Thursday, November 30, 2006

Do You Want More Tax Hikes? Get Ready!

This Public document (total pages 13) was given to us courtesy of Councillor Kim Richter and will be publicly discussed by Township Council at Township Hall this coming Monday at 2 PM.
(Click on above Graph for full view.) (Click HERE to see all 13 pages.)
LFP Points of note below:
  1. The above poll results report heading quotes, "Langley's tolerance for tax increase is lower....than...other BC municipalities". About time!
  2. Are Langley taxpayers finally clueing in? Is the tax hike tide finally turning? Is the perpetual annual tax increase ending? Not on your life! We bet Tax hikes are looming again!
  3. 49% is not a resounding approval level! Quebec Seperatists lost with a 49% vote years ago! While certainly not resounding support it still will not make any difference. Your taxes will surely increase again just like the $3-4-5-6 million Township grandstand budget inevitably doubled! The real question how much will taxes increase.
  4. Transportation and traffic are key concerns as always.

Included in the Township Council report were these direct budget open house response quotes written in by just one happy Township taxpayer;

  • 'Your draft budget is a rip off for tax increase.'
  • 'the only way you can think is increase taxes year after year?'
  • 'In 1990 my taxes (were) $1070.79. In 2006 my taxes (were) $2601.52. Now you want another increase for 2007.'
  • 'The (Township) finance department can be changed to tax increase department.'
  • 'You should not get paid for poor management of tax dollars.'

Could not have said it better myself! Maybe we should all go to the 2 PM Council meeting Monday to watch this tax increase rubber stamp process begin! I can see the Township Council vote now: 8 males say yes and one female says no!

What's your prediction on our new Langley Township tax hike increase? Select your choice on this Website's right sidebar poll below.

Mayor Of Fort Langley? No Surprise At All!

Did this Developer make a mistake or are they trying to tell us the obvious?
(To see this picture more clearly click on it to go full screen.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Langley School District Controversial

UPDATE Nov 30: CKNW this morning reports that for the 4th day now some confusion seems to reign supreme at Langley School District. Specifically they once again closed all elementary schools today for "resource reasons" this time! Unbelievable! After Sunday and Monday's major record breaking snow storm they kept all schools open Monday, and on the subsequent days closed most schools because of weather safety concerns despite wonderfully clearer roads and sunny conditions and now they keep most schools closed again because of undefined "resource reasons".

Meanwhile we hear through the grapevine that at least one high school that was to be open today essentially had some kids go back home this morning because of a lack of students and teachers and we also hear that some teachers are grumbling at the administration's recent decisions as well. Someone better get on top of this and find out what they been thinking of at Administration. Wonder which courageous Trustee has the guts to ask these difficult questions publicly? Let's see if there really is blind groupthink amongst Langley School Trustees.

Meanwhile over across the street rookie Councilor Jordan Bateman definitely makes this editor wonder if he may be trying to justify his recent entry into Langley School District affairs after the fact. Am I correct to assume that he is saying is his blog that because his child will attend school in the next few years he will get even more involved and be prepared to ask even more questions of the School District? In his same blog posting he goes on to suggest that the Township Council amongst others and the School District together 'show the same"can-do" spirit' to make sure that they essentially I assume work together to keep Aldergrove a strong community! I'm sure this must warm the School Trustees and Administration cockles to know that Councillor Bateman may in future become even more questioning than now of the School District activities and they will obviously also look very forward to working with Councillor Bateman's Township Council cooperatively! Way to go Councilor to motivate cooperation!

UPDATE Nov 29: Today's Langley Times quotes Langley School District who say Schools were closed Tuesday for safety reasons! So do they now want us to believe Tuesday was more dangerous than Monday for students!? See this angry letter in today's Times as well re schools all staying open on Monday. Even the Editor at the Times is being generous in his questioning comments at the end of his editorial today. Come on get real, school closed Tuesday because of the heat from Monday's decision as far as this Editor is concerned. We believe they made a mistake and they should simply admit it.

