What a totally irresponsible decision and waste of money that was. I wonder what the cost to turn over the fleet was and to build this? Millions, I'm sure.

I read the sticky notes posted by other attendees of the open house and found that they were all in opposition to the city hall proposal. Not one note of support to be found. Where were the mayor and council to help explain this crazy scheme? Not even one attended. 

This council is out of touch with the citizens. The mayor's office doesn't even have the common decency to send an official response to correspondence received by the mayor and council. I recall years ago this would automatically have happened to show respect. 

I hope that city hall will give this a rethink. There are some good people among them that just need to wake up. If they do, maybe common sense and fiscal responsibility will prevail.

Keith Pinchin