Friday, December 19, 2008

NEW - Events Centre P3 Bombshell Local Newspapers Fallout Continues (Part 6 of 6)

The local papers have extensive coverage and new developments that this LFP Editor will probably expand on this weekend. But for the moment here's the latest exploding events and news with their associated links:

Langley MP Mark Warawa categorically denies that any formal application for any $5 million from Langley Township was ever formally submitted for a federal Building Canada Fund and that he "communicated (this) to the Township of Langley on April 23, 2008" (7 months before the municipal election) as reported in yesterday's Aldergrove Star.

Township Councillor Jordan Bateman in a long diatribe strongly disputes MP Warawa's statement on his website posting and He says that the formal notification of no federal funding for the Events Centre was given by Conservative Senator only on December 1, 2008 (2 weeks after the municipal election).

Today's Langley Advance further covers covers the blatant & mysterious broadcast email lie that accused both Mayor Green & Councillor Richter of trying to kill the Langley Events Centre. This anonymous broadcast email circulated throughout the proprietary Langley sports associations mailing of thousands and thousands of participants and parents. The source and individual originators have not yet been made public. Also in today's Langley Advance is another article that expands on the Event Centre P3. It covers the fact that Council did not second the motion to refer the extra $5 million funding for the Events Centre that has increased from it's initial $45 million to $56 million. The Bob Groeneveld Editorial in the same Langley Advance fumes " NO Signature Is A Bad Deal" and continues to say " Is Mayor Rick Green angry? You bet. Maybe not even angry enough." He also chastises MP Warawa for, "has never demonstrated that he has the political strength in Ottawa to draw on that kind of money for Langley - or that he has the political will to stand up and fight that hard for his constituents."

There is no advance comment what-so-ever to the claim in today's paper about the Bateman website statement that perhaps the Langley Advance misinterpreted Bateman's statement about mayor Green's releasing in camera information. In fact, quite the opposite in fact, in today's Langley Advance the same reporter, Mathew Claxton, once again reports the exactly same that he did a few days ago, specifically he again says: "Bateman told the Langley Advance that Green had brought the matter out of in camera meetings without a motion from staff."
See Part 5 of 6
See Part 4 of 6
See Part 3 of 6
See Part 2 of 6
See Part 1 of 6

Officials investigate ministers (The Province, 19 Dec 2008, Page A11)

More on the the Langley MLA Rich Coleman & Mary Polak complaint investigation as reported by by Province columnist Michael Smyth.

Officials investigate ministers
The Province
19 Dec 2008

VICTORIA — B.C. cabinet ministers Rich Coleman and Mary Polak say they did nothing wrong by endorsing a slate of school board candidates in last month’s municipal election in Langley, despite a complaint they may have breached the Local more...

Two B. C. cabinet ministers probed by RCMP (The Vancouver Sun, 19 Dec 2008, Page A4)

Langley MLA s Rich Coleman and Mary Polak and a group called Parents for Independent Trustees are apparently being investigated after a complaint lodged by former school trustee Sonya Paterson about last November's Langley School Board election and a series of 3 ads in local papers that endorsed specific candidates.
Two B. C. cabinet ministers probed by RCMP
The Vancouver Sun
19 Dec 2008

Two B. C. cabinet ministers, the Liberal Party of B. C. and a Langley parents’ group are under investigation by RCMP after a complaint alleged that they violated sections of the Local Government Act during November’s municipal election. more...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Councillor Jordan Bateman Apologizes for Confusion & Misinterpretation of Reported Statements That Mayor Released In Camera Info. ( Part 5 of 6)

As of 3:21Pm today, Councillor Jordan Bateman is quoted on his website to say amongst other things: "It has come to my attention that some of my comments to The Langley Advance regarding the Mayor's Report on Monday night could have been interpreted incorrectly." In another excerpt from his website, Bateman further states; "I apologize for any confusion that may have come up over this." and he also says: "I want to make it clear that the Mayor did not disclose in-camera information on Monday concerning the Events Centre." To see what the newspapers did actually report on, go this LFP link to see their articles.