Now who wants to play Russian roulette as to whether they are closed after tonight's snow and freezing rain. My bet is they close some again just to be on the safe side politically! But who knows with this bunch. Are all their decisions as well thought out and as well justified after the fact as this one? Food for thought.

P.S. As hard as this is to say for this Editor, kudos to the Times Editor Frank Bucholtz and especially Times reporter Natasha Jones for bringing this to the public's attention as well. You guys need to do more of this reporting and more hard hitting in your editorials especially. Will you guys now do an in depth piece on the Township Orwellian Newsspeak Attempt on the $3-4-5-6 million grandstand fiasco?
Things must be popping over at the Langley School district executive echelons now-a-days. First you have a former DPAC President, Susan Semonick, rightfully taking on the Langley School Board publicly and promoting in an Advance letter to the editor a petition which we covered in our previous posting (By the Way LFP agrees with her concerns and suggest you consider signing the petition).

Then you now have a rookie Township Councillor, Jordan Bateman, once again rushing in where others would normally fear to tread by essentially sticking his nose into the Langley School District business by covering the petition on his website blog last week and yesterday. Councillor Bateman even reports that he has met with Susan Semonick as well! Maybe some one (School Board) should remind him he ran for Township Councillor not a School Board Trustee! He quotes Susan's 'main concern is dollars and cents' yet this is the same Councillor that has been moving and approving the $3-4-5-6 million Grandstand cost overruns fiasco! What's the old adage about throwing bricks at glass homes? Want to bet that that the School Board is pissed, and is probably discussing the intervention of a Township Councilor into their business? This should really help in better School Board/Township relations, Jordan! LFP predicts that the School Board may now stick their nose into Township business by suggesting Township Councilors butt out of theirs! Hey Jordan, do you think the School Board Trustees may be peed off now? In any case this LFP editor does support Susan's petition and suggest you all have a read of it.

On another front, concurrently, the Langley School District blew it big time and peed off lots of parents this week. In their inane wisdom the administration yesterday during the height one of the worst ever dumps of a foot to two of snow decided to keep all the schools open! Meanwhile just about every other school district including neighbours such as Surrey & Abbotsford and all the Lower Mainland Universities and Colleges decided to shut their schools down very wisely. Yesterday on CKNW hoards of angry parents berated this stupid decision of Langley Schools.

So what do these brianics at Langley School District do today? This Editor suggests they obviously over reacted to CKNW callers because, you guessed it, they shut down all the elementary schools and two high schools in Langley today, one day too late! What we hear are that these parents are really pissed now because after keeping the school open yesterday Langley Schools administration surprised the parents when the kids had to come back home today after being rejected at the school doors! Yup, the streets were pretty clean and dry on a beautiful sunny day and nobody would have ever thought that Langley Schools would be shut down today after being open at the height of the snowstorm yesterday! So how many poor little toddlers walked to school and back home again in minus 10 to 15 degrees? How do you spell stupidity?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Schmaltz Brothers In Arms

Today's Advance pictures Ottawa's Mr. Dressup coming to town. Did you ever notice that he and Langley's Mr. Dressup seemingly attended the same cheap political schooling of schmaltz.

Langley's Conservative MP Mark Warawa & Township Mayor Kurt Alberts
But then again they are politically joined at the hip after all! Wonder what else they share besides the seemingly same tailor and political advisors? (Picture of Election Night Victory from Kwantlen College Newspaper.) ( - Schmaltz; exaggerated sentimentalism, as in music or soap operas...Maudlin sentimentality.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Langley Times Finally Asks A Tough Question?

The Times Editorial writer either saw our posting last week and got a creative idea or decided to for a very rare change to question an establishment status quo in the Times Sunday editorial. Although timid by our standards Bucky's article seems to agree with us that having Langleyites without power 2 days or more is very questionable. He says in the Times that slow power restoration 'raises several questions which have yet to be answered satisfactorily...For starters, why did it take so long to restore power to so many customers?' We at LFP say that our politicians should demand a comprehensive report on why our citizens had to wait 2 days or more.

