Only in the Township, a Councilor is CENSURED…. Richter attacked by the Gang of 5, what is my reaction? I am seriously conflicted!

Posted: October 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

So Councilor Richter has been CENSURED for her actions in the Quaale affair. Do you remember the complaint Richter filed against Angie Quaale for securing a one off Township of Langley food-service contract making the suggestion or accusation that it was a conflict of interest? Charlie Fox got on his high horse and posed a motion that was passed that Council receive a legal opinion on the accusation of conflict of interest and Richter’s actions related to this matter and what can be done about it. It involved Richter posting a message on Facebook related to her complaint against Quaale and the accusation of conflict?

Now let’s make one thing very clear, I am no fan of Kim Richter, that being said boy am I ever conflicted, my thoughts follow….

So lets deal with the issues one at a time, was it a conflict of interest?

In my opinion it was absolutely a conflict of interest, perceived, if not a legal one. I say that, although my opinion is in opposition to the legal opinion provided by Township Counsel. I presume their opinion is based on their interpretation of the Community Charter. Well I vehemently disagree and I would suggest legal opinions depend on who is asking, what is being asked and who is paying the bills. Over the years I have seen too many conflicting opinions that disagree with each other?

So let’s put it another way, if the Mayor owned a paving company and bid on a Township paving contract would it be considered a conflict of interest? I would suggest emphatically yes! Why, because staff serve (within all practical reason) the public through their elected representatives, all who strive to cooperate as much as possible and within reason, with their elected masters. I am not suggesting wrong doing here but I am suggesting that questions can be asked and/or answered privately by council members to staff or visa versa innocently or otherwise asking or receiving inside information that is not available to the general public. Not saying it happened but saying it could happen, which is exactly the point to a perceived conflict of interest by any member of Council. This shouldn’t even be a question, in my view!

Under the Township’s Respectful Workplace Policy Councilor Richter’s actions impacted the workplace! So Councilor Richter has been CENSURED!

Really, get serious? To Councilors Quaale and Fox – GROW UP! This is nothing but a political attack disguised as someone’s feelings getting hurt. As one resident, and I know I am not alone in saying this, it is long past time that members of Council understand that taxpayers are tired of hearing about your hurt feelings. You are being paid good money so it is time that all of you put on your Big Boy and Big Girl pants and get on with the job, nobody said it was going to be easy. Stop your whining and your political attacks!

As an aside I see Councilor Fox all over Facebook the last couple of days holding an “I am on Team Quaale” sign as a supporter! GEE that’s a surprise! It all fits, again it is ALL political, it is a set up!  

Councilor Quaale and members of Council who voted for these actions should pay the price for their ridiculous actions on voting day, Oct. 20th!! This is totally political, all timed for maximum impact. It is exactly what they did to me. More on that later!

Now to the question, what about Kim Richter’s legal bills regardless of how I feel about the issues? How much? Well the Township of Langley has a policy that it will pay legal costs UNLESS the individual is found guilty of wrong doing. I assume given the report that was issued, Kim has been found breaching the Township policy and guilty of wrong doing? Is that not correct? If so is she paying her costs herself? If they follow policy as much as I disagree with the decision, she should have to pay? I have heard her legal costs are around $20,000? That is just a rumor.  

I cannot believe that members of Council proceeded with this attack on Kim Richter that cost the residents of the Township of Langley $50,000. as is being reported!

So WHY am I conflicted? Let me count the ways!

Well déjà vu Councilor Kim Richter, OH and Charlie Fox was there in support. I am going to make a long story very short (it has been explained in full gory detail in an earlier BLOG Post). Back during my term, I am sure many will remember, I got embroiled in a dispute with the Township of Langley Council of the day. Specifically it involved some information that I considered potentially serious that was passed on to me by three individuals that I had breakfast meetings with earlier that year. It was my job to pass on that information to members of Council per the Community Charter BUT Council decided to Censure me anyway. WHY, because I wouldn’t divulge their names. By the way, I have never divulged their names BUT I will say this, they are THREE very prominent lawyers in the Township of Langley. Let the guessing begin!

The bottom line was that Council wanted to know who I met with and I flatly refused to tell as I had given these three lawyers my word against divulgence. Because I wouldn’t tell members of Council who I met with, Councilor Kim Richter put forward a motion that the Township would pay the legal expenses for their legal advice (members of Council who were concerned I would file a lawsuit) BUT to deny the Mayor’s legal expenses despite the fact it was against Township policy and I had not been found guilty of anything! This move cost me personally $25,000. in after tax dollars to defend myself against their charges! $25,000 for doing nothing wrong! Want to talk to someone who has an opinion on this, talk to my wife. By the way the legal costs for the Township (No sorry to YOU the taxpayer) were far greater than $100,000.!

