The election campaign is over, so it is now time for our NEW Township of Langley Municipal Council to put their money where their mouth is. My observation of their first council business meeting sent a strong message that they are doing just that, what a refreshing start!

Their published agenda was long and it contained many items that will be of serious public interest dealing with many of the “Contract with Langley” election commitments and promises. The most relevant and obvious observation, beyond the issues that they dealt with, was the decorum among members of council, the attitude of all members of council that were present towards each other, and in a couple of cases to disagree without being disagreeable.

It was interesting that Councillor Kim Richter was absent from the first regular meeting and yet attended the evenings Public Hearing. No reason was given?

The benefits of having a majority on council were clearly on display, however with that majority comes a very real responsibility on the part of the meeting chair, Mayor Eric Woodward. The meeting was very well chaired displaying a humble willingness to ensure they were not going to be overpowering but were inclusive for comment by all members as well as through a well laid out series of “Notices of Motions”. A special shout out to independent Councillors Margaret Kunst and Michael Pratt for their professional  participation expressing their views in what might seem to be a challenging new environment. This meeting shows it can work well. All in all it was a great start; the first meeting of a four-year term and “Contract with Langley”!

I have no problem saying, which I have done recently; the campaign put together by the Contract with Langley team was the best I have seen in over 40 years of being involved in politics. They clearly laid out the issues; they laid out their platform, all the while incorporating their plan of how they were going to pay for their promises. Their presentation was extensive with simple but well put together graphics in signage, print, extensive social media messaging including numerous videos, partnership / endorsement support of community sport groups plus numerous community town hall events. The underlying key feature of everything they were promising, was their need to elect a majority of their team to be able to deliver on their promised platform. They now have their majority, they now have their mandate – now it is time for them to deliver, and it is up to them.

Elections are often treated with a healthy dose of skepticism by the general public in terms of delivering on election promises. Aside from the normal agenda items for 1st and 2nd readings, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd readings, 3rd readings and correspondence items, the following is an abbreviated recap of some key steps this council took in their first meeting to obviously meet the expectations they set through the promises they made. It speaks volumes to their commitment to deliver:

Notice of Motion from Councillor Rindt regarding the Agricultural Land Reserve: Of significant importance was a Notice of Motion on the 93 acre Bucci Developments property at the corner of 64th / Mufford and 208th, serving notice that the Township of Langley WILL NOT support any exclusion application to the ALC of this property. It is “contrary to the public interest due to the quality, location, and Council’s preference to retain agricultural land within the Township of Langley”. This was unanimously supported. NOTE: This property is part of the historical Hudsons Bay Farm that the B.C. Liberal Government, through TransLink in 2009, attempted to run the Mufford Crescent Diversion through the middle of, diverting all traffic over to the corner of 216th and 64th. While it took an extensive two year fight against all of the major players including our Council, our Community Minority Report to the ALC finally won out when I was the Mayor.

Notice of Motion from Mayor Woodward for the Reconsideration of the Conwest Gloucester Application: Primary goal is for the reconsideration and further discussion regarding the Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) for the benefit of the Township of Langley. Majority supported, Councillor Kunst opposed.

Notice of Motion from Mayor Woodward for the Reconsideration of the Qualico Mitchell Williams LLP Application Development Permit No. 101029: Primary goal is for the reconsideration and further discussion surrounding density, road networks and Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) for the benefit of the Township of Langley. Majority supported, Councillor Kunst opposed.

Notice of Motion from Mayor Woodward for the Reconsideration of the Qualico Mitchell Williams LLP Application Development Permit No. 101027 and 101213: Primary goal is for the reconsideration and further discussion surrounding density, road networks and Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) for the benefit of the Township of Langley. Majority supported, Councillor Kunst opposed.

Notice of Motion from Mayor Woodward for a Community Amenity Contributions Policy Update: A very detailed explanation to staff directing staff to prepare an update to Council’s CAC policy based on the detailed explanation outlined. Included was a priority list of the community amenities to be included. This was unanimously supported.

Notice of Motion from Mayor Woodward – Direction to staff for NEW Community and Planning Priorities: A very detailed request to staff for CAC update, complete review and update of neighborhood plans within Willoughby, consolidation of Greenway amenity policies, complete Booth, Rinn and Fernridge neighborhood plans, complete and update Williams Neighborhood Plan, complete and update Smith Neighborhood Plan, and disband the Willowbrook Planning Team to provide a wider spectrum of public input. This was unanimously supported.

Notice of Motion from Mayor Woodward for Willoughby Arterial Road Community Amenity Program (WARCAP) Consolidation with Road DCCs: A direction to staff dealing with a process to update DCC charges and the consolidation of such to advance the need for the promised update to Willoughby Arterial Road improvements. (Example 208th and 80th among others) This was unanimously supported.

Notice of Motion from Councillors Pratt and vanPopta regarding a Final resolution of North Langley Water Issues: A detailed motion directing staff to report back to council a process to cease the use of well water in Fort Langley and implement the service of Metro Vancouver water to this area as soon as possible. This was unanimously supported.

Notice of Motion from Councillor Baillie to add 40 full time firefighters 2023 – 2028: Due to the extensive growth within the Township of Langley and the current understaffing of full time firefighters staff are directed to incorporate the costs of 40 full time firefighters spread over a 5 year time span. This was unanimously supported.

Notice of Motion from Mayor Woodward requesting review of Salmon River Uplands Rural Community Plan: That Council considers any residential subdivision in the Salmon River Uplands area to be contrary to the public interest if subdivided under current minimum parcel sizes and before Council addresses minimum parcel sizes in relation to the review. This was unanimously supported.

Notice of Motion from Mayor Woodward for the initiation of Priority Project Works with initial Preparations: That staff initiate the planning for 1) a NEW Indoor Pool and Community Center within Yorkson Community Park in Willoughby 2) A NEW Soccer Campus within Smith Neighborhood Plan in Willoughby and 3) A NEW Ice and Dry Floor recreation facility at the Langley Events Center in Willoughby. This was unanimously supported.  

Notice of Motion from Councillor vanPopta for Council Consideration of project 08-26-0225 (45 Story Vesta Tower) at 80th and 200th Street: In a very detailed notice of motion and reasons for it that Council advise staff to communicate with Vesta Properties in writing that they will not consider (they will deny) the planned 45 story high-rise at this location directing them to complete their previously approved planned community consisting of low rise condominiums and townhouses. This was unanimously supported.

Full Disclosure, I fully support the foregoing initiatives however while I understand the sentiment I totally disagree with the following Notice of Motion and explain why. I am sure many will disagree with my conclusion but think about someone new wanting to run?

Notice of Motion from Councillor Baillie – Election signs to be restricted to Private Property: Direction to staff to bring forward an amendment to the Election and Political Signs by-law prohibiting any and all election signage on Township property.

Editorial opinionAs a political activist, candidate, elected and campaign manager for over 45 years, municipal, provincial and federal, I hate election signs with a passion and more than anyone, however democracy has a price and comes at a cost. It is increasingly difficult for non-incumbents to raise their profile during an election campaign. We are now running elections every 4 years, less frequent elections bring less opportunity to raise community profile. Many will remember our elections were every 2 years. Our new campaign financing laws place further restrictions on anyone interested in running. Three weeks of looking at unsightly election signs, every 4 years is a small price to pay for our democratic process. I would also suggest it is somewhat a conflict-of-interest for an elected Municipal Council to place restrictions on future candidates vying for their jobs. I remember a comment made about damage and theft as a problem – I know that problem better than anyone, it is a fact of life and it is still no excuse to impose these restrictions on future candidates. I would hope that Council will reconsider this move or at the very least have staff prepare a report on election signage policies of surrounding municipalities.    

Summary

As is clearly identified in their first agenda, this Council appears to not only want to change how things are done but are determined to move quickly in their efforts, I applaud them for that. It strikes me that this is only the start of implementing the changes the Township of Langley has been looking for, for over two decades. They have to use their majority wisely and if my experience on a Council as part of a slate means anything, there will be conflicts and disagreements – that is healthy. Again you can disagree without being disagreeable!

As I see it, while this is only the first meeting, a lot of hope lies with the residents of the Township of Langley that we are entering a new age that is not controlled by back room lobbyists. It is a great move forward. I will be reporting on the activity and progress of this council on a regular basis over the next four years.   

RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

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In what can only be described as a very dirty and distasteful election campaign initiated by a few individuals with deep personal hatred issues, the targets of that hatred took the high road and won! A review of poll by poll results speaks volumes in support of the wishes of Township of Langley residents wanting good transparent government to get things done! 

We have seen how a series of FOUR year terms, has affected our growing municipality. Depending on which numbers you want to look at, our population has increased by about 40,000 people in ten years or 5,000 per year, or about 20,000 during one FOUR year term. Losing the capacity or will to improve the necessary infrastructure year after year on the heels of approving a massive increase in development – well, have seen the result.

The sad reality is our municipality has been, up to now, run by power brokers and self-interested individuals with insider connections, unbeknown to innocent tax payers. I found out about the real corruption going on in the Township of Langley as Mayor with nobody on council willing to support the need for change. With no support for the change we needed back then, we have what we have today.

Nobody can say there wasn’t a clear choice in this year’s election. The Whitmarsh, Coleman, and Sparrow campaigns were effectively campaigning to keep the status quo – and from my perspective their campaigns were very poor by any effective campaign standards. On the Coleman campaign, I was waiting for another shoe to drop, and it never came. Given Rich Coleman’s political experience I couldn’t believe they ran such a poor and ineffective campaign – from messaging to signage to design and graphics it left one wondering what was this was all about? What did they plan to achieve?

In my 45 years of experience, the Contract with Langley campaign was outstanding. Everything from the volume of Social Media, to Print Media, to graphics, their messaging and their platform, all with an excellent presentation. From on-line videos featuring Eric Woodward and each of the team’s candidates, to endorsements by user groups, to live streaming community Town Halls, to on-site videos of their community initiatives in their platform, as well as speaking directly to residents of the Township of Langley. Most important they answered all of the obvious questions in a very public way. So to their incredibly successful results:

Eric Woodward topped all polls except one.

Contract with Langley Councillors filled 5 of the top 6 spots on Council.

Contract with Langley candidate Barb Martens topped the polls in her first try.

Despite a clique of angry Fort Langley residents Eric Woodward topped the Fort Langley Poll.

Despite a clique of angry Fort Langley residents Contract with Langley candidates did very well in the Fort Langley Poll.

Contract with Langley candidates became the first slate / team to get elected in the Township in over 20 years!

All three Contract with Langley School Board candidates won a spot on School Board.

2 of the 3 Contract with Langley School Board Candidates topped the polls.

So now what, where do we go from here?

Contract with Langley ran a great campaign, and obviously based on my BLOG Posts and endorsements we supported their team plus two independents. (7 of 9 that we endorsed won in the election) So now the pressure is on; they have the mandate they wanted, they have the mandate they needed to get things done. They know what they have to do now to deliver on their campaign promises, the residents of the Township will be watching, there are no excuses. I argued in favor of their team, knowing what is necessary for a Council to move our community forward. It is their time to show they deserved our trust.

This election stands to be the most transformative election in our history, and that is not hyperbole!  

What about Voter Turnout throughout the Lower Mainland? It is shocking!

As we have repeatedly warned our readers, elections have consequences. Reviewing the election results throughout the Lower Mainland sends a very concerning message. As we know, Municipal election turnout has not been great over many elections. Having said that as you can see below, 22 Municipalities / Cities reflect a decline in voter turnout, some greater than others. In one City close to home, it has hit rock bottom which doesn’t say much about the newly elected Mayor and Council.

What can be done about the low turnout in Municipal elections? Have we reached the point that there should be a penalty for not voting or conversely a bonus / credit for voting?

I am sure most people have heard that your Municipal / City government have the singular biggest effect on your families daily lives. When you analyze voter turnout numbers there can be a number of qualifications or reasons that align with any respective turnout number. Obviously a Mayoral contest raises the interest, the number of candidates (especially for Mayor) raises the interest, and high-profile local issues raises the interest, but despite all of that it doesn’t alter the question – Why are our Municipal elections drawing such little interest? There are some interesting conclusions that can be drawn, especially one close to home.

Here is a list of 22 Municipalities and Cities throughout the Lower Mainland, all showing a decrease in voter turnout vs 2018 of eligible voters, some more than others:

Belcarra – 74.6% turnout – down 10.1%      

Anmore – 50.8% turnout – down 1.2% 

Vancouver – 36% turnout – down 3.1%

West Vancouver – 35% turnout – down 2.7%

City of Surrey – 34% turnout – down 1.6%

Port Moody – 31% turnout – down 5.9%

City of White Rock – 29.4% turnout – down 10.2%

City of Delta – 28.5% turnout – down – 14.3%

City of New Westminster – 27.3% turnout – down .02%

Township of Langley – 26.5% turnout – down 3.9%

City of Richmond – 24.5% turnout – down 12%

City of Abbotsford – 23.6% turnout – down 12.3%

District of North Vancouver – 23.5% turnout – down 13.!%

Pitt Meadows – 23.3 % turnout – down 16.9%

City of Chilliwack – 24.7% turnout – down 14.3%

City of North Vancouver – 22.4% turnout – down 11.4%

City of Mission – 21.9% turnout – down 9.8%

City of Maple Ridge – 21.5% turnout – down 12%

City of Coquitlam – 20.1% turnout – down 5.2%                      

City of Burnaby – 19.3 % turnout – down 12.7%

Port Coquitlam – 18.3% turnout – down 9.8%

City of Langley – 17% turnout – down 8.2%

NOTE: City of Langley: A number of conclusions / opinions can be drawn from these election results. Yes, you can say a win is a win – however those that disregard the reality of election voter turnout, does so at their peril. Looking at the City of Langley turnout numbers, it screams “None of the Above”!

A reality check for the City of Langley – Think about it – 22,166 eligible voters and you win with 2,434 votes and your opposition receives 1,290 votes. Put it another way 1 in 6 eligible voters cast their ballot – or 1 in over 9 voters who cast their ballot did so for the winner, that is nothing short of embarrassing! If I was the elected Mayor I would be alarmed!

Summary: Elections have Consequences! Remember we are electing our councils for FOUR years in today’s world which can be very impactful, either negative or positive? From my observation our elections have taken on a different impact which has yet to be realized by the public.

 RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

The Contract with Langley platform has been published in detail; with 5 supporting votes on Council, they guarantee to follow through on building infrastructure and instituting policies that are clearly outlined in their campaign material. To move forward we need a Council that does not get bogged down with political infighting and gotcha politics which has been the norm in the Township of Langley for decades, all favoring local unelected Power Brokers!

Through a “Fair Deal from Development” the Township of Langley can move forward and not have to impose these costs onto property taxpayers to solve these problems.

  • Fix the embarrassing 208th Street, 80th Avenue and other major roads in Willoughby!
  • Expand the Aldergrove Community Centre with a new vision for progress in Aldergrove!
  • A NEW Indoor Pool, youth and community centre in Willoughby within Yorkson Community Park at 80th Ave. Currently there is no plan for one!
  • Build a youth soccer campus for and in partnership with LUSA, at least four NEW synthetic turf fields, one of which will be fully indoors for all weather use!
  • Finish Fraser Highway from Murrayville to Aldergrove within 8 years, along with water and sewer infrastructure!
  • End closed-door Council decision making and the sale of public lands without transparency, fair process or public input!
  • Replace our fire-halls for Brookswood and Walnut Grove with a NEW plan for community-oriented policing and second stage housing!
  • Fix our broken permit and development processes that increase costs for so many while delaying the new housing that we need!
  • Create a NEW Housing Action Plan that ensures 10% of all new housing will be permanently set aside as truly affordable rental housing!
  • Get residents and taxpayers a Fair Deal from Development to complete our Plan for Progress and Plan for Schools before, it is too late!   

Our Endorsement

Our choice for Mayor – Eric Woodward – Contract with Langley.

Eric Woodward has jumped into this race with the most comprehensive plan that I have seen in over 40 years of being involved in Municipal Politics. There are two fundamental guiding principles in making our decision 1) What is their platform against what is the community need? (Specifics, not Platitudes.) and 2) How are they going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their election promises? As a former Mayor their plan makes abundant sense and is long overdue:

#1 – What is the plan vs what is the public need.