Otherwise today's paper descends into its traditional pablum like the City's retiring fire chief's poetry (warning do not choose this link!) and retirement...yawn. Gee, and we were hoping the new Times Publisher would change the homey don't rock the boat Readers Digest look-a-like Martha Stewart pablum! Otherwise lots on the November wind storm. Bucky's almost quasi investigative reporting attempt on power restoration makes me want to believe that he may finally move up to asking even tougher investigative questions from Langley Township Mayor & Council on the $3-4-5-6 million Grandstand fiasco or Warawa's Environmental ministry's pathetic action on the environment or how Warawa justifies his house of commons question period non-answers. We have to wonder though if Mayor & Council and our MP Warawa were professed Liberals would The Langley Times have been on their case with lengthy tirades? Do you think?

Letter To The Editor - Nov 19, 2006 - From Pierre Moyen - Re:“Build It And They Will Come"

LFP will post Letters to the Editor prominently. Send Email letters to EDITOR-LFP.

I recall watching a movie on TV one night a long time ago. It was called “BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME”. Many of you may remember it, especially if you are baseball fans. The theme lingered a bit in my mind, and thoughts of the homeless and other down and outs in the lower mainland began to brew up more thought, because there is a connection.

In the movie, the concept was strong enough to bring back the dead. Now that’s pretty damn strong medicine! What if homeless canadians from all over Canada were to come out here to enjoy our climate and hospitality, in the event that our government(s) put together a near perfect plan for inexpensive housing for the homeless? Why not, if such a plan was done with a reasonable degree of perfection? Yikes!

Given the vast differences in the reasons that individuals and even families are homeless, we know that there is no common cause or solution. We can be certain that the NIMBYS will be out in droves to contest the location of any low cost or high density housing in their neighborhoods, and can we blame them? The possibility of vagrancy, street gangs, littering, drug addiction and prostitution cannot be ignored if history is worth anything. If the same conditions follow when low cost housing is shoved upon the city centers, where working people pay dearly for accommodations, what should we expect from them?

Should the solution take the simpler form of relief work at nominal wages, and the homeless can then afford to find what suits them? The mentally ill would be the exception of course. How would the labor movement react?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Township Council Tax Hike Gossip

We understand that while Councillor Richter was and is away that Council amongst other things may be discussing a tax hike plan.
Wanna bet it is gonna be something big like a 5% plus increase again because the only voice of tax reason on Council is still away. What's the old adage? While the cats away the rats will play.
This Editor's version of the old adage is bang on!

Langley Power Restoration Two Days Too Long?

The priorities of restoring power at least obviously benefited some of Langley and Aldergrove's business communities especially the restaurants in the last few days who served those thousands and thousands of saddened Langleyites who were without power. Business areas were obviously priority number one for restoration.

Meanwhile in some areas power was out way too long like in the more heavily populated North Otter/Aldergrove areas north of Fraser Highway and east of 232 street for essentially two whole days and nights! So these poor saps have to now chuck out their freezer foods and try to personally thaw themselves out as well. One has to wonder why it took two days to get power on in this area and why there was no provision by the Township to advise them where they could go to use restroom facilities or to get water, etc.

Meanwhile apparently Hydro kept titillating them in the media by saying power would be back on a day prior to when it was actually finally fixed causing these poor disappointed suckers to hold on and spend yet another dark and cold sleepless night. Also, one wonders how the seniors in this area coped without power for two days while suffering the most in the cold, damp darkness with temperatures in the 4 to 6 degree range. Two days of power loss in this day and age is pretty hard to cope with especially for the elderly.

Our burning question is why was it out for two days in more populated areas like North Otter/Aldergrove. Was this two day period realistic and justified? Why did our elected officials just sit back and watch and wait. Why did they not demand answers, service and immediate action? And why was the Township also so silent in providing resources and facilities that these residents could count on using in the interim. Even the $3-4-5-6 Million Grandstand we assume had washroom facilities that could provide some measure of relief.

