Sadly, successive councils dating back to 1992, when I moved to Mission, have all proposed a “new city hall” but the necessary vision and ability to make tough decisions has always been a fleeting commodity.
Whoever made the decision to locate the existing city hall in rural Mission and to not provide for gradual expansion to accommodate needs has left a lasting legacy we now find ourselves dealing with again – renovate or relocate?
The visionary solution is to establish a new civic centre on district-owned land at Welton Commons (the old Buy-Low site) by creating a new high-rise development with city hall as a main floor anchor, adjoining below- and above-ground parking, art gallery, public outdoor square and high-rise housing, including low-cost affordable to market value, with retail and grocery on the ground floor.
This would facilitate attracting more downtown residents and create a more vibrant shopping and living experience. Mission needs effective planning, led by a more progressive council.
Now we envisage more draconian plans to renovate the existing city hall, rather than take a pro-active visionary step to focus investment where it is needed – downtown/waterfront – now! We desperately need a visionary and effective development department to augment making investors know Mission is open for business and what we offer, not more negative decisions and creating a perpetuation of excuses why we can’t move forward.
Simply, citizens expect a more visionary council and to embark upon projects finally that resonate with the public needs and reflect a council leading our community into an inclusive modern entity.