I have watched Eric closely over the past 4 years and found him to have done an excellent job in preparation on his arguments on an issue. Eric repeatedly brought forward ideas and ways to fund them (i.e., Development and Financial Reform) and yet he was repeatedly shot down on a wide variety of ideas he brought forward. His performance and work ethic was head and shoulders above anyone else at the Council table. This is the reality of politics playing out with 9 independents, recognizing the majority of those independents at the Council table were controlled by the power elite of the Township. The Contract with Langley Plan deals with our need and is complete with detailed specifics including a financial plan on how he we can pay for it – the bottom line, not from property tax but “Getting a Fair Deal from Development!”

#2 – How are they going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their commitments?

The harsh reality is that you need support from, hopefully, a group on Council that are elected with and are all committed to support their advertised platform. Now I can assure you, after talking to the candidates running with Contract with Langley; they are independent in their general thought and mind BUT, support their platform of ideas – which is key to getting something significant done for the people of the Township of Langley. All of this answers the question as to how they are going to achieve their promise.

The KEY – They need your support to get elected in support of their promise. A group of 9 independents will not achieve this goal or our goal of building the necessary infrastructure in our communities. All of these candidates are long-time residents of the Township of Langley and are extremely professional in their regular lives. Through my research and in discussion with all of these Candidates I firmly believe all of them will make Township of Langley residents proud of their Municipal Council and will fully live up to all commitments they have made in this campaign!  

Our Choice for Township of Langley Councillors

“Contract with Langley”

Tim Baillie – Retired Surrey Fire Department Captain – South Langley

Barb Martens – Constable Vancouver Police Dept. 20 yrs. – Walnut Grove

Steve Ferguson – Retired School Teacher (8 Term Councillor) – Brookswood

Misty Van Popta – Project Management Professional – Fort Langley

A J Cheema – Small Business Owner, Coach – Salmon River

Rob Rindt – Farmer, Small Business Owner – Rural Langley

“Independents who we see reflect a new vision and relative youth”

Brit Gardner – Community Activist, Transit Activist – Fort Langley

Michael Pratt – Community Planning and Housing Activist – Willowbrook

Our Choice for Township of Langley School Board – There is an absolute need for coordination between our Municipal Council and our School Board in support of

new school locations and facilities to meet our school district needs.

“Contract with Langley”

Holly Dickinson – Surrey School Teacher – Murrayville

Joel Neufeld – Surrey Firefighter – Fort Langley

Sarb Rai – Federal Public Servant – Brookswood

“Election Alert” – While it might be hard to believe for residents of the TOL who have not been involved with Municipal Politics in the Township of Langley, there are “Multi, Multi, Multi Millions of DOLLARS at stake depending on who wins this election. That threat is playing out during this election campaign through the dissemination of hearsay, gossip, innuendo and the spreading of fictitious stories on-line with a personal grudge.   Now there is a campaign of stealing and the destruction of many “Contract with Langley” election signs. It does not take a rocket scientist to look around and see who is responsible – the power brokers are feeling threatened. We cannot let them prevail unless you want to see your community sold out. If you see anything or know anything, please contact us immediately.

“Advance Voting Information” for residents of the Township of Langley 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Brookswood – Thursd. October 13th, 2022 – G. Preston Rec. Centre/Rm B&C – 20699 42nd Ave.

Please remember to VOTE – nothing will happen without your support!

RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

Share this BLOG; forward it to your friends, neighbors, and relatives!

To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left-hand corner under recent posts.

Township mayoral candidates clash over financial disclosures, blind trust….

Eric Woodward claims Rich Coleman is violating rules on disclosing his assets.

(source Langley Advance Times)

Langley Township mayoral candidate Rich Coleman should disclose the assets he has in a blind trust, according to rival mayoral candidate Eric Woodward.

Woodward raised the issue in September, after the candidates registration forms were filed with the chief election officers and posted on the Township website.

When running for civic office, candidates have to disclose their corporate or personal investment holdings, including property they own, along with businesses they own, or which pay them a salary.

Coleman’s disclosure lists “blind trust” under his disclosure section, along with his B.C. Government Pension from his career as an MLA and cabinet minister.

“If you have assets in a trust structure, you still have to disclose the assets”, Woodward said.

He said it’s “outrageous” that Coleman isn’t disclosing what he owns and said it would make it impossible to determine if there are conflicts of interest if Coleman were to be elected mayor.

Woodward said he does not believe Coleman doesn’t know what’s in his trust.

“It hasn’t been very active” Coleman said of the trust – (editorial commentIf the trustee controls the trust how would Coleman know whether it has been very active or not? It is a ruse!)

The Langley Advance Times reached out to the provincial government, and the ministry of the Attorney General said that disclosure statements must detail an elected-officials, corporate and personal holdings; including the name of each business providing financial remuneration to the candidate, and a description and location of land in which they own an interest.

Woodward’s disclosure notes his ownership of shares in two credit unions, but the bulk of the disclosure is about Fort Langley Properties Ltd., a holding company which owns 20 properties in the Fort.

From langleywatchdog – IMPORTANT – Given the Attorney General’s Ministry statement above the residents of the Township of Langley MUST ask themselves what is Rich Coleman hiding, what doesn’t he want you to know? Facing the above reality, he cannot be trusted!

The langleywatchdog.com Endorsement follows, we believe THE CHOICE IS CLEAR:

Our choice for Mayor – Eric Woodward – Contract with Langley.

Eric Woodward has jumped into this race with the most comprehensive plan that I have seen in over 40 years of being involved in Municipal Politics. There are two fundamental guiding principles in making our decision 1) What is their platform against what is the community need? (Specifics, not Platitudes.) and 2) How are they going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their election promises?

As a former Mayor with knowledge and experience in the office this plan ia absolutely doable, makes abundant sense and is long overdue for our taxpayers and residents.

#1 – What is the plan vs what is the public need.

I have watched Eric closely over the past 4 years and found him to have done an excellent job in preparation on his arguments on an issue. Eric repeatedly brought forward ideas and ways to fund them (i.e., Development and Financial Reform) and yet he was repeatedly shot down on a wide variety of ideas he brought forward. His performance and work ethic was head and shoulders above anyone else at the Council table. This is the reality of politics playing out with 9 independents, recognizing the majority of those independents at the Council table were controlled by the power elite of the Township. The Contract with Langley Plan deals with our need and is complete with detailed specifics including a financial plan on how he we can pay for it – the bottom line, not from property tax but “Getting a Fair Deal from Development!”

#2 – How are they going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their commitments?

The harsh reality is that you need support from, hopefully, a group on Council that are elected with and are all committed to support their advertised platform. Now I can assure you, after talking to the candidates running with Contract with Langley; they are independent in their general thought and mind BUT, support their platform of ideas – which is key to getting something significant done for the people of the Township of Langley. All of this answers the question as to how they are going to achieve their promise.

The KEY – They need your support to get elected in support of their promise. A group of 9 independents will not achieve this goal or our goal of building the necessary infrastructure in our communities. All of these candidates are long-time residents of the Township of Langley and are extremely professional in their regular lives. Through my research and in discussion with all of these Candidates I firmly believe all of them will make Township of Langley residents proud of their Municipal Council and will fully live up to all commitments they have made in this campaign!  

Our Choice for Township of Langley Councillors

“Contract with Langley”

Tim Baillie                   Retired Surrey Fire Department Captain      South Langley

Barb Martens             Constable Vancouver Police Dept. 20 yrs.    Walnut Grove

Steve Ferguson          Retired School Teacher (8 Term Councillor) Brookswood

Misty Van Popta        Project Management Professional               Fort Langley

A J Cheema                 Small Business Owner, Coach                       Salmon River

Rob Rindt                   Farmer, Small Business Owner                      Rural Langley

“Independents who we see reflect a new vision and relative youth”

Brit Gardner               Community Activist, Transit Activist            Fort Langley

Michael Pratt             Community Planning and Housing Activist  Willowbrook

Our Choice for Township of Langley School Board – There is an absolute need for coordination between our Municipal Council and our School Board in support of

new school locations and facilities to meet our school district needs.