Is this a correction or an apology, or both? Does Councillor Jordan Bateman in his comments really mean that the Langley Advance newspaper misinterpreted his comments? What he is saying now strikes this LFP Editor as being very reminiscent of Bateman's response when he 'clarified' his position about the alleged improper lottery fundraiser issue a year ago that local hotelier Wally Martin filed an official complaint about. At that time he said it was essentially an error and the fault of his election campaign underlings. See here for details.
See Part 6 of 6
See Part 4 of 6
See Part 3 of 6
See Part 2 of 6
See Part 1 of 6

Breaking NEWS - Mayor Rick Green Did NOT Release In Camera Information (Part 4 of 6)

I just received confirmation that The Township Administration advised the Langley Advance at 11:00AM this morning that Mayor Rick Green did not release any Council In-Camera information as claimed by Councillor Jordan Bateman. Furthermore Mayor Rick Green's speech was reviewed by Township Administration prior to its delivery and no erroneous information was found by staff. Mayor Green's full speech in question is available for viewing at this Township website link. Should Councillor Jordan Bateman apologize for misleading the public as quoted in the Langley Advance by reporter Matthew Claxton?
See Part 6 of 6
See Part 5 of 6
See Part 3 of 6
See Part 2 of 6
See Part 1 of 6

Cllr. Jordan Bateman Accuses Mayor Green of Unauthorized 'Secret Council In-Camera' Release of P3 Partnership Status (Part 3 of 6)

Councillor Jordan Bateman has accused new Mayor Rick Green of a very serious offense as reported by Bateman’s newspaper colleague, Mathew Claxton. It was published by Bateman’s former employer, the Langley Advance, yesterday. Specifically, "Bateman accused the mayor of bringing the issue out of an in camera meeting without a council motion to do so."

These comments from Councillor Jordan Bateman come as a result of Mayor Rick Green's Bombshell Revelation (also reported by the Province newspaper) at the last Council meeting (December 15, 2008) that no P3 agreement was, or is, in place for the Langley Events Centre on 200th Street which is scheduled to be opened in April 2009.

Today's Langley Times also quotes Councillor Jordan Bateman who said Tuesday that it is clear that Green “does not understand the process,” and a construction contract has been in place since the project’s inception.

The Langley Advance reports that Councillor Jordan Bateman said "he found Green's comments disappointing". Bateman was further reported to say "I'm disappointed the mayor made a public issue of it".

As reported in The Langley Advance, Bateman's excuse was that "all partners were waiting to see what stipulations the federal government would attach if they joined as a funding partner."

Really? At what point should a government sign an agreement to get the best deal for the taxpayers it represents? (Most people would think this should be done well before the ribbon was cut - Langley however seems to be cutting this a little close given that it’s now December and the ribbon on the Events Centre will be cut in 4 months [just before the next provincial election] and there’s still no official/legal deal!). One has to worry more now, what this will cost the taxpayers at this late stage?

Many are puzzled by Bateman’s rationale of waiting for the Federal Government mainly because the Feds would have been a very small minority partner with only $5 million of the total $56 million project. Up until Councillor Bateman's recent comments, there was never any public illusion that the federal Government would be a partner in this Events Centre P3. In fact, all public comments up until now were that the Township was only seeking a one time $5 million federal grant. Not a partnership. The partnership was with the provincial government. Specifically via Rich Coleman, (former) Minister of Forestry and Langley Township MLA who wanted to showcase BC lumber in his home town.

Interesting too how this project was never in the Township’s long term financial plan until 6 months after Councillor Bateman got elected who just also happens to be Rich Coleman’s former Communications Officer and is now Coleman’s Constituency President.

It’s also funny how “in camera” issues are now front and center according to Councillor Bateman.

