INDOOR Aldergrove Pool…A Message to the Aldergrove Business Association, Members of Township Council and Aldergrove Residents!!!! A LIE heard around ALDERGROVE!

Posted: April 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

What is happening to the community of Aldergrove and Aldergrove residents is a travesty of justice in the cruelest of terms! It is exactly why our voter turnout during elections are down; tell me what I want to hear during an election campaign and do the opposite AFTER the election! Now, Councilor Fox in an email to me and at last night’s Council meeting states he never promised an Indoor Pool? A few other members of Council suggested the same thing. Isn’t that interesting 1) Aldergrove Pool Committee works for years in a very public campaign for an Indoor Pool 2) Numerous meetings with staff, council and the pool committee discussing different formats for an Indoor Pool, length being the only question. 3) Council launches a public campaign to sell off municipal lands to fund the project, an Indoor Pool. 4) Due to public pressure Council withdraws that campaign to sell lands to fund the project, an Indoor Pool 5) An Indoor Pool was the only thing discussed over the past three elections 6) and NOW Charlie Fox and a few others state they never promised an INDOOR Pool? Are they remotely serious? I don’t recall Charlie or any others being honest with the public stating they support an outdoor pool, do you?

Viewing Mayor Froese’s very public campaign VIDEO during the last election stating emphatically his vision for Aldergrove was an Indoor Pool, there is only one word for it. a LIE to the public. Strong language, YOU BET, BUT it is what it is! At last night’s Council meeting the Mayor stated he is comfortable with his decision – So YES he is comfortable with telling a LIE to the voting public! At last night’s Council meeting Mayor Froese stressed that the Township could not afford an Indoor facility? So, there can only be one conclusion, as Mayor for the three years prior to his promise of an Indoor Pool he did not understand the finances of the Township? There is an old saying in politics, you have either been lieing to us or you are too stupid to be running this municipality!

This kind of stuff has got to stop. A quick view of what is currently happening in politics looks like change is coming unless politicians change. Voters are fed up!!!!

How do we get politicians to change? Stand up against the bullying and subliminal intimidation, become active in the fight and say NO MORE! This campaign against an outdoor pool is YOUR chance to become active, IT IS THE BUSINESS COMMUNITIES chance to prove their REAL value to Aldergrove and it is THE CHANCE for members of your council to prove their worth to the residents of our community by reconsidering their decision. Contrary to comments by Jack Froese (who owns a business in the Aldergrove area) and Bob Long (yes that Bob Long who lives in and owns and operates a restaurant in Aldergrove) IT IS NOT TOO LATE!

To Members of the Aldergrove Business Association (ABA) – I am hearing rumors that some members of the ABA are not onside or are NOT motivated to publicly participate in and support the campaign for an Aldergrove INDOOR Pool that was just launched this weekend by residents, YOUR customers!

First a little history – I have owned a large business years ago in Tsawwassen and was a member of the then TBA. One of their principle mandates as a business association was to fight for community prominent initiatives like they did with the Winskill (INDOOR) Pool. Years later as a resident of Langley and Mayor I was approached by the local owner of the McDonalds franchise in Walnut Grove with some serious crime concerns in and around Walnut Grove. There was no business association at the time. With my experience both in business and as Mayor of the Township I knew it would be invaluable for Council to have a strong business association to work and connect with on a variety of issues beneficial to their community. I provided the Municipal leadership and considerable resources necessary and the rest is history, a very successful business association in Walnut Grove was formed and exists very successfully today.

Following that success we accomplished the same thing in Aldergrove thanks to a few key business leaders in our community. What must be made VERY clear, the sole reason that we assisted in that support at the time is that they, community businesses, would play an advocacy role in support of Aldergrove Businesses, their community and resident / customers. The ABA (business association) role IS NOT to be playing a support role or in any quasi connection to the municipal government, IT WAS AND IS to play a support role for the community. Remember, the residents of Aldergrove play a significant role in the success or failure of your business. Do you want to be known throughout Aldergrove as a business that did not support such a key initiative? Using pure common sense, and being a former business owner, I cannot imagine any business owner with an ounce of common sense not to be supporting this campaign in spades.

To Members of Township of Langley Council – Your decision to back track on your campaign promise (I don’t know what else you can call it Mayor Froese) made during the last election is beyond contemptable.  The thinking that could have gone into a plan for building an outdoor pool in our climate can only be described as beyond the pale. The Township of Langley initiated the sewer line and during my term as Mayor we approved the Metro Vancouver Water line so as to save our aquifers and to provide a safe, secure and stable water supply into the community of Aldergrove in addition to adopting a NEW Core Community Plan. All of this supported our endorsement and approval of the Metro Regional Growth Strategy which supported growth in Aldergrove to be in and around 25,000. Without that capital outlay, growth would not be possible.