We don't live in the outback, two days is far too long without repair in this day and age. We need a report as to what caused the two day delay and a better future action plan by all officials.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

BC Legislature Raid Still Smells Fishy

Is it just me or does something smell awfully fishy here after reading Bill Tieleman's latest post. Bill also added the following quote to spur your thoughts;
"Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule."-- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, 1861
Is there a possibility that this possible 'Raidgate' could eclipse 'Bingogate'? NDP Premier (at the time) Harcourt who was not involved at all and the NDP party both fell hard and long due to Bingogate. Deja vu?

Today's Advance News LFP Highlights- Nov 14

Yeah, both the Township and city get a windfall from the province in the form of traffic fines rebate. The Township gets $1.2 million back which they can probably now proudly contribute to the $3-4-5-6 million Grandstand fiasco coverup.

City Mayor Fassbender is looking to the Province to distribute (share) the cost of police homicide costs to other municipalities which now costs the city $250k annually. "It spreads the load more evenly," says Fassbender and Alberts says "It's a fact of policing being expensive," both quoted in the Advance. Hey speaking to sharing, howabout all that money the Township has paid over the years subsidizing the city policing? Will anyone ever get that money back? Does anybody on Township Council besides Richter care?

The on-line Township survey will set our priorities for the future. If its anything like the last one it will have questions asking what % increase in taxes are preferred. Last time it only gave increases as an option and no option for no increase and none at all for a decrease. In other words get ready for another tax hike from the Township tax hikes kings!

A great letter from Susan Semonick calling for amalgamation of the Langleys' School Trustee electoral area because of three reasons; the city reps live in the Township anyhow, they just voted themselves a 17% increase and finally they should eliminate 2 trustee positions to save $50k a year. What logical thinking, Susan please run for a trustee position next time! Or better still run for Township Council where you can join the only other critical thinker who also happens to be the only female there!

Ken J. Marsh wading correctly into the political dog naming arena. Ken the Langley Times has been much worse in this respect.

Finally the rambling Advance editorial with kick and witticism which sure beats the simply plain ole rambling editorials in the Times!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Turfed Garth Turner To Choose Party and Payback Cons

UPDATE Nov 14- 1:38pm: Garth's announcement on his blog site. The CBC reports that he essentially for the moment is running as an independent in the next election, (yeah right), and that he will campaign for Green Party leader Elizabeth May in a byelection in London, Ont. CP reports quoting Garth, "Canada's new government is suddenly looking a lot like the old ones." and that he wants to empower independent MPs and topple what he calls the "fortress mentality" of the big parties. Sigh, sounds like the old time reform party that Harper's Cons destroyed.The more things change the more they remain the same.

The Toronto Star reports that ousted Conservative MP Garth Turner has announced he will have a press release tomorrow clarifying his future and revealing some 'disturbing' messages he got from the PMO's office. Whatever he's up to he will be headlines news tomorrow! Go Garth Go!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Province Newspaper Reports on Township Grandstand Doubling In Cost

This morning's Province Newspaper on page A20 covers (on-line subscription required) the $3-4-5 million dollar Municipal athletic Park Grandstand fiasco that was exposed by Councillor Richter in her previous postings here in LFP.

The Province News reporter Kent Spencer, reports, "Costs at MacLeod Athletic Park have reached $5.6 million, up from the $3.1 million contained in council's rough estimates three years ago." Shockingly he further reports that at this Monday's Township council meeting they once again added another $302,000.00 to the out of control project. Worse still,more costs are expected as well!

The Province Newspaper further reports that, " Langley Township had the fourth-highest property tax and utility increases in the Lower Mainland in 2006. According to The Province's survey, taxpayers' bills went up an average 5.6 per cent, almost triple the rate of inflation, for an average single-family dwelling." Should you wonder why?

