Is it Dirty Politics or Corruption in the Township of Langley? Here are more issues that Council was fighting me on… What would you do, fight or surrender???” – cont’d Part 3 of 4

Posted: December 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

The question … What kind of municipal government do you want? Transparent, listens to the community and states the Truth, OR one that hides the truth from you in favor of friends and insiders?

The Rest of the Story….  Here is Part 3 of a 4 part series looking at the truth behind what really went on during my three year term in the Mayor’s office. Is this the level of respect you want or are happy with from members of Council towards your choice for Mayor or for that matter to any other duly elected member of Council? You be the judge!   

So back to the controversy…. As stated earlier it was the reaction by a few well-connected individuals, some call them the Township of Langley Establishment, who have strong connections to senior municipal staff and those currently elected, against my actions and efforts to stop all the back room dealing. This applied to very questionable actions by the Council I was elected to serve with. Difficult, what an understatement!

From the outset I was fully aware that my actions which amounted to stepping on some BIG TOES could cost me, but I will admit never did I believe the steps that these people would go to attack me. The term dirty politics doesn’t come close to the depths of their attacks which fully included members of Council supporting the grand plan.

Next Up, Settlement of the LEC (Langley Event Center) Boondoggle – The issues surrounding the Langley Event Center started with the fact there was no P3 agreement (start of this post) as told to the residents of the Township for years. But that was just the tip of the ice-berg!

(This topic is covered in depth in my March 3rd, 2013 BLOG Post)

As I have repeatedly said, there should be a Forensic Audit on this facility. It is filled with a litany of very questionable decisions which I have gone through in depth in my earlier BLOG Post.

I had a choiceDo I tell the public the truth after the conclusion of final negotiations? You decide? Any grade 12 business student (Councilor Richter take note, you should be more than embarrassed) would have corrected or fought against the obvious financial / business wrongs that were a part of this development. After my election and getting involved with the status of the LEC, I was shocked at the apparent willingness of council to fall in line with the direction of staff and not challenging what was going on. The Council of the day (Long, Fox and Richter still on Council) permitted this to happen without being called to account.

Council gave staff the authority to negotiate and conclude all agreements? That is correct, Council gave staff, by and through three resolutions, the responsibility to sign off on what they (staff) saw fit. Council members totally abdicated their fiduciary responsibility. To this day I can’t believe what was allowed to go on unchallenged. Despite myself making some significant changes, at the end of the day a completely unwarranted $8.6 million settlement was agreed to with the so-called (NOT) private partner. The complete detail and truth was issued in my press release dated Wednesday, December 15th, 2010. By the way, the local media ignored this as they ignored everything else. Why? As one publisher told me it wasn’t as bad as I said it was and it wasn’t as good as they say it was. What a cop out, a reflection of the complete lack of scrutiny and the total incompetence by this council and your local media. A complete disservice to our community!!!

Next Up, Soil Deposit on Agricultural Land – Despite citizens hearing and being told by the Township of Langley for years that the control of soil deposit on agricultural land is the responsibility of the Agricultural Land Commission, we discovered this was a lie! The facts were uncovered in previous correspondence with the ALC. Further, on a tip from a resident I uncovered a letter written by the TOL CAO to the ALC stating there was a resolution of Council in November 2005 to send all land fill applications to the ALC (as required by provincial legislation) for review and approval, when in fact there was NO such resolution of Council. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to suggest or at least ask the question, when Provincial Legislation stipulates one thing (commonly called “the law”) and you ignore it, in other words you advise a Provincial Crown Agency (ALC) there was a resolution as required by Provincial statute, when in fact it didn’t exist, does that not break the law? Who is responsible? How many property owners had been adversely affected by neighboring soil deposits during that five year period? Just asking! Do these affected residents, if negatively affected, not have a legal argument against the Township of Langley?

I had a choice – Do I tell the public the truth or not? Not a chance that was I going to allow this wrong doing to continue. I would suggest that there have been many residents who have been adversely affected by incorrectly approved soil deposits on rural neighboring properties. I would also suggest that there are liability issues out in our community, thanks to the actions of staff and members of council. I can hear Richter from here, “there you go again promoting a lawsuit”! This was a statement she made against me in an open Council meeting when I said IF the Township issued a fill permit to my neighbor and we ended up with a water problem I would sue. No, Kim, it is called being honest and fulfilling your responsibilities to the taxpayer of your community. A foreign concept I know, to some! Could a group of these affected residents make an interesting court challenge against the Township of Langley? You be the judge!

