Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hotel Tax Election Process Flawed Again!

Today's Langley Times reports on last week's so called formal Hotel tax vote as also reported earlier herein. However, once again it was anything but formal this time around! This was supposed to be a properly held election as a result of the previous so-called lacking informal vote! How could a democratic election of only 9 votes be so screwed up a 2nd time? Well in LFP's opinion it certainly was.

No formal accurate standard election rules and procedures for the vote were set and distributed beforehand. But indeed a letter was sent out 3 times to the voters loosely talking about an "information meeting"and it only suggested that a vote would be held after the meeting. It certainly did not clearly specify that it definitely would be held at any specific time or date or even how long the voting poll would be open or what the implications of not attending were. Normal practice for any other election call. To be fair it did ask for a proxy to be filled in if the designated voter could not appear at the vote implying a voting time.

Meanwhile the actual "information meeting" was apparently much better than any time share sales presentation. This Editor was told that not only were there essentially sales brochures plastered throughout the room but that food & beverages were served as well at this info (sales presentation) meeting just prior to the so-called vote. Elections Canada would have loved this!

So out of 9 voters only 7 showed up and 4 voted for and 3 voted against. The two that did not show at the info(sales) meeting/vote did however send letters immediately saying they were clearly against the tax.

So what did the Township council do? Yup , you got it, they voted for the new hotel tax despite the clear concerns of the inept and very questionable election process as also strongly argued to the council by hotelier Wally Martin at the prior council meeting. All this despite the fact that clearly in total 5 out of the 9 hotels voted no to the hotel tax either at the info meeting" or by letter that same week.

Cllr. Richter put forward a motion that another re-vote be held and the rules be made very clear this time. Only Cllr. Ferguson and Mayor Alberts agreed with Richter's motion and the motion was defeated by the rest of council. Then the Council passed the tax with only Richter & Ferguson opposed. Curiously, Mayor Albert's voted for passing the hotel tax and was quoted to say by the Langley Times, "that while he had disagreed with the majority of council on the hotel vote issue, as mayor, he would support the decision to move forward."

One has to wonder how Mayor Alberts & Councillors Bateman, Fox, Ward, Vickberg & Long would feel if these voting irregularities occur at their own election next time around?
Only in Langley you say!

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