The Grandstand has 2,200 seats and is located at 56th Avenue and 216th Street. When you drive by it, this editor, finds it diffilcult to fathom it costing close to $6 million and maybe much more. It only has row concrete slab bench seating after all and a partial open air roof! No real individual seating at all. In fact in contrast for about under $20 million Township was able in the same time to buy it's new Township Hall building, gut it and renovate it totally! No comparison, but the large magnitude of the new Township Hall in comparative bucks makes this editor question the big cost of the simple Grandstand.

Councillor Jordan Bateman who previously made the initial motion to increase the budget by approximately $1 million last December despite the concerns of Councillor Richter, on his website now essentially reports sunshine and roses on this latest cost increase in contrast to the Province News report and in contrast to Councillor Kim Richter. She was also quoted in today's newspaper saying that council "blithely" approved the million- dollar injection last December."I'm concerned about dramatic budget escalation,".

When Councillor Richter comes back we hope to ask her to comment on this latest budget increase. Most unfortunately and curiously this latest Grandstand budget increase at the November 6th Township Council meeting occurred while Councillor Richter was not able to attend.

Mayor Alberts' simple answer quoted by the Vancouver Province is, "He said it was not uncommon for some projects to go higher than budgeted "in this construction climate."

Wow, while the overall budget has almost doubled theTownship Taxpayers are paying well over 3 times what they initially were to pay for the Grandstand! And in the final analysis it ain't over yet folks!. Given this doubling and tripling of costs I am perplexed as to why no significant comments or questions on this have ever arisen in the Langley Times and especially no comments on this in yesterday's edition either. One has to wonder why. We should thank our lucky stars that this bunch on Township Council isn't involved in the 2010 Olympics building budgets!

For complete details and the real inside story on this Township of Langley Grandstand Fiasco see Councillor Richter's and The LFP Editor's links to previous postings on these links below;
Out of Control part 1 of 3
Out of Control part 2 of 3
Out of Control part 3 of 3

Bureaucratic History Rewrite Attempt
Council Votes NO to Prevent Overruns

Condolences To Councillor Kim Richter From Her LFP Family & Friends

We at LFP extend our sincere condolences to Councillor Kim Richter and Family on the loss of her much loved father, Stuart, who this week succumbed as a result of his lengthy battle against prostate cancer. Councillor Richter is presently in a small community just south of Ottawa with her Mother and family where they live. Kim will be away until the 21st of November.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

$6 Million Canadian Tanks Required in Afghanistan!

There is nothing more reassuring to LFP than spending $189 million of our taxpayers dollars to send a handful of Canadian Leopard tanks to our war in Afghanistan for our so-called peacekeeping/peacemaking effort! Absolutely wonderful, imagine if the Taliban takes out even one of our tanks it will cost us ~ $6 million each as well! These tanks should be just great for protecting the warlords opium poppy fields. And if you think LFP doesn't like Canada's mission in Afghanistan then dooh, where have you been? Gee you would think that our Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor used to work for the armaments industry before. Well he did! Boy oh boy, we must be doing real well if we now have to ship $6 million tanks to this war adventure!...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

U.S. Voters Choose Democrats - Harper Beware

Donald Rumsfeld, Bush's Iraq/Afghan war architect resigns!
The results are coming in and are clear. Tomorrows Washington Post reports that 12 years of Republican control has ended because of the war in Iraq and conservative economic priorities. The American voters essentially decided that a Democratic majority Government with no plan on Iraq is better than the existing George W. Bush Republican plan on Iraq. Hopefully in our next election, probably early next spring, Canadian voters will equally choose to reject Harper's Canadian war plan in Afghanistan. Remember President Lyndon Johnson was defeated by the Vietnam war, today's Republicans were defeated by the Iraq war and clearly the ruling conservative values and ideologies of a Republican U.S. President and Conservative Canadian Prime Minister on both Iraq and Afghanistan clearly suggest they are also greatly at risk. One can only hope so!