Conclusion – All of the above are what I would call the major issues, but there were and are many many more ie the Park Lane Condo Wall in Fort Langley (adding 4th floor / increase in density at 4th reading, illegal), school sites in Willoughby and now with a friendly supporting Mayor you see the controversial Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley, a $7.5 million expansion of the LEC (no public input, notification or process) by the current Council, the Brookswood / Fernridge planning debacle and the OUTDOOR Aldergrove Pool (Promised an Indoor Pool) it goes on and on and on!

So where do Township of Langley residents go from here?

I tried my best to correct these bad decisions. I am very pleased in what I was able to accomplish – as a matter of fact I accomplished more in three difficult years than Kurt Alberts accomplished in nine years. But it appears to me that we are, I was going to say back to square one, but I would suggest we are further back than that. Don’t believe me, just look at the decisions that are being made in Willoughby, Fort Langley, Trinity Wall / University District Development, Tuscan Development, Coulter Berry favors, expansion of the LEC, TOL Outdoor Pool (promised Indoor) in Aldergrove and the wrong-headed Brookswood Community Plan.

Rail Traffic – FACT – We will see up to 38 – 15,000 ft. (per information through Westshore Terminals) unit trains per day (coal and containers) in the years ahead with the development of Roberts Bank without a sound or ounce of protest coming from members of Council or staff. After years of silence on the subject we are now hearing (a little late) about the need for more overpasses given the expansion, only now coming to light.  With this we are losing out on a Community Light Rail Passenger Service from Scott Road to Chilliwack on the Interurban Corridor. During my term we secured the renewal of passenger rights on this corridor, 4 months BEFORE they were to expire forever, but those now in power at the Provincial level and Municipal level are ignoring this opportunity at our / your expense. You see renewing them is one thing, activating passenger service will require the political go ahead from the Province and by extension B.C. Hydro.

I don’t know what it is going to take to get residents actively involved to make the changes that are so dramatically needed in the next election. I tried and believe me I don’t apologize. The one thing I didn’t expand on is the red herring legal issue that I was attacked on which was an absolute sham, that will be covered in Part 4 of this series. Once again, on Council I was at a serious disadvantage given the disparity of votes and what can only be described as an ineffective, biased attack dog Council.

I don’t like to raise personal issues relating to my family but in this case it speaks to the character, or lack of character of one Councilor Grant Ward. In the middle of my last year I had a very serious personal issue occur; My daughter, who was 6 months pregnant with her first child was diagnosed with two malignant melanoma brain tumors with, in the view of a couple of top neuro-surgeons in the province, there was very little they could do for her. During that very dark 48 hour period we discussed putting her on life support to save the baby. Well we received the best gift that any parent / grandparent could ever receive, today as unbelievable as it sounds we have a healthy daughter and granddaughter in our lives.

Why I mention that personal story is a short anecdote in closing Part 3; on the first Monday meeting (2 days) after my daughter’s diagnosis, I had excused myself from the Monday meeting of Council (I was at Shannon’s bedside in hospital) and I asked Acting Mayor Bob Long through my assistant to read a statement publicly on my behalf given unfounded rumors that had been circulating about my absence. Acting Mayor Long was interrupted by none other than one Grant Ward saying in effect that a Council Meeting was not the place for that statement. I understand Bob continued to read my statement which I wouldn’t have expected anything less, but this kind of immoral action displays what kind of individual there was sitting on council. I also have it on record that Councilor Ward had made a number of comments at community events to supporters of mine that I was seeking sympathy. I rest my case!

There is obviously much more to that story but on a personal note it puts life into perspective. What is really important in life? That is an easy answer – FAMILY!!

Part 4, and the final BLOG Post of this series will expand on the most controversial issue to-date. That was the now infamous brown envelope and subsequent police investigation. How that came about, who laid the complaint and the inconvenient facts (to some). It is interesting that after holding a press conference, issuing a detailed press release and answering all questions from an audience of regional and local media we never received anything close to fair coverage in the media other than controversial head-lines. So for the inconvenient truth and uncomfortable facts behind that issue – Read Part 4!

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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