Achieving something while on Council requires determination and listening to residents; This is a foreign concept to members of our current Council!

Posted: December 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

As Mayor or a Councillor, listening to the community, thus achieving something for the community is possible while serving! Here is our list of Achievements while Mayor between 2008 and 2011, we are proud of them. I don’t publish them to brag, I publish them to show what is possible in public service!

What is it that Jack Froese has said publicly – he doesn’t make decisions due to public hearing attendance or petitions? Unfortunately he has proven himself to be unqualified for the position! The only people the Mayor and majority of this Council listen to are members of the establishment behind closed doors! Now lets see, what has this Council accomplished led by Jack Froese? OH I know an outdoor pool in Aldergrove after promising an Indoor Pool, I rest my case! 

Get involved, be active!

The following achievements occurred because of the Mayor being pro-active responding to resident issues. We were successful, NOT BECAUSE of members of Council (because most will remember that everything was a fight if I had anything to do with bringing an issue forward) BUT IN-SPITE of Council and the time they spent continuing to fight the 2008 election.

  • Stopped Provincial Government Gravel Mining Plans for Brown’s Pit – The Provincial Government had expressed an interest in re-activating Browns Pit to supply gravel needs for the Gateway Program. We worked with the immediate affected community residents and campaigned directly to the Provincial Government through our MLAs and media to STOP any intentions to re-activate this venue. Supported residents in their media campaign. Successful, listened to the community!
  • Stopped 224th Street Feed Lot – Worked with staff to ensure any plans to establish a feed lot addressed a number of Township Residents and Township needs and protections in the areas of roads, environment, ground water and stream protection. We worked to ensure the number of cattle was limited to net area affected. With small acreages it is important that we work for the benefit of the majority in so many sensitive areas. Successful, listened to the community!
  • Renewed Inter-urban rail passenger rights – Uncovered a previously unknown Master Agreement that secured passenger rights on the Pratt Livingston Corridor, through the Langleys, that was due to expire Aug. 29th We uncovered it 4 months before it was lost forever and under the terms of the agreement we lobbied all municipal councils to assist us in lobbying the President of B.C. Hydro and our MLAs South of the Fraser to renew those rights. Those rights were secured for the people of B.C. in June of 2009! Successful, the result of listening to key members of our community!
  • Established the South of Fraser Community Rail Task Force- With the renewal of passenger rights on the Inter-Urban Corridor we established a Task Force as I promised in the election which has been supported by all cities and municipalities South of the Fraser including our three post secondary institutions. This Task Force was created to lobby senior levels of government and transit providers with a united voice for the much need improvements to our transportation network. An initiative of ours that involved communities from Delta through to Chilliwack!
  • Stopped the original plan for the Mufford Crescent Diversion – As promised during the last election we brought a previously unknown road and overpass network, secretly applied for to the ALC which received conditional approved, back to public open houses and a public meeting. This project would have wiped out over 300 acres of farmland. After a 98% rejection from over 1,000 residents through community consultation council still approved the project as planned through two significant votes, despite public anger. In response to the proponent’s submission in answer to the 9 conditions, I along with a community committee corrected the inaccuracies in their report directly to the ALC. The ALC rejected the application based on those corrections that we submitted. We stood firm against Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation, Translink, B.C. Gov’t, City of Langley, Township Council, 12 Funding Partners, the ALC and WE WON! Successful, listened to the community. We stood firm against senior levels of government, provincial agencies the Municipalities of Delta, Surrey, Langley City, the bureaucracy of Langley Township and the majority on Township Council in favor and support of 95% of the 1,400 + of Township residents who came out against this project.
  • New Responsible Water Management Plan – Prior to the 2008 election there was a draft water management plan slated for approval that incorporated a number of very contentious changes, including metered private wells, to the current regulations. We revisited that plan and approved a New Water Management Plan that was passed and sent to Victoria. We also approved some preliminary funding to cap some free flowing artesian wells. Successful, listened to a petition of over 3,500 residents initiated by Penny Anderlini, a South Langley pioneer farming family!
  • Proposed Fish Farm in South Langley – Worked with residents, township staff and regulatory authorities to ensure we prevented the gravel mining of a proposed fish farm site in South Langley. This proposal was stopped but has since restarted albeit limited to the extraction of approximately 6,000 cu metres. This type of permissible activity in the ALR must stop and we will continue our lobbying to provincial and federal authorities to remove it as a permitted use or at the very least put it into the hands of the Municipal government. We have since been advised that the Federal Government has taken over responsibility for coastal and in-land fish resources. They have been issued their Federal License. Successful, listened to residents!
  • Initiated public engagement process for the protection of an expanded Noel Booth Park- This site was targeted by the Township as a fill site, a proposal that was a hot issue in the community on or about 2004. I initiated separate conversations with about seven residents who clearly expressed their wishes for an expanded Noel Booth park. These conversations led to a series of meetings with senior staff and a series of public engagement sessions that led to the protection of the site as a passive park for the community. Successful, listened and acted in support of residents of Brookswood!