In recent years the Township of Langley has spent in or around $70 million to provide stable support services (sewer and water) to Aldergrove and the Gloucester Industrial Park. With all of this population growth and development – We are building an OUTDOOR Pool? While I know none of you want to take my advice, I would strongly suggest an immediate review be conducted of the plan before you or you know what they say – it is going to jump out and BITE you big time! Residents will remember!!!

Mayor Froese – (Langley Advance Thursday March 31st, 2016) “.. at this point there isn’t time to redesign the pool and still get construction underway this year – in time for the 2018 opening”. “We’re on a tight timeline”. RESPONSE – What unadulterated BS. Jack you have all the time in the world. A little leadership and commitment is required, IF a little more time is required, I guarantee the community would be behind you. Council directs staff, not the other way around. This is nothing but an absolute cop out!

Councilor Long – (Aldergrove Star Posted April 2nd 2016 2:00PM) – Stated in a response to the protest underway across the street from his restaurant – “We will forge ahead with the current plan”. Bob Long, as a business owner and a resident of Aldergrove you are an embarrassment to the residents of Aldergrove with your complete lack of support and respect for your community! Not a deep breath, not a willingness to talk to anyone, just the typical arrogant condescending attitude that Council has become so well known for against the people you were elected to represent. You and Fox are a real pair!

Councilor Long is also on record with the following responses to questions posed on Facebook:

“a replacement for the outdoor pool has always been part of the plan” – RESPONSE – You are correct, BUT the replacement for the outdoor pool has always been a NEW INDOOR Pool, lets not try to reinvent history!

“a unique complex unlike any municipally owned and operated anywhere in the Fraser Valley” – RESPONSE – Once again you are correct, BUT unfortunately it is a uniqueness that is not acceptable nor wanted in Aldergrove and NO OTHER municipality would propose such a brain dead idea for their community! We will be the laughing stock of the Valley!

“The budget is approx. $26 million and the funds are coming from Capital Reserves, so therefore it will not require tax increases”? RESPONSE – What? Bob you and some members of this Council had no problem approving the financial boondoggle, that is the LEC, to the tune of $88.7 million (see below) plus, an annual operational subsidy of the LEC to the tune of $4 – $6 million plus the LEC expansion (NO public input or support) to the tune of $7.5 million (included in above). Then there is Blair and Walnut Grove with operational subsidy and the capital all supported by taxpayers in Aldergrove with NO reasonable and affordable bus service for Aldergrove residents to those facilities. FYI to Council – Capital Reserves come from the taxpayer, it is all taxpayer supported!

“that the costs and scope of some of these concepts far exceed our ability to construct and maintain” ..”A modest indoor facility would cost over $35 million and would need to service an area population far greater than what exists now in the Aldergrove area or what could be possibly forecasted for the future, to be viable.”  RESPONSE – Bob, remember the new sewer line you voted for, the NEW water line you voted for and the Metro Regional Growth Strategy that you supported? All of this was to ensure we had the services in Aldergrove to go from 10,000 residents TO 25,000 residents in the future. The decision to invest this amount of money to grow Aldergrove and then build an Outdoor Pool is beyond incompetence.

“The money for construction of the project was always to come from land sales and not from tax increases – but the public will recall, council was convinced not to sell certain lands and so it was faced with a considerably reduced funding source too.”  RESPONSE – So now we are getting at the truth, when Council changed it’s direction regarding the selling of land due to public pressure, they reduced the scope of the project to an Outdoor Pool WITHOUT TELLING THE PUBLIC? I know this is above your pay grade Councillor Long but there are many ways to finance the facility in question, but then again innovation has never been anyone’s strength in the Township or on Council.

Councilor Fox – In typical Charlie Fox fashion his debate against Councilor Richter’s Notice of Motion threatened “if this motion passes I will bring forward a motion to the next Council meeting requesting support for a Township wide referendum for an Indoor Pool in Aldergrove”. He also suggested that the Walnut Grove, WC Blair and LEC facilities were not paid for out of tax payer funds (ie Aldergrove residents taxation) What unadulterated BS – Capital funds and many of the reserves are built on taxpayer dollars! Who do you think provides the majority of funds, the tooth fairy? Who do you think pays for the subsidies, and has done so since day one, ALL Township taxpayers – Not the tooth fairy Charlie?