Just recently, other Council “in camera” issues were leaked concerning firefighting resources. Funny how that particular “in camera” leak generated no public comment from Councillor Bateman, yet caused a flurry of broadcast emails to Council similar to those that Mayor Green referred to on Monday.

One of Mayor Rick Green's major election platforms was transparency in Government. In fact, Mayor Rick Green's inaugural speech specifically focused on transparency.

In contrast, Councillor Jordan Bateman’s inaugural speech was silent on the issue of council transparency.

Within less than one month of being elected, could all this political nonsense simply be because Mr. Bateman intends to challenge Mr. Green for the Mayoralty in 2011?

If so, Mr. Bateman should just come clean now and spare Township residents all the political muck that it looks like he intends to sling over the next 3 years.
See Part 6 of 6
See Part 5 of 6
See Part 4 of 6
See Part 2 of 6
See Part 1 of 6

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New mayor ‘steaming’ over P3 deal (The Province, 16 Dec 2008, Page A6) - (Part 2 of 6)

What's this latest Financial Langley Township Fiasco going to cost Langley taxpayers? Is this another Langley Grandstand Fiasco in the making? Who's Accountable? Should an audit investigation be started? See Additional LFP Postings at (Part 6 of 6) (Part 5 of 6) (Part 4 of 6) (Part 3 of 6) (Part 1 of 6)

New mayor ‘steaming’ over P3 deal
The Province
16 Dec 2008

Langley’s $56-million events centre was advertised as a public-private partnership, but an agreement to operate it was never signed, Langley Township’s new mayor said yesterday. Mayor Rick Green, who took office this month, said the “serious” more...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mayor Rick Green Drops Langley Events Centre Bombshell - There Is No Signed P3 Agreement! (Part 1 of 6)

Tonight's Langley Township Council council meeting was shocking in it's revelations. First Mayor Rick Green drops the P3 bombshell of an announcement followed by even more that:
  • There is no signed, nor has there ever been a P3 (Private, public Partnership) agreement in place for the Langley Events Centre. Yet it is almost complete! The township taxpayers are exposed to financial risk negotiating a P3 agreement after the fact with only a simple construction contract in place. This is highly irregular and could be very costly for Langley Taxpayers.
  • The Langley Events Centre was initially started as an equal partnership of of 3 parties of $15 million paid by each of the 3 partners. $15 million Township taxpayers, $15 m Private Partner and $15 m Province of BC. Mayor Green announces that while the private and BC portions are still $15 million the Township taxpayer paid portion has ballooned to $22.9 million or a 50% increase over the initial budget announced to the public. Sadly everyone can still say rightfully so that its on budget but this is because the previous Township Council has continually approved increasing it's budget just as they did last week when Cllr. Richter was away.!
  • He also stated that the recent ANONYMOUS broadcast emails about the Langley Events Centre are lies, just as the previous Fire Department ANONYMOUS broadcast emails were. He essentially said that there is no choice due to important commitments but that the project must and will be completed and funded from other Township taxpayer sources and/or acquiring more Township taxpayer debt. He has never had nor will have any intentions to not properly fund completion. Hence he essentially said that the broadcast emails are lies.
  • Mayor Green says the anonymous broadcast emails besides being lies are being promoted by those who are still fighting the last election and/or the next election. He says it would take no more than 5 seconds to determine and to point to the source of the emails and that they are purely politically motivated.
  • Green asked the council in his same Mayor's report to rescind last week's funding decision on the Events Centre and to send it to the Township finance review committee. He pointed out that it would not affect the completion of the project at all.
  • When Councillor Richter after his speech put this very same motion forward NOT one of the councillors seconded the motion, not even for discussion! In fact when Councillor Richter was attempting to read out her motion both councillors Bateman & Kositsky interupted her presentation on a point of order in an attempt to truncate her presentation of her motion.
To view the whole sequence as it happened view these fascinating three (3) videos. To view each video mouse click minutes before description:
  • (6:23 min) Mayor Green's Bombshell of the P3 not being signed.
  • (1:43 min) Mayor Green's continuation about Broadcast email lies
  • (1:41 minutes) Cllr. Richter's motion to refer last week's Events centre budget update to the budget process which was not seconded, not even for discussion even after Mayor Green's very same plea and his P3 bombshell announcement!
  • To view Mayor Green's speech in PDF written format.
See other related LFP Postings Parts: (6 of 6) (5 of 6) (4 of 6) (3 of 6) (2 of 6)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Aldergrove Xmas Parade Short Of Councillors!

