The Township of Langley is at a Crossroads in this election…. The Independent vs Slate argument? In reality, and in fact there are fallacies (errors in reasoning) on both sides! That is NOT the question to ask!

Posted: September 20, 2022 in Uncategorized

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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Comments
  1. Wally says:

    Hi Rick

    I am curious how you feel about the firefighters taking sides in an election as a group under the name local 4550

    We saw this 4 years ago

    I have no problem with them expressing their view individually if they are Township of Langley residents but as a group I find it odd

    I would feel the same way if other groups took sides that were essentially municipal employees such as police department, engineering department, parks department , Planning department or teachers etc.

    Is there a hidden agenda?
    Curious to know your thoughts

    • Wally, it is no secret to anyone following this BLOG that I am adamantly opposed to firefighters doing this, or other groups as well. I have written extensively on this subject and received the wrath of some firefighters for doing so. Here is my reasoning and lets be brutally honest – The firefighters in the past number of elections (don’t know what they will do this year) come out with a list of candidates that they support claiming these candidates support community safety and first responders. These candidates are printed on Firefighter election signs, newspaper ads and handbills. – Really? So who exactly decided who they would support? In my experience virtually every candidate running for election every year support firefighters, so what other reason could there be? How about this; a Municipal Budget (including the firefighter budget) is controlled by the Municipal Council therefore how many, if any, promises are made behind closed doors to bargain for their support in favor of special consideration? To what degree will firefighters distribute printed endorsed election material (in uniform and/or Firefighter endorsed material?) So what if all Municipal, Provincial and/or Federal unions decided on this tactic? I don’t believe it is a healthy exercise for our democracy. I am not accusing anyone of anything BUT it leaves open a serious chance of abuse.

    • Jay says:

      Wally, how do you feel about the firefighters raising money for their own charity under the name “mayor’s charitable gala” and then hanging out with developers? then patting themselves on the back and saying it’s for “charity”, when really, I mean, if you’re going to do conflict of interest, they probably could have got way more from that lead developer sponsor. But honestly, what is going on with the firefighters?! They seem to do sketchy things. Please explain to me.

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