Councilor Quaale – A very important caution Councilor Quaale, IF you are ever going to start making statements while at the Council Table make sure they are factual. You stated the Langley Events Center only cost the Township $30 million? Absolutely FALSE! Please ask your office for a copy of Mayor Green’s Press Release on the LEC dated Wednesday December 15th, 2010 – It is all factual – THE FACTS ARE:

Province of BC                            $15 million

School Board                               $3 million

Trinity Western University      $3.5 million

Langley Gymnastics                   $1 million

Township of Langley                  $43.7 million

Township of Langley   est          $10 million       (Land acquisition and prep costs)

NEW property purchase est      $5 million         (Nursery site)

NEW LEC addition                      $7.5 million

Grand Total                                   $88.7 million

Township / Taxpayer Costs    $66.2 million ( No referendum Charlie)

PLUS a TAXPAYER SUBSIDY of between $4 and $6 million PER YEAR!

So Councilor Quaale, if you are so concerned with taxpayer dollars initiate a Forensic Audit of the Langley Events Center, you will be amazed with what you will find! Further, think before you speak – Township costs of the LEC are OVER double your quote from the Council table.

Councilor Richter – While I have been critical of you over the years and despite your previous vote supporting this facility during an in-camera meeting (illegally), I must congratulate you for having the guts to bring forward your Notice of Motion requesting Council to revisit their decision. The debate that took place among members of Council last night showed it for what it is, dysfunctional and out of touch with the residents they suggest they support.

To members of Council – There is good news and bad news – The Good News is the Green Family have just sold their farm, the Bad News is the Green Family have just Bought a home in Aldergrove! We are not going anywhere!   

To Aldergrove Residents – From personal experience with years of political experience in Delta and 19 years in the Township I have never seen the kind of unaccountable elected representation that we have in the Township of Langley. I thought through my three years as Mayor I had seen everything, after last night’s meeting it can only be described as dysfunctional. As I have said many times, we have the government we deserve, however I do believe that we can mobilize the electorate into recognizing what is being done to them and what they can do about it! Get involved.

Anyone that has paid any attention to my years in the Mayor’s office will know that I spent considerable energy promoting residents to get involved in their community. I spent considerable time fighting on their behalf, in most cases fighting off other members of Council while I attempted to do so. From encouraging residents to fight the 208th street Truck Route (residents won), to fight the Mufford Crescent Diversion (residents won), to fight landfill on agricultural land (residents won), to fight the Browns Pit gravel extraction by the B.C. Government (residents won), to fight against a fish farm in South Langley (residents won) and in the fight against Athenry Gate (unfortunately residents lost). We fought the Overheight Condo Wall in Fort Langley and we exposed the financial boondoggle that is the Langley Events Center and much more, I have always invited and welcomed the public’s participation, it is essential to our democracy.

The fight for an INDOOR POOL in Aldergrove is incredibly important to our community. It was promised during the last election, after the election the promise has been dismissed out-of-hand and after last night Council members totally insulted all taxpayers in Aldergrove!

We cannot allow a LIE to stand! If you sit back and accept it this time without a firm response you deserve the government you get – All bets are off!!!! Put another way, IF you are not part of the solution (fighting back) YOU ARE the part of the continuing problem!!

RG

I am working on a few posts at present that I believe should be of significant concern and interest to residents of the Township of Langley.

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

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Comments
  1. withheld says:

    Rick, your tenacity and courage impress me. There is no doubt in my mind that we have been deceived, lied to, and disrespected by this Mayor and Council. I must admit that even thinking about the Pool makes me weary. it’s been such a long fight, so many broken promises and in the end, they’ve done the very least they could do and titled it “good enough.” For the record, i will expect the Mayor and several Council members to swim regularly in the outdoor pool, in weather like we had today or even in the snow, with big smiles covering their chattering teeth. And I will giggle as I watch them run to the sheltered area to change back into their fur coats and toques. To me, that would be the best recreation the new facility could offer

  2. withheld says:

    I agree. Thank you for stepping up and telling it like it is Rick.

  3. Mike says:

    All true. All true. Line per line. Good job Rick. The design since 2012 has been indoor – for any of them to say they promised anything but indoor is crap. To say they (the mayor) promised indoor but didn’t realize he couldnt afford it makes him either liing for votes or stupid. Or Both.

  4. Alice says:

    Rick a wealth Of Information!! Thank You for Sharing It. I believe cost is subject for such projects . If we dont make the most of what we are getting . We will pay for it in other ways Community policing ,vandalism crime rates and so on. We already have these issues . We are reaching out for support to change that.

  5. Thank you Rick Green We have been promised an indoor pool for a very long time. I have live in Aldergrove all my married life. I am tired of the lies. I live by the water line. It is not finished.

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