  • New Core Aldergrove Community Plan – As promised during the last election we made the Aldergrove Community Plan a priority. I introduced a dramatic change in our community planning process by working with staff to introduce the concept of an Aldergrove Community Planning Committee. This change was presented through a staff report to council and adopted. The committee consisted of members of the community; business, residents and association representatives who were instrumental in council adopting and giving final reading to this document last fall. Successful, acted on a campaign promise to change the process of Community Planning. (After my loss in 2011 the Township have gone back to top down planning)
  • GVWD (Metro) Water into Gloucester and Aldergrove – As promised in my 2008 election campaign platform we brought back the essential element to allow for the growth of Aldergrove and expansion of Gloucester. GVWD water is also essential to take the pressure off of the declining aquifers throughout the Township of Langley. Council approved the route and it is now well under construction. This was considered a priority as it’s implications are supporting needed growth and development in residential, commercial and industrial as well as the protection of our environment. Successful, initiated the long promised but never initiated Metro Water line into east Langley as promised in my 2008 campaign. This project was and is essential for development and growth, commercial and residential.
  • Repatriated Land Fills on Agricultural Land BACK to the Township of Langley – Township of Langley residents had been told for years that Landfill on ALR land was the responsibility of the ALR. That was and is Residents were lied to. Through significant due diligence we uncovered that it was the decision of the past municipal council to transfer their responsibility to the ALC contrary to their legislated responsibility. That was stopped and is now back in the hands of the Township of Langley. Successful, listened to residents throughout rural Langley who had long complained but never addressed by Council.
  • Fought to ensure the Aldergrove Border Crossing was kept open for trucks – Worked on a community, business and municipal committee to stop the planned closure of this crossing for truck traffic. Construction of the expansion of this facility is well under way. This was very important to the economic development of the Township of Langley. Successfully stopped Federal Government plan of the day to prohibit truck traffic at this crossing. Worked with adjoining Municipalities in putting together a community/business committee as well as a political lobbying group (Mayors and other elected representatives) to ensure this crossing was protected for future truck traffic.
  • Joint Langley Police Board Committee – Established a Joint Police Board Committee consisting of the two Mayors, two CAOs, our RCMP Superintendent and an Inspector. This committee dealt with reviewing policing issues from a high level designed to be pre-emptive on policing needs in the Langleys. Through this committee and the CCJR Committee, a prolific offender program has been launched. Listened to the needs of our community to provide a safe and secure environment through this pro-active community initiative. This ceased to operate after the 2011 election.
  • New “Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform Committee” – Originated by Township of Langley resident Carol Mills and MP Mark Warawa, this committee was established at the start of our mandate and included representatives from all levels of government, both Mayors, policing and fire from Surrey, Langleys and Abbotsford along with well known Criminal Justice advocate Darryl Plecas and other community leaders. Significant advancements have been derived in policing and senior government lobbying through this committee. Supported a community based and MP (Mark Warawa) supported community pro-active initiative.
  • Created an Open and Transparent Township of Langley Property Inventory – As promised in the 2008 election campaign I had staff create and make available to the public a complete property portfolio providing pictures and property information. This is available through the Township of Langley Real Estate department. Successfully made available the Township (Public owned) property inventory. This initiative laid out in complete detail the Township of Langley property portfolio estimated to be valued at $500,000,000 at the time. Previously not available to the public. (other than to friends and insiders)
  • Initiated NEW bylaw controlling metal theft that resulted in Province wide legislation – Due to some serious cases of metal theft that resulted in some serious public safety issues (Township at the time considered central to this problem) I went on Global TV to discuss the serious problem we had. In my effort to have our bylaws reviewed I was publicly chastised by Councillors Bateman and Fox suggesting we had a crime problem not a bylaw problem. I was persistent in getting that passed and through our initiative we held a region wide meeting for police, Telus, bylaw officers and fire with the result of our Municipality adopting a resolution to UBCM calling for Province Wide legislation. UBCM adopted our resolution unanimously. That call was heard by Victoria and we were successful in getting that province wide legislation passed. Credit must go to Bill Storey our Director of Bylaws for helping to spearhead this initiative. Successful, listened to a community problem and took steps to find a solution for ourselves but more important throughout the Province of B.C. 
  • Co – Chaired the “Langley Healthier Community Partnership Council” – Together with the City of Langley we created the Langley Healthier Community Partnership Council which is co-chaired by both Mayors and Lois Dixon from Fraser Health. This initiative was about bringing ALL agencies together with a common purpose to find new and creative ways to make our communities healthier. This affects all aspects of our living environment. Another pro-active initiative to create a healthier community in partnership with the City of Langley and Fraser Health.
  • Encouraged Citizens to launch a campaign against the 208th Street Truck Route – Residents living on or around the 208th Street corridor approached me for help in their campaign against this initiative. In response to their request I offered advice that led to  their email, petition and open house turnout to fight what was being proposed. The residents compiled a petition of 2,200 signatures and an attendance of close to 700 at the Open House held at the LEC. The proposed truck route was defeated by council. Successfully supported this community action initiated in response to a visit of 25 community residents to one of my Monthly Town Hall meetings held at the Willoughby Hall.