“Contract with Langley”

Holly Dickinson          Surrey School Teacher                                   Murrayville

Joel Neufeld               Surrey Firefighter                                          Fort Langley

Sarb Rai                       Federal Public Servant                                  Brookswood

“Election Alert” – While it might be hard to believe for residents of the TOL who have not been involved with Municipal Politics in the Township of Langley, there are “Multi, Multi, Multi Millions of DOLLARS at stake depending on who wins this election. That threat is playing out during this election campaign through the dissemination of hearsay, gossip, innuendo and the spreading of fictitious stories on-line with a personal grudge.   Now there is a campaign of stealing and the destruction of many “Contract with Langley” election signs. It does not take a rocket scientist to look around and see who is responsible – the power brokers are feeling threatened. We cannot let them prevail unless you want to see your community sold out. If you see anything or know anything, please contact us immediately.

“Advance Voting Information” for residents of the Township of Langley 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Aldergrove – Tuesday Oct. 11th, 2022 – Ald. Credit Un. Com. Centre – 27032 Fraser Highway

Murrayville – Wed. Oct. 12th, 2022 – W.C. Blair Rec. Centre/Studio 4 – 22200 Fraser Hwy.

Brookswood – Thursd. October 13th, 2022 – G. Preston Rec. Centre/Rm B&C – 20699 42nd Ave.

Please remember to VOTE – nothing will happen without your support!

RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

Share this BLOG; forward it to your friends, neighbors, and relatives!

To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left-hand corner under recent posts.

The Contract with Langley platform has been published in detail; with 5 supporting votes on Council, they guarantee to follow through on building infrastructure and instituting policies that are clearly outlined in their campaign material. To move forward we need a Council that does not get bogged down with political infighting and gotcha politics which has been the norm in the Township of Langley for decades, all favoring local unelected Power Brokers!

Through a “Fair Deal from Development” the Township of Langley can move forward and not have to impose these costs onto property taxpayers to solve these problems.

  • Fix the embarrassing 208th Street, 80th Avenue and other major roads in Willoughby!
  • Expand the Aldergrove Community Centre with a new vision for progress in Aldergrove!
  • A NEW Indoor Pool, youth and community centre in Willoughby within Yorkson Community Park at 80th Ave. Currently there is no plan for one!
  • Build a youth soccer campus for and in partnership with LUSA, at least four NEW synthetic turf fields, one of which will be fully indoors for all weather use!
  • Finish Fraser Highway from Murrayville to Aldergrove within 8 years, along with water and sewer infrastructure!
  • End closed-door Council decision making and the sale of public lands without transparency, fair process or public input!
  • Replace our fire-halls for Brookswood and Walnut Grove with a NEW plan for community-oriented policing and second stage housing!
  • Fix our broken permit and development processes that increase costs for so many while delaying the new housing that we need!
  • Create a NEW Housing Action Plan that ensures 10% of all new housing will be permanently set aside as truly affordable rental housing!
  •  Get residents and taxpayers a Fair Deal from Development to complete our Plan for Progress and Plan for Schools before, it is too late!

Our Endorsement

Our choice for Mayor – Eric Woodward – Contract with Langley.

Eric Woodward has jumped into this race with the most comprehensive plan that I have seen in over 40 years of being involved in Municipal Politics. There are two fundamental guiding principles in making our decision 1) What is their platform against what is the community need? (Specifics, not Platitudes.) and 2) How are they going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their election promises? As a former Mayor their plan makes abundant sense and is long overdue:

#1 – What is the plan vs what is the public need.

I have watched Eric closely over the past 4 years and found him to have done an excellent job in preparation on his arguments on an issue. Eric repeatedly brought forward ideas and ways to fund them (i.e., Development and Financial Reform) and yet he was repeatedly shot down on a wide variety of ideas he brought forward. His performance and work ethic was head and shoulders above anyone else at the Council table. This is the reality of politics playing out with 9 independents, recognizing the majority of those independents at the Council table were controlled by the power elite of the Township. The Contract with Langley Plan deals with our need and is complete with detailed specifics including a financial plan on how he we can pay for it – the bottom line, not from property tax but “Getting a Fair Deal from Development!”

#2 – How are they going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their commitments?

The harsh reality is that you need support from, hopefully, a group on Council that are elected with and are all committed to support their advertised platform. Now I can assure you, after talking to the candidates running with Contract with Langley; they are independent in their general thought and mind BUT, support their platform of ideas – which is key to getting something significant done for the people of the Township of Langley. All of this answers the question as to how they are going to achieve their promise.

The KEY – They need your support to get elected in support of their promise. A group of 9 independents will not achieve this goal or our goal of building the necessary infrastructure in our communities. All of these candidates are long-time residents of the Township of Langley and are extremely professional in their regular lives. Through my research and in discussion with all of these Candidates I firmly believe all of them will make Township of Langley residents proud of their Municipal Council and will fully live up to all commitments they have made in this campaign!  

Our Choice for Township of Langley Councillors

“Contract with Langley”

Tim Baillie – Retired Surrey Fire Department Captain – South Langley

Barb Martens – Constable Vancouver Police Dept. 20 yrs. – Walnut Grove

Steve Ferguson – Retired School Teacher (8 Term Councillor) – Brookswood

Misty Van Popta – Project Management Professional – Fort Langley

A J Cheema – Small Business Owner, Coach – Salmon River

Rob Rindt – Farmer, Small Business Owner – Rural Langley

“Independents who we see reflect a new vision and relative youth”

Brit Gardner – Community Activist, Transit Activist – Fort Langley

Michael Pratt – Community Planning and Housing Activist – Willowbrook

Our Choice for Township of Langley School Board – There is an absolute need for coordination between our Municipal Council and our School Board in support of new school locations and facilities to meet our school district needs.

“Contract with Langley”

Holly Dickinson – Surrey School Teacher – Murrayville

Joel Neufeld – Surrey Firefighter – Fort Langley

Sarb Rai – Federal Public Servant – Brookswood

“Election Alert” – While it might be hard to believe for residents of the TOL who have not been involved with Municipal Politics in the Township of Langley, there are “Multi, Multi, Multi Millions of DOLLARS at stake depending on who wins this election. That threat is playing out during this election campaign through the dissemination of hearsay, gossip, innuendo and the spreading of fictitious stories on-line with a personal grudge.   Now there is a campaign of stealing and the destruction of many “Contract with Langley” election signs. It does not take a rocket scientist to look around and see who is responsible – the power brokers are feeling threatened. We cannot let them prevail unless you want to see your community sold out. If you see anything or know anything, please contact us immediately.

“Advance Voting Information” for residents of the Township of Langley 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Fort Langley – Thursday October 6th, 2022 – Fort Langley Community Hall – 9167 Glover Rd.

Walnut Grove – Frid. Oct. 7th, 2022 – Walnut Grove Com. Centre/Gym – 8889 Waln. Grove Dr.

Willoughby – Saturday October 8th, 2022 – Langley Events Centre/Gym 2 – 7888 200th St.

Aldergrove – Tuesday Oct. 11th, 2022 – Ald. Credit Un. Com. Centre – 27032 Fraser Highway

Murrayville – Wed. Oct. 12th, 2022 – W.C. Blair Rec. Centre/Studio 4 – 22200 Fraser Hwy.

Brookswood – Thursd. October 13th, 2022 – G. Preston Rec. Centre/Rm B&C – 20699 42nd Ave.

Please remember to VOTE – nothing will happen without your support!

RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

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The taxpayers collective choice for the next Township of Langley Municipal Council will be the most critical decision they will make for decades – good or the bad? The following endorsement decisions are based on independent research, practical in-elected office experience as your mayor, and the known history of each candidate.

What is their potential for achieving 5 votes should they get elected!

To start with, all candidates deserve our thanks for putting their name forward to run for election in this campaign. It is a difficult task and a serious learning experience for most. The unfortunate part is that the vast majority of candidates are offering nothing more than political platitudes (a statement that is boring and has no meaning because it has been said so many times before) or trite remarks (dull and boring i.e., non-specific) in their election material either in print or on-line. The vast majority of candidates are relying on this bogus line of being “independent” as somehow being of significant value. It is just another way of saying I do not have a plan or an idea that I want to see achieved in my community. An example, just because you say you are independent does not mean you cannot come out and show support for the ideas of others, but nobody running as a so-called independent has ventured into that space. That is because it is seen as political, thus the problem 9 independents coming to a decision on anything.

