Friday, January 27, 2006

Local News Review

Langley Politics Dotcom – Wednesday January 25, 2006Besides the traditionally consistent friends, family and social conservative insiders who rant, rave and abase in the comments sections (much better than CKNW callers ever do by the way), Jordan Bateman buries some gems as comments under one of his postings that we just can’t ignore. Don't get us wrong though we love Lang Pol dotcom (even though they won't link to us!), it inspired us and we still hold out great hope that Bateman won't ever join the dark side! Picture Aniken before his conversion by the evil EMPEROR PALPATINE!

Councillor Bateman states the following regarding the $3-4-5 Million over budget MAP Grandstand Project:
“I don't believe in leaving a building half finished and unusable. So, is it a bigger waste to have spent $1.65 m (the Township's share) and have nothing, or to add $950k and get it done? It's a policy call, and I chose to see it finished. I also don't believe in paying the City's share, so Charlie and I had it amended to subtract the 20% the City should be kicking in. Jordan”Sounds a little too simple to me. Less than 30 days after being elected, damm the torpedoes full speed ahead. If I were a bureaucrat, that would make me real comfortable in going over any budget on other projects, because "they will just want to finish it"!

Councillor Bateman further says:
" City residents get more out of Township services in almost every partnership--one of the things I'm committed to changing. " " Jordan"
Gee, he sees our point of view great. But in our opinion saying this won't help you negotiate with the City, Jordan.

Finally, Councillor Bateman says:
...and it should be noted that the rest of Council was skeptical they would (referring to city increasing their funding for the Grandstand), but Mayor Fassbender is hinting that they might. It's hard to cry poor with $4.5 million in casino revenue jingling in your pocket. …Jordan”

OK Councillor Bateman, so let’s see – the traditional funding formula between city & township is about 1/5 city and 4/5ths Township. So far, the city has committed to about $200k and TOL about $800k based on the original $1 mill portion of the initial $3 million Grandstand. With Jordan’s motion pushing the project up substantially to about $5 mill, that means about $3 mill should be shared by both municipalities. So very simple math means 1/5 of $3 mill is $600k from the city and TOL will pay $2.4 mill. Wow, $2.4 million - forgot how big our share is even if they paid their share. Anyhow, ok, I’m dying to see Council get $600k from the City when they were apparently never confirmed to agree to the extra $ when the infamous 3-4-5 Grandstand project grew from $3 to $4 to $5 Million. They stopped at $3 mill and we kept going like the energizer bunny! Were they an uninformed silent partner? Or was the Township the uninforming silent partner? So far all they ever confirmed to pay is about $200k based on the first $3million project.

So go for it, Jordan. While you’re there, why not ask for them to return about 3 years of TOL financing for the city cops at about $700 k annually - for a simple total of about $2 million! You negotiate these two and you’re a hero in my books. Heck, at least try to get 50 cents on the dollar if you can. Sweeten the pot and suggest you’ll call it the Fassbender Grandstand for the total $600 k!

Langley Advance - Tuesday January 24, 2006
Obviously Tuesday’s paper had the whole front page about Warawa wining the election. Wow surprise. Also Libs and NDP proclaimed they won too. Yeah right. Page 3 talks about casino windfall royalties for Langley City and how they are going to use some of it. No mention of helping pay their fair share of the gold plated Grandstand though. Great to see emergency plans in place for a Pandemic (hope we never need it) in Langley. Also Rich Coleman once again comes through for $100k funding for Fort Langley channel. The editorial gives us hope that they are finally putting reelected Warawa on notice that he better start delivering for Langley. Way to go, Bob! Oh wait the editorial signature is M.C. !

Langley Times – Wednesday January 25, 2006
Yup, you guessed it. Front page picture and story about Warawa’s reelection victory. It quotes Mayor Kurt Alberts as gushing that he “ has done so much for Langley as it is that it can only get better when his party is in power.” Is this the same MP we are talking about? Or is this just a way to put him on notice to deliver? It goes on to talk about Kurt’s pet project: the Aldergrove Navel base as an environmental reserve. Hope Mark got his message. He’s on notice again. We’ve got to agree with Kurt on this one though. An environmental reserve for the base is a great idea as long as it costs $0.

Also, Angel Claypool (who we think has a bright political future) says she will keep Warawa’s feet to the fire. Please do. The press generally doesn’t and worse still, constantly gushes with loving platitudes about him. Then again on page 4, the Times talks about the City’s casino windfall and their being a Cloverdale Casino killer.

Page 6 has Al Irwin finally reporting on the Grandstand fiasco and the fact that the petulant private old boys club on council ignored Kim Richter’s motion. See here for background, if you don’t already get it. The best line is Alberts comment: “I think we actually saved money” . OK, let’s see - $3m to $4m to $5m and we saved money. Right! When caught in bed with someone other than your spouse, the best advice is to keep denying and adamently say nothing happened!

In Bucholtz’s editorial, he essentially also puts Warawa on notice saying its time for him to deliver, especially on overpasses and shelters for the homeless. With all due respect, he comments that Warawa has proven to be hard working and diligent. We do have to give Warawa some slack on this one. We give him the fact that he is constantly working very hard trying to find something to get his teeth into that he can deliver. Now that he is on the government side, we also put him on notice to deliver. Nice guys trying and not delivering just don’t cut it.

Also the letters to the editor has Blair King’s letter on the parking tax that he first submitted in LFP and has forwarded as we suggested to the Mayor (Translink Board Member) and the local papers. Bruce Northway, who ran for School Board, rightly suggests that the new School Board revisit a new strategic plan.

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