P.S. Former Vice President nominee and Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman won re-election as an Independent after losing his own democratic nomination! Also Arnold... won again. And so did Hilary, maybe the next American President! Also our immediate neighbours just to the south of us in Washington State won an especially substantial super majority for the Democrats.
Harper & Income Trusts

'We promise to never tax Income Trusts!' Are death taxes next now? Watch this additional video for more on this big Lie.

Letter To The Editor - Nov 4, 2006 - From Lorne Danielson - Re: Harper - Income Dis-Trust

LFP will post Letters to the Editor prominently. Send Email letters to EDITOR-LFP.

Another letter attached from Lorne Danielson to this Editor with strong comments on the Harper's Income Dis-Trust to the investors and people of Canada.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

MP Mark Warawa Answers questions on the Environment? Really? Get Real!

See Stageleft Blog for House of Commons question period debate you don't ever get to see spotlighted on An exchange between the [Lib] MP, John Godfrey for Don Valley West and our very own Langley Parliamentary Secretary [Con] MP, Mark Warawa to the Conservative Environment Minister. Stageleft Blog comments on Warawa's non answers were, "What we were treated to is another example of party in power evasiveness, non-answers, and a complete lack of accountability....It's a really simple question about Conservative misinformation - it wasn't answered." Wow, there's that accountability word again used against the Conservatives this time! LFP asks why did MP Warawa not answer the questions? Why? Maybe Stageleft's last quote is the answer, "Give them power in the House and they are all the same."

Letter To The Editor - Nov 4, 2006 - From Pierre Moyen of Langley - Re: Harper - Betrayal of the People

LFP will post Letters to the Editor prominently. Send Email letters to EDITOR-LFP.
Pierre Moyen of Langley sent us his editorial letter re Harper's Conservative Government "A Betrayal of the People" attached.

He talks to the Conservative government's surprise decision this week to tax income trusts like other, more standard corporate entities in Canada. The Conservative platform explicitly stated that a Conservative government would not do this. Indeed, it stated that "'A Conservative government will: . . . Stop the Liberal attack on retirement savings and preserve income trusts by not imposing any new taxes on them.' Conservative federal election platform Jan. 13, 2006.
This blatant reversal which has overnight cost Canadians $36.4 Billion while saving the Government only $500 million in taxes. Financial columnist Michael Campbell summarizes that Harper's Government, "was willing to see income trust investors lose, on average $72 for each tax dollar the Government gains in return."

Before we forget lets also not forget that this government is now also shoveling patronage appointments out of the back of their truck to it's party faithful as well. Judges, 2010 Olympics Board members and the list goes on. Also with a byelection now in Montreal, Harper's appointed backroom boy Senator Fortier says he will not run in this by-election as he promised he would! These items all smack of betrayal as well to their previous statements and lofty policies and promises made by this Conservative government.

Most tragic of all, this Harper Government income trust action betrayal has hurt tons of those that counted on this government's word on income trusts and could least afford it. The Conservatives essentially gutted the retirement nest eggs of Canada's retired and the elderly.

Pierre Moyen clearly is someone who voted Conservative and feels betrayed and disillusioned. He should be. Pierre is not a unique angry Conservative. Even Sean Ahern reported by the Globe quit the the Conservatives over this issue. The Globe quotes Sean, "I've never voted for a Liberal in my life. But I will vote for them,” said Mr. Ahern, a financial planner in his 60s who has been a Conservative party member since he was 16." Pierre please send an email to your Langley MP Mark Warawa (everybody send him an email!) asking for an explanation and let us know how he defends taking money away from those that can probably least afford it and especially ask how he can fathom going back on their word.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Actual Norman Spector CKNW Audio Quote

Listen to actual Audio Clip of Spector calling Stronach a @#%*&.
and watch Rick Mercer's Video on Peter Mackay Dog food.

David BEATS Goliath !

Congratulations Wally Martin of the Traveller's Hotel! He (temporarily) beat back the Bureaucratic Tax & Spend Philistines and got them to eat some crow too! Well Done!

After Monday night's delegations, the Township Council had no choice but to ask for a properly held and properly scrutinized re-vote by the 9 or so hotels in the Township. The previous vote was clearly a sham and heads should role because of the half-assed voting procedure used. One has to ask: "How often has this happened in the past?"