The annual Aldergrove evening Christmas parade went on despite below zero temperatures as shown on the attached LFPYouTube video (1:41 Min). Kudos to the organizers and all the participants! Will these 3 council members who took the time to attend be Mayor Green's promised Aldergrove task force? Did former Mayor Alberts take the traditional Township council horse wagon parade vehicle with him when he left? Since when did gas become cheaper than horses!...

West Vancouver’s political groups probed (The Vancouver Sun, 13 Dec 2008, Page A10)

Thanks to the newest Langley Political Blog (amongst lots lately -lol-), for the heads up on this Vancouver Sun article of today. Of note are these comments in The Sun Article:

"West Vancouver police are investigating complaints that two organizations that endorsed candidates in the November municipal election breached the Local Government Act.

In Langley, Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman and Liberal MLA Mary Polak endorse school board members, raising the question of whether Coleman, Polak or the B. C. Liberal party may have acted improperly by failing to register as an elector organization.

Without enforcement of the election rules, special-interest groups can, in effect, buy and sell council and school board seats.

Without enforcement, voters may never know who is behind the elected officials who have the power, not only to tax and spend our money, but to reshape our communities."

Good points above. Should this be followed up on and by who? Also I believe to lodge a complaint there is only a months grace period to do so which would be Monday. Not sure about that but just a suggestion.

West Vancouver’s political groups probed
The Vancouver Sun
13 Dec 2008

West Vancouver police are investigating complaints that two organizations that endorsed candidates in the November municipal election breached the Local Government Act. Both groups — West Vancouver Citizens for Good Government and Low Tax, Low more...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Langley Events Centre Enhanced !? But Still On Budget!? And How Does A $5 Million Budget Over Run Magically Disappear!

Double click on each picture of this press release to read it and you can also enlarge the picture then as well if need be to better read it. If you have problems email this Editor and I will guide you through the process. So let's get this straight. The Township private/public consortium have spent or will still spend the $5 million that MP Mark Warawa was hoped to bring to the Events Centre project from the Federal Government.

This $5 million will not apparently come through from Warawa's feds. Then this sudden press release comes out (only after Councillor Richter breaks the news and informs us about the $5 million shortfall) that says Council is adding way more stuff to the project and that it remains on budget! Confused & flabbergasted? You betcha! Add to that more confusion and questions about the numbers shown in the press release that says we the taxpayers are on the hook for $19.9 million but the province pays $15 million, and the private partner pays $15 million! Did I miss something here? From the start of this partnership we the taxpayers were to be equal financial partners. This meant $15 million each! Why is it suddenly $19.9 million (sounds like a $99 marketing special mark down price to me!) and we are still on budget? Fast talking shell game is the only thought that comes to this Editor's mind!

Oh, by the way Councillor Kim Richter who was out of province and missed the last meeting advises us that she is tabling a motion to reconsider the funding of the $5 million that MP Warawa did not come through with. Betcha dollars for donuts this motion won't be seconded, not even for discussion. As said before, "So what really has changed with this council"? But who really cares because according to this Press Release the project is still on BUDGET!!! Did Councillor Jordan Bateman and Councillor Charlie Fox move and second as usual, that we the taxpayers fund the $5 million shortfall or did they go along with it? How many motions exactly were there on this issue? Were they in the open or secret? If in secret, why? My predictions seems accurate again! Thanks guys! The last time this dynamic duo supported a loser was to fully fund the severely over budget $ 3-4-5-6-7-8+ million dollar and still not complete white elephant grandstand project. So now we will have both a concrete and a plywood financial Township Council monument that were way over budget! But remember the press release says it's on budget? Go figure. By my simple calculations the Langley taxpayer's portion of our budget is at least 33% over budget and the private and provincial portions are on budget. Are there any other surprises on these two projects (financial & otherwise) Jordan & Charlie? That you guys will rush to fully fund in the future? Why is it that this talk of a $5 million problem only came out conveniently shortly AFTER the Council's election? Convenient coincidence? I find this a very important question worth looking into deeply, don't you?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