We have had an independent Council for over 20 years, so they say, what has that done for us, nothing other than maintaining the status quo which is only in the interest of developers and local power brokers? Special favors for friends and insiders! I have had first-hand experience of that while in office. They have had a stranglehold on the Township of Langley for decades, let’s break loose from those chains of control.

As I see it there are a couple of candidates for Councillor who are exceptions to that rule which I will outline later in this BLOG Post.

So, getting to our decision in terms of who we support? There are two fundamental guiding principles that should guide our decision 1) What is their platform against what is the community need? (Specifics, not Platitudes.) and 2) How are they going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their election promises?

Mayoral Candidate Rich Coleman –I have had a lot to say against Rich Coleman over the past 3 weeks and beyond. For very detailed reasons and arguments against Rich Coleman for Mayor go to go to our BLOG Posts of September 8th, 2022, September 15th, 2022, September 20th, 2022, September 30th, 2022.

Mayoral Candidate Blair Whitmarsh –I have had a lot to say against Blair Whitmarsh over the past 3 weeks and beyond. For very detailed reasons go to our BLOG Posts of September 12th, 2022, September 20th, 2022, September 26th, 2022, September 30th, 2022.

Mayoral Candidate Michelle Sparrow – Michelle Sparrow talks a great deal about collaboration with Council and yet she has served two terms on Council as an independent and has failed to accomplish anything while in office. While on Council Michelle did not show that she has the experience or the leadership skills necessary to sit in the Mayor’s chair. This reality is in line with the performance of all of our other Township of Langley Councils populated by independents. Michelle’s platform again is made up of political platitudes, nothing defined, nothing specific with no plan to make development pay for itself.

Our choice for Mayor is – Eric Woodward“Contract with Langley”.

Eric Woodward has jumped into this race with the most comprehensive plan that I have seen in over 40 years of being involved in Municipal Politics. It is complete with detailed specifics as well a financial plan on how he we can pay for it – the bottom line, not from property tax but “Getting a Fair Deal from Development!”

Eric’s well detailed published plan covers #1 above – What is the plan vs what is the public need.

Just for the record, I had a testy relationship with Eric up to about 6 months before the 2018 election and I am pretty sure he didn’t support me in 2011 and 2014 campaigns. Quite frankly I do not care, I do not take things personal. Through a friend of Eric’s at the time we met to discuss his campaign as he was going to run for Council. We went on to meet about 4 more times and I challenged him on a number of fronts, liking what he said I endorsed him in the 2018 campaign. He came in 2nd across the Township, only missing top spot by about 400 votes. I have watched Eric closely over the past 4 years and found him to have done an excellent job in preparation on his arguments on an issue. Eric repeatedly brought forward ideas and ways to fund them (i.e., Development and Financial Reform) and yet he was repeatedly shot down on a wide variety of ideas he brought forward. His performance and work ethic was head and shoulders above anyone else at the Council table. This is the reality of politics playing out with 9 independents, recognizing the majority of those independents at the Council table were controlled by the power elite of the Township.

All of this brings us to the next point 2) How are they going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their commitments? The harsh reality is that you need support by, hopefully a group on Council that are elected with you who are all committed to support their advertised platform. Now I can assure you, after talking to the Team of candidates running with Eric, they are independent in their general thought, BUT support their platform of ideas – which is key to getting something significant done for the people of the Township of Langley. All of this answers the question as to how they are going to achieve their promise.

The key – They need your support to get elected in support of their promise. A group of 9 independents will not achieve this goal or our goal of building the necessary infrastructure. All of these candidates are long time residents of the Township of Langley and are extremely professional in their regular lives.

By running a TEAM of 7 candidates (Mayor and 6 Councillors) Eric answers 2) How they are going to get the 5 votes needed to deliver on their commitments?

Through my research and in discussion with all of these Candidates I firmly believe all of them will make Township of Langley residents proud of their Municipal Council and will fully live up to all commitments they have made in this campaign!

 Our Choice for Township of Langley Councillors

“Contract with Langley”

Tim Baillie – Retired Surrey Fire Department Captain – South Langley

Barb Martens – Constable Vancouver Police Dept. 20 yrs. – Walnut Grove

Steve Ferguson – Retired School Teacher (8 Term Councillor) – Brookswood

Misty Van Popta – Project Management Professional – Fort Langley

A J Cheema – Small Business Owner, Coach – Salmon River

Rob Rindt – Farmer, Small Business Owner – Rural Langley

“Independents who we see reflect a new vision and relative youth”

Brit Gardner – Community Activist, Transit Activist – Fort Langley

Michael Pratt – Community Planning and Housing Activist – Willowbrook

Our Choice for Township of Langley School Board – There is an absolute need for coordination between our Municipal Council and our School Board in support of

new school locations and facilities to meet our school district needs.

“Contract with Langley”

Holly Dickinson          Surrey School Teacher                                   Murrayville

Joel Neufeld               Surrey Firefighter                                          Fort Langley

Sarb Rai                       Federal Public Servant                                  Brookswood

Platform Detail for the “Contract with Langley” Team – We will be publishing, up to the day before the election, all on-going news of the election campaign plus all of the Contract with Langley platform detail that have been published and guaranteed by the Contract with Langley Team. Stay tuned!

“Election Alert” – While it might be hard to believe for those who have not been involved with Municipal Politics in the Township of Langley “Multi, Multi, Multi Millions of DOLLARS are at stake with respect to who wins this election. That threat is playing out during this election campaign through the dissemination of here say, gossip, innuendo and the spreading of fictitious stories on-line by a small cabal of Fort Langley residents with a personal grudge. Now there is a campaign of stealing and destruction of many Contract with Langley election signs. Looking around, it does not take a rocket scientist to see who is responsible and the power brokers that are feeling threatened. We cannot let them prevail unless you want to see your community sold out. If you see anything or know anything, please contact us immediately.

“Advance Voting Information” for residents of the Township of Langley 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Willowbrook – Wednesday October 5th, 2022 – Civic Facility / City Hall 1st floor – 20338 65th Ave.

Fort Langley – Thursday October 6th, 2022 – Fort Langley Community Hall – 9167 Glover Rd.

Walnut Grove – Frid. Oct. 7th, 2022 – Walnut Grove Com. Centre/Gym – 8889 Waln. Grove Dr.

Willoughby – Saturday October 8th, 2022 – Langley Events Centre/Gym 2 – 7888 200th St.

Aldergrove – Tuesday Oct. 11th, 2022 – Ald. Credit Un. Com. Centre – 27032 Fraser Highway

Murrayville – Wed. Oct. 12th, 2022 – W.C. Blair Rec. Centre/Studio 4 – 22200 Fraser Hwy.

Brookswood – Thursd. October 13th, 2022 – G. Preston Rec. Centre/Rm B&C – 20699 42nd Ave.

Please remember to VOTE – nothing will happen without your support!

RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

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To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left-hand corner under recent posts.

Up to now the silence has been deafening from Rich Coleman and Blair Whitmarsh, two candidates for Mayor of the Township of Langley with respect to their position on the development in the Township of Langley. The comments I speak of are those they made in response to the specific question of “how they thought the Township was managing its rapid growth and development” at an ALL-Candidates meeting. The following will dissect and respond to the comments attributed to them in the recent issue of the Langley Advance Times filed by reporter Mathew Claxton.

Sometimes you just have to give candidates enough rope as they say, so on Monday night at the LEC they let the public know exactly how they feel and what they stand for. This past Monday night at the Langley Events Center, the Langley Chamber of Commerce held their ALL Candidates meeting for the October 15th 2022 Municipal Election. Mayoral candidates Rich Coleman and Blair Whitmarsh offered some very illuminating answers, those that the public should be aware of. You can’t make this stuff up!

Unfortunately, this is how the Township of Langley has become the wild wild west and a laughingstock on lower mainland property development. Something just has to change, and this election is our best opportunity to get it right. It is no secret at this point that I am in opposition to both Rich Coleman and Blair Whitmarsh for Mayor, for exceptionally good reasons which I have detailed in a few previous BLOG Posts.