In our previous postings here, here and here, we said that Council voted to go ahead with the tax despite valid concerns raised by Wally Martin over the process used to collect the votes. But rookie Councillor Jordan Bateman led the Council's immature and hasty rush to implement this newest tax and spend plan despite the prudent advice of Councillor's Richter, Ferguson and Mayor Alberts to get more information and buy-in first.

Well Mayor Alberts got a little jab in at Bateman and Bateman's "lets-hurry-to-tax-the-hotels" Council group at the end of Monday's council meeting after they reversed their initial vote. He essentially chided their full speed ahead urgency with a back handed 'I told you so' comment. There goes Bateman's Brownie Points with the Mayor!

Even the Langley Times Editor in today's Times says that this tax was "hasty" and suggests that all businesses benefiting from increased tourism should be taxed. Gee, where the heck was he? Both Martin and Richter have been singing this song way before Bucky suddenly picked up the same tune. They raised it several times on Monday night. Of course, this was not mentioned in the Irwin article or the editorial. They really should give credit where credit is due. Isn't that fair journalism, boys?

Jordan Bateman's latest LP posting tries saying (perhaps to save some face) that the tax was not "hasty" at all and that Bucky's comments are wrong. B---! To make matters worse, Bateman once again rushes in where fools fear to tread (and puts his foot in his mouth once again) by saying that he is confident the hotels will agree with the 2% tax in their re-vote and that 7 of the 9 hotels will be in favour. We at LFP certainly hope he never gets the job of Chief Returning Officer in the Township! (However, there are probably some banana republics who would be interested in recruiting his predictive skill sets).

Councillor Bateman, let the hotels decide it in a fair and inclusive process. Don't jeopardize it ahead of time one way or the other with your premature predictions and obvious biases.

The delegations that came to argue the Hotel tax increase were fascinating. On the one hand, you had Wally Martin (and those who spoke in agreement with his opposition to the tax) providing strong financial, business-like and experience-based facts against the tax increase. On the other hand, you had the Chamber of Commerce essentially admitting a lack of knowledge and experience with the empirical values of the taxation plan and its financial outcomes. They did use emotion and motherhood arguments and implied 'we are too fatigued to do this on our own anymore but we are sure it will help. We have a lot of anecdoctal evidence but really have no substantial proof or measurements ready to make sure it does'. (I'm not sure I'd want this group as a jury in a trial making a decision based on no conclusive hard facts!)

In fact one of the pro tax increase Councillors obviously saw the same dreadful lack of financial evidence or financial management in the proposed tax increase and shockingly said that it would be difilcult to get any evidence except subjective stuff! Hey everybody, this is one of your Councillors who obviously is very capable and ready to made the decision to spend $450,000.00 of your tax money annually on this Tourism plan with essentially no solid financial justification! He also previously voted to increase the $3-4-5 million Grandstand budget! Makes you feel warm and comfy about the financial acumen and financial decisions that our Councillors make, doesn't it?

Councillor Kim Richter's comment, which we are sure the local press will not report on but should, was that "You can't manage what you can't measure." Dead on. One of the hoteliers against the tax said that he feared they would pay the tax into a black hole with no payback, just like they're already doing with the provincial 8% hotel tax. He and Richter are right. If Council does go ahead with it, let the hoteliers and the taxpayers see the financial plan and measure the financial outcomes annually and then react accordingly. Otherwise we have just created another black hole bureaucracy in Langley at taxpayer's expense.

Let's measure what we manage and report annually. In fact, let's do this on everything in the municipality. But heck, that would make no sense because it is not the bureaucratic way - it's just way too business-like!

(P.S. Bucky and Al: Your front page headline is wrong. The hoteliers already voted. They're now being asked to revote because the first vote was screwy! Your headline should have included the word "Again" at the end. Were you worried that by including this word, you'd make your favorite council look too stupid? Too late!)