LynnValleyLife asked each Lynn Valley-residing DNV council candidate to respond to a set of questions designed to help readers become acquainted with their views. Read about candidate Linda Findlay, below, and see our original story for links to all the candidate profiles.

What prompted you to run for election?

Community issues have always been a focus in my life and running for Council has always been on my “to do” list.

Linda FindlayMy husband, Doug, and I have been lifelong residents of the North Shore, raising our two sons here and for me in particular, establishing my career here.    My motivation for running for Council of the District of North Vancouver is my passion for the vitality and sustainability of our community. I support a collaborative and multi-dimensional approach to solving problems and overcoming issues so that all stakeholders are acknowledged, recognized and included.

What experience do you bring to the job that you believe would be valuable?

Lynn Valley has been our home for the past 26 years…having volunteered endless hours to the Lynn Valley Soccer Association and the Lynn Valley Little League, which I’m sure many of your readers can relate to!

I have always had a sense of community service and over the years have been involved with many local organizations.  I was passionately involved with the Upper Lynn Parent Advisory Council for 12 years, serving the last two years as President.  I served the youth of the community during my 6 years with Scouts Canada as a leader, a trainer, and on executive.  I continued my commitment to young minds when I volunteered with Junior Achievement during my long career in the financial services industry.

For the past 10 years, I have committed myself to the Royal Canadian Legion and the veterans who so proudly served and those who continue to serve our great country and the community at large.  From these experiences I have gained much and feel that I can bring leadership skills to the roll of Councillor.  I will also bring honesty and integrity to the table and the tenacity to get things done.

What do you appreciate about the manner in which DNV council currently conducts its affairs?

There are many challenges to being on Council.  There is never a “one size fits all” in any situation, no matter if the issue is transportation, housing, development, infrastructure, rezoning or contract negotiation.

The current DNV Council takes much into consideration when rendering decisions based on factual information supplied by District staff, input from the public at large, consideration of effects on budgetary alottments and overall practicality of the offering/issue.  From observations  made from attending council meetings or watching online recordings of the same, this Council does its best to weigh all factors and listen to all participants that are engaged to provide the best outcome possible.

What would you like to see change?

More active community involvement in issues, council meetings, public hearings, etc. is required.

To actively engage in community issues is not easy and takes commitment.  It would be good to see more communication from the DNV to the community at large informing them of upcoming/ongoing issues and the meetings/hearings that would be available for the public to attend.

Engaging the public at large, not only through print media and DNV webpage, but incorporating twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media to inform a wider audience and generate involvement, is critical.  Community associations, community websites, like LynnValleyLife, and local service clubs also contribute to spreading the word and we need to encourage more of this in other communities throughout the District.

Lynn Valley’s town planning process was long and, in some respects, divisive. What was your experience with this process, and what did you learn?

Yes, the Lynn Valley town planning process was long.  I was involved from the beginning when it started in the 1990s.

It went through many transformations.  This was a direct result of the community becoming involved and letting the municipal government know that we were engaged.  We let the previous and existing Councils know that we were concerned about the liveability of our community.

Although it took nearly 20 years, the overall OCP for the Lynn Valley area addresses most of the concerns of the citizenry and those who wish to develop within our boundaries.  The overall community voice was heard by the DNV.  Concessions were made by all to contribute to the greater good.

The Bosa development of the Lynn Valley Centre Mall is the right fit for that particular property.  The developer listened to the community and presented a project that, although outside the guidelines of the OCP, reduced height from what was allowable for that piece of property, addressed community amenities, park space, traffic issues and aesthetic values.

We have seen many new developments over the past ten years within Lynn Valley.  River Rock, Dakota, Laurels, Highgate, Craftsmen Estates, The Evergreens, Branches, Lynn Valley Private Hospital, Balmoral and Sunrise have all been built and absorbed into the fabric of Lynn Valley life…and our Library and Town Square, a hub of family and community activity.  That equals one development per year.

In-fill housing, townhouses, multiplex (duplex/triplex) units are also a concern in Lynn Valley.  Aging homes on larger parcels of land have been rezoned over the years to allow for more density.  This has been primarily market-driven as Lynn Valley has become an extremely popular place to live and raise a family.  We are not alone; this has been a trend in most communities in the DNV.

A slowing in the pace of development, of not only multi-storey development but also the rezoning of residential lands, to ensure that new builds blend in with the overall aesthetic of the affected neighbourhoods and to ensure that infrastructure and transportation issues are addressed as part of the overall solution.

Through this entire process the people of Lynn Valley have demonstrated that they are a passionate bunch.  And I am proud to count myself as one of them.

What do you think is the most difficult challenge councillors have to face in their work?

The most difficult challenge Councillors face is balance.  Balancing growth with infrastructure.  Balancing infrastructure with funding.  Balancing funding from all sources, such as Provincial and Federal Ministries, Metro/Translink, developers and taxation.  Balancing the needs of the few (special interest groups of all kinds) with the needs of the many (the population at large).  Not an easy task.  A collaborative and multi-dimensional approach to solving problems and overcoming issues so that all stakeholders are acknowledged, recognized and included can achieve much.

What do you appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community?

The thing I appreciate most about the Lynn Valley community, is just that, the overall sense of community.  From the very young to our most compromised seniors, Lynn Valley is a family.  Lynn Valley citizens are supportive, understanding, inclusive, vibrant and caring.  We celebrate and laugh together, and we mourn and grieve together. We care about each other. There really is no other place that I would rather live.

Learn more on Linda’s campaign website.