Jim Watson says he wants to improve customer service at city hall, possibly including money-back guarantees.
“I think we need an overall attitude change at city hall. City Hall should be there to be helping people, not hindering them,” Watson told a group at the Abbotsford House Senior Citizens’ Centre yesterday.
Approvals for site plans and zoning applications, he said, take too long and involve too much red tape.
As provincial minister of consumer affairs, Watson recalled, he tackled a backlog of 300,000 birth certificate applications by automating the system and waiving all fees for any online applications that weren’t processed in 15 business days.
“We’ve got to bring that same attitude to city hall and if the city doesn’t meet the standards that we’ve all agreed on, you shouldn’t be punished by being forced to pay for that service.
“After the last four years we have to, in my opinion, return to a City Hall that’s on your side.”