But let us get to the public comments made by each of these candidates:

Rich Coleman (RC): In what can only be described as astounding statements, he said the following, they are followed by my response –

RC – “I don’t think everything’s bad here, I really don’t,” said Coleman

Response – Rich, you cannot be serious? Do yourself a favor and get out and talk to residents!

RC – He also issued a warning about putting infrastructure first before development!

Response – Rich, excuse me, BEFORE DEVELOPMENT; who do you think you are kidding? Willoughby has upwards of 40,000 residents now, an increase of about 35,000 in the last decade (10 years Rich). This will grow to about 70,000 in the next decade per the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) that your Liberal Government insisted on through Metro Vancouver. The development was here about 5 years ago, what are you thinking?

RC – “I remember the 1970s, when the Township of Langley went ahead and put in all the services, sidewalks, and curbs in Walnut Grove, and nobody came to build. And our community “almost went broke.”

Response – Drawing any comparison of Willoughby to Walnut Grove is like comparing apples to turnips. First, that was in 1970 Rich, we are in 2022, just saying. In the 70s, development legislation was nowhere near what it is today. Development Cost Charges were nowhere near what they are today, Community Amenity Contributions were not in existence in the 70s. Rich, Walnut Grove today has a population of about 25,000 (what was it when it first built out?), almost half of what Willoughby has today. By the way Rich, in case you had not noticed, they have come to build.

RC – “There are some things you can always do better, particularly on the road infrastructure.”

Response – Really Rich, only road infrastructure? What about active all-weather parks, ice sheets, a pool, a community center, a seniors center, sidewalks, greenways and so much more! For a population of about 70,000 people in 10 more years! So how would you like to pay for that road infrastructure Rich? – Increasing DCCs to your developer friends? What about all of the other infrastructure that I list? Bring our CACs up to a competitive level with adjoining municipalities / Cities? OR is your idea to pay for them through increased property taxes? It sounds like it is, because the money has to come from somewhere and you are not in favor of development paying for itself.

General Comment on Rich ColemanFirst of all you may notice that Rich Coleman’s Campaign, both for him and his slate does not address the significant issue of needed infrastructure, what we need and how to pay for it. He has also never addressed the funding issue for road improvement nor timing on getting it done. He does not comment about adjusting Development Cost Charges annually (developer expense) or implementing a competitive Community Amenity Contribution Program (developer expense) to pay for any infrastructure that is needed within our community. Therefore, one can only conclude that Rich Coleman does not believe that development (his friends) should pay for itself and that the taxpayers obviously should have to pay for everything through property taxes.

Blair Whitmarsh (BW): – In a couple of statements, he showed his determination that the status-quo is just fine!

BWWhitmarsh acknowledged the challenges of growth saying, “the Council has tried to make good decisions.”

Response – Blair, the taxpaying public did not vote for you to TRY to make good decisions, they elected you to MAKE good decisions. There is ample community and staff support, and input provided to Mayor and Council to understand the need for supporting infrastructure along with the implications of not doing so. Taxpayers of the Township of Langley can no longer afford to gamble on you any further, not only based on your performance to-date, but your determination not to make development pay for itself. Existing taxpayers cannot afford to pay for this infrastructure through their property tax annually.

BW – “But I don’t think we’ve been able to keep up with the pace of development,” he said.

Response – Blair, you were part of the Council for two terms (8 years) that approved all of this development and you have done so with absolutely NO consideration and/or thought for the infrastructure that our community needs. Those decisions equate to total irresponsibility from you and your majority on Council especially considering the fact our DCCs are not annually reviewed (an expense to developers) and our CAC program (an expense to developers) is pennies on the dollar compared to surrounding Municipalities and Cities. It is no wonder we are in the infrastructure deficit we are in today. You are at fault, your words, not mine.

BW – “The Township is at a place where development doesn’t pay for itself.”

Response – This is not rocket science Blair, it does not pay for itself because you and your majority on Council have not, from the beginning, made it pay for itself. This is a shocking statement for any member of Council to make. It reinforces the argument that we need a change on our Township of Langley Municipal Council!

General Comment on Blair WhitmarshThe debate surrounding who to vote for in the upcoming Municipal Election, is not a personality issue – It is a competency issue. We cannot afford another 4 years of an incompetent, do nothing Council who have allowed this serious infrastructure deficit to occur – Blair’s statements above prove our point. We have seen how close Blair has been to the development community – (SEE BLOG Post of langleywatchdog dated December 4th, 2020) While not found guilty, the evidence was very damming in moral and ethical terms for anyone serving as your representative on our Municipal Council. It was shocking.

SummaryElection campaigns unfortunately are always filled with political speak and vague platitudes which skirt any specifics of what they are talking about. An example of that is in the 2018 election where 5 candidates promised action on 208th Street, but after being elected voted against asking for a staff report to move this much needed initiative forward. Margaret Kuntz is quoted from the ALL Candidates meeting that she does not agree with borrowing to finish 208th. Well obviously, Margaret Kuntz does not understand the principle of borrowing against future DCCs, which is a way you can responsibly move forward in finishing 208th Street.

The above summary of comments made in a significant ALL Candidates meeting are but a brief example of the true thinking and summary of how our community is in the trouble it is. Personal gripes and grievances find their way into political discourse with their true intentions and rationale buried from the public eye.

It is long past time that the electorate become active in this election – elections are not a spectator sport, they are a participation sport. That only means that all of us at a minimum responsibility should be educating ourselves about the political history of those running. Who they are, what they stand for and what they will do if elected, recognizing our council needs 5 votes on Council to accomplish anything. Let us move forward with a CHANGE on Council.

RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

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As residents of the Township of Langley, all of us have felt the pressure of growth – over the last decade we have seen an increase of close to 40,000 residents! Our current Municipal Council, the incumbents, running for re-election and those running on the Elevate Langley slate are only interested in maintaining the status-quo; that is continued favors to friends, insiders, developers while continuing inaction on the infrastructure crisis we are all facing.

I will go back to my BLOG Post of September 20th, 2022 – the choice is not independent vs slate. When you hear candidates sing the praises of being an independent, it is frankly something that has garnered a very misleading value in the public’s mind. If you believe that the Township of Langley has had a council made up of independents over the past two decades, and most residents as well as members of Council say they are independent; then weighing that claim of independence against your council accomplishing anything of value to residents, it proves to be a misnomer (a wrong or inaccurate name or designation). We are in a critical infrastructure crisis; how is it working for us so far; IT ISN’T! This Council has proven the fact as independents they have been incapable of accomplishing the job you hired them to do.

I know and appreciate the Township’s terrible history of slate politics, but that was two decades back. Since that time, the so-called independent voice on Council has achieved nothing.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results”

Our population two decades ago was about 105,000, today we have approximately 150,000 residents; growing exponentially faster than originally planned, with no meaningful infrastructure improvement investments being made in the last twenty years – Fire Halls / equipment, Fire Department staffing, Parks, Ice Sheets, All Weather Soccer Fields, Community Centers, Pools, Senior Centers, Roads, Sidewalks, green ways, bike paths and so much more.

Not ALL independents and/or slates are created equal: To accomplish the task of getting Council’s approval for the necessary infrastructure investment going forward you need 5 votes! I have experienced first-hand as Mayor the problems with being one of nine so-called independent voices on Council trying to obtain that support. For reasons that are nothing more than politically motivated, either internally within council or influenced by outside power brokers; getting the majority focused on what is in the best interest of the Township of Langley and you the voter was impossible. Petty council disagreements and attempted deal making as well as more serious partisan politics gets involved frequently which has an extremely negative affect on getting meaningful things done! It is wrong but that is the way it is, in reality.