So as I say Councilor Kim Richter, déjà vu how does it feel now? OH and by the way you state in your response to this action that you were only doing your job? Well so was I but you voted and supported that Censure and those legal costs contrary to Township policy anyway! Sorry for this, but I can’t help feeling that there is justice in this world.

In Summary:

Well despite what I have said above with respect to my own experiences, the above complaint and the above penalty is wrong, just plain wrong as is the conflict of interest decision, in my opinion. Despite what happened to me and what Kim Richter and Council did to me I cannot in good conscience stay silent on the issues, believe me it would be easy to do.

I know first-hand when dealing with the Township’s Corporate lawyers that opinions are just that opinions. I have seen first-hand that some Township court cases based on legal opinions received just weren’t that successful; but then again that is the case with ALL legal opinions, they are just that, opinions which is why we have courts! I have seen actions when lawyers come back claiming a win, when you just can’t find one in the judgement.

In this case, unless you want to throw serious money at the problem, it is just not worth it. In many cases that is what they count on. Can anyone justify the expense to take on the deep pockets of the Township spending your individual hard earned dollars against the collective tax dollars held by the Township? It is not right BUT it is a fact!

During my term I was targeted and the DIRECT target of a number of heavy weights (literally) in our community that did not like my willingness to fight wrong doing. Mufford Crescent Overpass / land deal (we won), Athenry Developments, Land Fill on Agricultural land, Browns Pit, LEC financial boondoggle, Park Lane Condo Wall in Fort Langley, Dixon Pit property sale, keeping Township Property Portfolio Private and much much more.

What we are seeing with this Council is an orchestrated campaign to shut everyone up. It is bullying and intimidation at its best. The gang of 5 are responsible, Jack Froese, Angie Quaale, Blair Whitmarsh, Michelle Sparrow and Charlie Fox. Charlie Fox is not running, the remaining 4 (The Froese Team) should be defeated on Oct. 20th for their actions.

I paid the price but I feel great and when I look in the mirror I like the guy looking back at me. Could I have saved money and made my life a lot easier, absolutely but looking back on what happened I would not have done it any other way.

SPECIAL IMPORTANT NOTE: I am in receipt of a comment submitted to www.langleywatchdog.com in response to the Kim Richter issue outlining what happened and making a number of serious accusations against her with no corroborating proof (and as I said here I am no fan and have every reason to reverse what I have said above, but in my opinion that would be wrong). I have seen the actions of this Council and staff behind the scenes to know they are trying to neuter anyone who disagrees with them, I have proof in my case and I know those facts. The mess the Township of Langley is in can be blamed in many cases for an internal campaign by staff against duly elected members of Council and in a number of cases against prominent residents who have gained a public profile, whether you like them or not. Example –

(Reference www.langleywatchdog.com BLOG Post, dated March 23rd 2013) An email was put out by one Joel Shacter to all of his fellow real estate colleagues dated Nov. 11th 2011 I have had discussions with some of the senior management at the hall as well as our MLA Rich Coleman and 2 former mayors….they are all suggesting Mel has the best chance of taking Green out.” Very comforting words! But this is THE REALITY of what has been happening in the Township for years! YEARS! The so-called power brokers are controlling things behind the scenes! YOU CAN STOP THIS NOW THROUGH YOUR VOTE, lets VOTE for change!

Despite all of this the sender of this message was hoping for a posting signing themselves as a “Concerned Resident”, no name given. Sorry, for obvious reasons I will not publish a comment without any attributable name. (It sounds to me like a staff member and I know first-hand how many of them hate her first hand.)  

NOTE: The decision of Council (Report) and Kim Richter’s response can be found under the “Council Decisions” tab on the top tool bar of this BLOG site. 

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER RE ALL CANDIDATES MEETINGS:

Tuesday Oct. 2nd 4:30 – 6:30 PM – Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meet and greet Cascades Casino Ballroom.

Thursday Oct. 4th 6:30 PM – Fort Langley Community Association All Candidates Meeting for Township Council candidates as well as School Trustee Candidates to be held at the Fort Langley Hall. No charge to attend, but attendees can bring a non-perishable food item.

Wednesday Oct. 10th 4:30 – 6:30 PM – Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce 2nd meet and greet at the Redwoods Golf Course.

Thursday Oct. 11th 7:00 – 9:00 PM – Willoughby Residents Association All Candidates to be held at the Shepherd of the Valley Church Auditorium, 20097 72nd Ave.. A suggested donation of $5 for entry.

Friday Oct. 12th 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Langley Seniors Community Action Table is hosting a Township of Langley all Candidates Meeting at the Langley Seniors Centre Resource Centre in Langley City.

Tuesday Oct. 16th 5:00 – 8:30 PM – Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce hosts a debate, open to all six mayoral candidates for City and Township as part of the chamber’s dinner meeting at the Cascades Casino. Tickets are available from the Chamber. 

RG

I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to the Province, the Region and the Municipality, come back often for news of interest to Township residents.

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

 

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