  • Exposed the serious financial issues surrounding the Langley Events Center – Living up to what I promised during the last election I issued a press release surrounding the extensive problematic issues surrounding the Langley Events Center. Full detail surrounding this issue was ultimately provided by Press Release. Successfully made public the financial wrong doing and lack of P3 agreement by our Township of Langley Council behind the development of the Langley Events Center in keeping with my promise for public transparency.
  • Initiated the discussion and creation of the Walnut Grove Business Association – Working with a couple of major business owners in the Walnut Grove area we provided Township of Langley resources which were instrumental in the Creation of the Walnut Grove Business Association now numbering over 100 members. This association is proving to be very beneficial in a wide variety of ways in business development, crime information and communication and municipal two-way communication. Successful in response to a telephone call from Ron Knight, owner of McDonalds Restaurants in Walnut Grove and Port Kells I initiated and chaired the first couple of information meetings at the LEC of prospective members of what I wanted to see develop – The Walnut Grove Business Association.
  • Initiated the discussion and creation of the Aldergrove Business AssociationWorking closely with and being encouraged by the Walnut Grove Business Association, Aldergrove businesses have taken the same step as Walnut Grove.  Supported by and with some Township of Langley resources, which were instrumental, Aldergrove is well on their way to create the same vehicle. This association is proving to be very beneficial in a wide variety of ways in business development, crime information and communication and municipal two-way communication. Successful following the template we used in Walnut Grove we initiated the same campaign in Aldergrove which successfully formed the Aldergrove Business Association.
  • Mayor’s Monthly Public Forum As promised during the 2008 election I held monthly Mayor’s Forums which attracted over 1,000 residents over three years. This was a drop-in session designed to be informal and to engage the public in a dialogue on individual and collective issues in the community with the Mayor. Successful, despite Council’s opposition to me holding these monthly meetings we delivered on our campaign promise!
  • Langley Agriculture Trust FoundationThe Township of Langley has created the Langley Agriculture Trust Foundation which is being managed by a Community Board of Directors. This initiative was designed to help promote and fund agriculture improvements within the Township going forward. A pro-active initiative supporting Agriculture in the Township of Langley.
  • Re-Activated the Langley Horse FederationI worked with previously involved prominent citizens of the Township of Langley in the promotion of the previously approved Langley Horse Strategy (by council circa 1996) These residents are now back, actively involved in the Langley Horse Federation with a new community based board of directors who are energized to revisit this important Langley initiative. An important element of their work will be building and adding to our agriculture / horse economic development opportunities. A pro-active initiative to support the equine industry in the Township of Langley know with the moniker “The Horse Capital of B.C.” They initiated a Town hall Meeting at the Langley Events Center supported by the Township, of over 300 industry representatives which dealt with a priority list of needs.
  • Metro Vancouver Food StrategyAs Vice Chair of the Metro Vancouver Agriculture Committee I am proud to have played a major role in the development of the Metro Vancouver Food Strategy. This is an important initiative which is designed to raise the profile and importance of our agriculture, food production and food distribution system. This strategy was the result of an initiative sponsored by our metro Agricultural Committee of which I was Vice-Chair.
  • Metro Vancouver Regional Growth StrategyAs a Director of Metro Vancouver I played a major role in the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy which has been very closely addressed by the Township of Langley Municipal Council and Staff. This is a provincially mandated initiative that, through our input, protects the Township of Langley and the region’s residents quality of life and liveability. This was a hotly discussed and debated provincially mandated initiative which ultimately resulted in unanimous support by all Metro Directors and ALL Municipal Councils. Approved in 2011.
  • Translink Transit Service to Gloucester Industrial Park / Aldergrove Corridor For over 30 years the Township of Langley has ignored the Transit needs of one of the regions largest industrial parks. There are 8,000 to 10,000 employees per day in and out of that park. On my initiative, working with Translink, Gloucester property owners and the Aldergrove Business Association, we conducted a comprehensive survey of their transit needs. Gloucester property owners are contributing $1.4 million in Translink Property Tax levies without so much as a bus to show for it. An initiative by myself in conjunction with businesses in Gloucester to find a solution for the lack of ANY bus transportation in and out of Gloucester. A $1.4 million investment into Translink coffers without a bus to show for it. Not successful thanks to the politics by members of our Council!

So what did it take to fight and accomplish many of these issues and much more? A four part series will start in three days!

RG

The next four posts will feature the truth behind my three year term as the Township Mayor. Trust me you can’t make this stuff up, it was a very difficult three years but three years of pride on my part. Their campaign to defeat me in the next election was successful, but to me it was never about sucking up to the establishment to win the next election. We need individuals prepared to step forward and deal with the ongoing wrong doing at our Municipal Hall!

Politics IS NOT a spectator sport, IT IS a participation sport!

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

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