The best way to explain what I am talking about is using a few examples on issues that I faced as your Mayor – Remember I was elected Mayor, a surprise in the eyes and minds of the incumbents that were reelected back in November of 2008. I have written extensively about the following issues, but for this purpose I will give you a short list with an abbreviated explanation, as follows:

Langley Events Center (LEC): When I was elected Mayor, the LEC was about 75% complete. In my first in-camera meeting, staff were asking for an additional $7.5 Million. Getting to that report, I requested a one-week deferral to better understand the issue as we had a new Mayor, a new councilor and one councilor was away. Barely getting that request out of my mouth Councillor Bateman called for the question on the motion to approve the report and request, it was approved with myself being the only dissenting vote. That irresponsible action by members of Council was consistent throughout my term, it was all political. My request was reasonable, responsible, not confrontational yet council were determined to send me a message – forget what was in the best interest of the Township and you the taxpayer. I have written extensively about this project. Due to the problems and issues, I uncovered, I brought in a legal firm from downtown Vancouver as well as BDO Dunwoody to review this project in detail. Both firms agreed with me, they asked how did you got yourselves into this predicament? I have said many times that this project was ripe for a Forensic Audit! Great project, irresponsibly created, developed, and managed. NO support from Independent Council members at great cost to you the taxpayer!

Mufford Crescent Diversion: The Mufford Crescent Diversion plan was initiated by the then B.C. Liberal Government under the guise of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project led by TransLink, an overpass over the rail line and Glover Rd. through the historical Hudsons Bay and Bella Vista Farms connecting with the 216th and the 64 Ave. intersection, making over 300 acres of prime agricultural land impossible to farm which would ultimately have lead it to being removed from the ALR. It was designed and approved without Public Consultation, supported by then B.C. Liberal MLA Rich Coleman. After the 2008 election Mayor Rick Green had the TOL hold two Open Houses and a Public Meeting that saw over 1,000 people attending. There was also a public meeting at the LEC and an agricultural community meeting at the casino, both hosted by the Agricultural Land Commission. Combined the proposed project had 97% community opposition. Mayor Green received abusive opposition by six so-called independent members of Council, despite such wide-spread community support. While taking two years, we were successful in having it rejected by the ALC and referred it back to the funding partners for a better option – thanks to Chair Richard Bullock, despite all of the threats. Richard Bullock was removed as Chair of the ALC shortly after by the then B.C. Liberal Government. NO support from Independent Council members who supported the original proposal despite such wide spread public opposition; we won despite the opposition on Council, again thanks to Richard Bullock and the ALC!

Community Amenity Contributions: In the 2008 election, two of many items I had on my campaign platform were 1) Creating a public information profile on all Township of Langley owned properties previously unavailable (which we accomplished) and 2) Establishing a Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) program. After winning the election in 2009 I brought in Mr. Bruce Maitland (Retired Director of Real Estate Services for the City of Vancouver) to brief our Council on the background, benefits, and potential implementation of a CAC program. Vancouver were the leaders in Metro Vancouver of this initiative. The decision of our so-called independents on Council – NO that is fine for Vancouver, but we do not do that in the Township of Langley. The TOL introduced a very watered-down version of CACs a couple of years ago, but they are only at 25% of what Surrey is charging? Why? Thanks to the vote of Independents, it has cost taxpayers multi 100s of millions of dollars since 2009! NO support from Independent Council members!

Athenry Development on 208th & 80th: The Athenry Development on 208th on the Willoughby Community Hall corner was brought forward to the new council. The previous council had given this project 1st and 2nd reading, held a public hearing and gave it 3rd reading. As it dealt with approvals given to it by a previous council, it is required that the new council be provided with all of the information and material to-date. I wanted to ensure we had all of the information, so I requested the layout of the proposal that was given 3rd reading. That reading was for a large mixed-use building in the center of the property while the NEW layout showed multiple buildings very-close to homes – about 15 feet from their back fences and 4 stories in height (over 40 feet) hovering over single family homes surrounding that property. This was an obvious breach of regulations surrounding what changes can be made at 4th reading. Those regulations state that the only changes that can be made at 4th reading are form, character, and design, NOT an increase in density! It was a highly contentious and controversial project which I strongly objected to, spoke, and voted against. However, despite the protestations of hundreds of local residents, the majority of so-called independents on Council approved the project. There were lawsuits and/or threatened lawsuits, however I know first-hand there were family break ups and serious loss of home values of up to $100,000. It was a travesty. Once again, the owner of that property had inside connections. It is Interesting, that this development property was-flipped since, and to-date only has one building built on the site. NO support from Independent Council members!

Landfill on Agricultural Land: A significant issue was an apparent breach of ALR regulations allowing a free reign for dumping fill on agricultural land. After a significant period of time fighting this issue, a diligent landowner brought to my attention that there was a memo sent to the ALC from our CAO advising that Council had agreed by resolution to send all applications through to the ALC for their consideration and/or approval. After doing my due diligence internally I discovered a copy of the memo and, that, no such resolution had been passed by Council. (A requirement under provincial legislation) In my view that is a deliberate act to mislead a provincial crown agency which is responsible to enforce provincial regulations. NO support from Independent Council members to deal with this issue appropriately.

Summary: I am sure everyone will agree, the examples that I outlined above were not controversial, and they were in the best interest of the public and the taxpayer. So why were they not supported? Internal politics and outside pressure from power brokers that did not want any change on Council, pure and simple.

While it might appear that I am fighting for a slate, that is not necessarily the case, however what I am doing is giving you examples of what happens when you do not have the votes (you need 5) in support of initiatives (infrastructure projects we need). So, let us put it another way, let us say you elect a mayor and eight councilors who each have their own priorities which is normally the case; why else would you run for Council if you didn’t have a platform of ideas you want to achieve on council? It then becomes an internal fight/discussion/debate on Council culminating in let us make a deal? What happens now? You have nine members of Council trying to negotiate with each other for votes of support. You end up with fractious relationships and factions on Council which cease to be constructive to a Council of the whole.

That unfortunately is just how it works out of sight of the public who elected them. Those that are incumbents or are running solely on the theme of being independent, will deny this reality; for those incumbents they are not telling you the truth, and for those having never served on Council don’t know what they are talking about. They mean well, but just don’t know the reality.

RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

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Langley mayoral hopeful says…. Rich Coleman hiding assets from voters!

Township of Langley councillor Eric Woodward said Coleman, who leads the fledgling Elevate Langley party, is breaking the law

By Bob Mackin | September 20, 2022, 5:03pm

Coleman announced his bid to replace the retiring Mayor Jack Froese in late August, more than two months after the final report of the Cullen Commission on money laundering in B.C. did not find political corruption | Photo: Screenshot, Cullen Commission on money laundering in B.C.

A Township of Langley councillor hoping to become mayor in the Oct. 15 election says his star opponent is illegally hiding his assets from voters. 

Eric Woodward said Rich Coleman, the former BC Liberal leader and ex-deputy premier, is breaking the law by claiming on his statutory disclosure form that his investments are in a blind trust. 

Municipal politicians, Woodward said, have significant power to “create wealth with the stroke of a pen with rezoning decisions.”

“You cannot just say ‘blind trust,’ because you cannot sit at the council table and not have the public aware if you have a pecuniary interest in something at the table,” Woodward said in an interview.

Coleman, who leads the fledgling Elevate Langley party, has not responded for comment. 

Section 3(a) of the Financial Disclosure Act requires that a nominee or elected official must specify “the name of each corporation in which the person or a trustee for the person holds one or more shares.” Under section 5(1), a nominee must also disclose holding more than 30% of voting shares in a corporation, including shares that are held “by a trustee for him or her.”

“It’s completely outrageous that somebody would run for mayor of a municipality with the growth rates we’re seeing and not disclose if they have interests in land within that municipality,” said Woodward, who was elected to township council in 2018.

On his form, Coleman disclosed a residential address in Langley’s Routley neighbourhood and initially listed Aldergrove Credit Union as a creditor, but crossed that out. His sources of income are a B.C. Government pension and Canada Pension Plan. According to the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, Coleman’s 24 years representing Langley and Aldergrove in Victoria made him eligible for a $109,000-a-year pension. 

During his provincial career, Coleman fell under the Members’ Conflict of Interest Act, which requires annual filings and material change updates to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. Rather than publishing those forms, the commissioner releases a one or two-page summary about each MLA.

Coleman’s last summary, released in November 2020, said his spouse received salary from Mobil 1 Lube Express, they had residential property, bank and other deposits, and investments held inside a Sun Life Financial RRSP “money on deposit and/or term deposits certificates.” Under the heading of “financial interests (member and spouse),” the summary said: “Member has a blind trust.”

Not reflected in Coleman’s publicly available municipal or provincial disclosure documents is that his son Adam’s company, Coleman Oil and Lube Properties Ltd. operates the Mobil 1 Lube Express in Langley. The B.C. corporate registry shows that Adam Coleman’s company amalgamated in February 2018 with 976440 B.C. Ltd., a numbered company registered to Kuldip and Bahadur Cheema of Vancouver. 

Bahadur Cheema is better known as Bob Cheema, the supporter of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition who was behind the scuttled 2013 South Surrey casino proposal. Then-Mayor Dianne Watts cast the tiebreaking vote against the Gateway Casino/B.C. Lottery Corporation project.

Coleman announced his bid to replace the retiring Mayor Jack Froese in late August, more than two months after the final report of the Cullen Commission on money laundering in B.C. did not find political corruption. Commissioner Austin Cullen instead concluded that BC Liberal politicians did not fulfil their duty to protect casinos from dirty money. 

Councillors Michelle Sparrow and Blair Whitmarsh are the other candidates.

Woodward said Elections B.C. referred his complaint to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, which was indifferent and suggested he complain after Oct. 15 to Elections B.C.

“I’ve been filing those disclosures every year, and I’m very familiar with the rules,” Woodward said. “I actually am personally offended that somebody would run for mayor and not.”

On his candidate disclosure, Woodward lists the Township of Langley as his only source of income and has liabilities with a branch of CIBC in downtown Vancouver. Attached to his disclosure are three additional pages with details of a mixed-use portfolio of 20 properties wholly owned by Fort Langley Properties Ltd. (FLPL), of which Woodward is a shareholder. He reported no holdings in his name, other than his personal residence in Langley’s Salmon River area. 

Woodward also shows that FLPL owes mortgage debt to Baywest Developments (2020) Ltd., First West Credit Union and Triple A Drywall Ltd., and operating debt to Statewood Properties Ltd. 

Woodward said that FLPL is a holding company that is bound to donate all ongoing rental and future development revenue from the Fort Langley Project to Greater Langley charities.

RG

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Selling the voter / taxpayer on one or the other is selling a “Pig in a Poke”! (Something that is offered in such a way as to obscure its real nature or worth). Residents should be viewing their choice for Council (Councillors or Mayor) NOT based on independent vs slate; BUT – What is their platform? What do they stand for? What is their background? What is their experience? How are they going to get things done? – and How are they going to get 5 votes to support their platform?

A little history: I have spent at least four decades being involved in Municipal politics. I was elected Alderman as part of a slate in Delta (1987) and I was elected Mayor as an independent in the Township of Langley (2008). Township of Langley Councils had elected slates up to the infamous election of 1999 (When former Township staffer Kurt Alberts defeated John Scholtens and Heather McMullen) which ended in post-election lawsuits and the worst demonstration I have ever witnessed of election principles and ethics in politics. Since that time there has been a negative shadow cast on the idea of slates – unfortunately that negative shadow has been cast unfairly and at the expense of the Township taxpayer and voter. Did John Scholtens deserve to be defeated, absolutely – and a number of his slate were defeated in the 2002 election which they deserved in spades. The 2002 election brought on the election of a number of independents.

Not ALL Slates, ad-hoc independent slates or independents ARE CREATED EQUAL, just calling yourself and relying on the term independent is a sham and a cop out to the voter!

It is about what you want to do and HOW are you going to deliver on your promises to the voter? I want Honesty, I want you to Act on your Promise, I want you to Act with Integrity and I want you to be totally Transparent!  

The most recent reality – up to today: Since that time, a number of members of Council have been co-opted by power brokers who have lived vicariously through their designate(s) on Council that you the voter has not had any knowledge of – How do I know that? Through years of investigation as to votes on development, property development, property deals, and so much more leading up to my decision to run for Mayor in 2007 / 08 was a real education. You see, as much as I thought I knew what was going on within the Township, Staff and Council, nothing could have prepared me for the reality I faced. The blatant obstruction that I faced as Mayor did not just come from staff or members of the ad-hoc slate – a few independents were equally as offensive and ineffective in achieving anything positive for the taxpayer. The sad part is the taxpaying public bought into these individuals occasional public outbursts on Council but in reality they were nothing more than a publicity stunt. It continues to this day. Unfortunately, these stunts received unwarranted publicity in the local press.

This year’s Township of Langley election 2022: As I have stated from the beginning, I will be following all candidates for Mayor and Council and I will be objective through independent research of their backgrounds, their history, their life experience and more.

I will not be buying into what is starting to be seen as a smoke screen argument that someone calling themselves an independent, will provide better government.

I have seen up close and personal how independents and/or slate members can be equally bad for the Township. Take Jack Froese for example, it was Rich Coleman and his cohorts who talked him into running for Mayor, who with Coleman’s supported incumbents gave you a Council that talked independence but were a de-facto slate – Check out their voting records over their full terms since 2011. Now we hear Jack Froese who is not running, publicly supporting independents. I guess he is feeling guilty for his actions over the past 11 years – he should be, he was a big part of a serious problem!

Calling yourself an independent as a reason for someone to vote for you, to me is an insult to the intelligence of the voter, it should be a non-starter. That is becoming an all too convenient excuse to hide behind as a candidate.

You know, I am quite tired of listening to political bafflegab as I am sure the people of Walnut Grove, Willoughby, Brookswood and Aldergrove are, in particular. I am interested in those that want to speak with an educated and reasoned voice as to what they are going to do to fix all that has gone wrong, and how they are going to do it? There have been far too many poor decisions, and a serious lack of decision making from our past Councils. We are all paying a heavy price. There are so-called independents currently on council who are responsible or have a significant responsibility for nothing getting done. Calling yourself an independent on Council should buy you nothing in the eyes of the voter, you have a lot to answer for, and you know who you are!

So far, in following (and it is early), candidates are not talking about their platform, they are not talking about what they stand for, they are not talking about their goals or what they want to achieve while on Council. Where is your material? What are you selling, and do not say independence because that is simply unadulterated BS – OK I am being polite!

There are some residents of the Township who are spreading rumor, gossip, and innuendo about certain candidates. I have recently met or talked to a few of those using that attack, and I have told them I am not interested in any of those discussions. These-kind-of-attacks are the slimiest of dirty political tricks that I have seen in 40 years. They are not new but what you find is that there are some in political campaigns that cannot defeat their opponent on ideas or policy, they have to resort to slimy personal tactics. You know, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story! As I have said many times, got something to say, go public – but be sure you are correct! So, on that point I will go to my conclusion and the facts surrounding this BLOG – 

This BLOG’s position to-date: The www.langleywatchdog BLOG was created and first published back in January of 2013. It was created to keep the Township of Langley honest (it did not work) but as important it was created to keep the general public informed. I have published about 160 BLOG Posts which have had about 150,000 views. I have broken (Breaking News) on quite a number of news stories with respect to the Township’s news and issues. Many that the local media never had the guts to publish so as not to upset the Township after all they were receiving about $225,000 annually, in your tax dollars. I have been asked many times about how I can publish what I do – the answer is very simple. Everything I publish are facts, in addition because of my position as Mayor I publish informed opinion based on my knowledge and connections – I was in that office.

As to the positions I have taken so far in this election. As you know, if you have read my last three to four posts, I have come out strongly against Rich Coleman in his run for the Mayor’s Chair. My position on his seeking this position is spelled out clearly and in detail over a previous two posts given all of the reasons I have clearly spelled out. I truly cannot imagine a more devastating result to the voter and taxpayer in the Township of Langley having Rich Coleman as our Mayor. In his words, Mark Bakken, the current Township CAO for the last 25 years, is a good friend of his – Really, I will say no more for now.

I have also come out against Blair Whitmarsh, and I have spelled out my reasons in detail. An on the record lack of honesty, a serious potential for a Conflict of Interest and detailed issues on his voting record. Those reasons speak volumes.

As to all other running, for Mayor and Council, I will be following everyone’s campaigns as best as possible, but I have also been up front regarding the whole issue of Slate vs Independent – as I stated clearly above – Not all slates nor all independents are created equal, keep an open mind on all accounts.

RG

More interesting 2022 Municipal Election News coming soon!

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

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