B.C. Libs expected to launch studies of Surrey, Vancouver SkyTrain extensions

The Vancouver Sun reports that Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon is expected to announce plans Thursday to launch studies for rapid transit lines to Surrey's Guildford area and the University of B.C. The Surrey expansion will likely leave from the King George Station, travel along 104th Avenue, down 152nd Street to Fraser Highway and terminate at 168th Street. Is this a way to kill light rail Interurban to Langley and beyond?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

2009 Township Budget Orientation Shows Previous Council Left Us $11 to $16 Million Deficit! - With Commentary From Kim Richter

MLA Coleman's Event Center $5 million over budget - Will NEW Council fund this cost overrun once again just like the Grandstand financial fiasco?

Commentary on 2009 Budget Orientation by Councillor Kim Richter
The real issue is the economy and prudent/responsible use of taxpayer's dollars as well as a strong financial oversight on the part of Council. This is, I think, the very definite mandate that the taxpayers sent us in this most recent election by their decision to replace the Mayor.

Council had its first budget meeting on Wednesday. At this meeting, Council was informed that the major cost drivers affecting the coming year's budget means that with a 0% tax increase, the Township will be in an $11 Million deficit position - and this is just to maintain the status quo (i.e. no new service additions).

The chickens have finally come home to roost. I'm not surprised. It had to happen. Sooner or later, the free-spending actions of the previous Council had to catch up.

Added to this very dismal financial picture, the federal government has refused to financially support the Langley Events Center. The previous Council was depending on this support and increased the scope of the project. Unfortunately, federal support did not materialize. (So much for photo-ops, Mr. Warawa). Now this project is $5 Million short and guess who will have to pick up the difference if this building is to open on time?

If you guessed the Township, you're right!

An extra $5 Million for this project equals an 8.3% tax increase this year, unless we increase our debt as we have in the past.

So our township financial position will go from an $11 Million deficit to a $16 Million deficit assuming a 0% tax increase this year.

The enemy here is not each other - it's inaction. We need to get on the same page fast or the Township will suffer.

P.S. - LFP Editor comment. Kim Richter's above comments are from the previous postings comments section that she wrote in a comment. It was edited in context with this posting.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New mayor pledges tax freeze (The Province, 20 Nov 2008, Page A14)

Is Grant Ward right? Should Councillor Ward ignore the will of the voters? Will the voters punish Ward in 3 years in the next election? Ward says the following:

'..Coun. Grant Ward said Green is in for a bumpy ride from the pro-Alberts majority on council.

Alberts was one of the finest mayors we’ve ever had. The electorate left council intact to hold Green in check. I don’t feel comfortable with the stuff he’s espousing, like zero tax increases. Zero budgets don’t work,” Ward said.

“It will be business as usual. Just because someone is new doesn’t mean things should change,” he said'

New mayor pledges tax freeze
The Province
20 Nov 2008

Langley Township mayor-elect Rick Green says he will end secret land sales and use the money created to give residents a tax freeze. “There is no public inventory of township land,” Green said yesterday. “There has been no transparency and more...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SOCIAL MEDIA - The Langley Free Press Style & Blog - New Media Renegades? And Your Edited Freedom of Speech

This posting talks about two things that are key top of mind with this Editor. Social Media, which includes you, the public's input to and with us, LFP, the definition New Media or rather Social Media. The 2nd point I will discuss are your comments about editing in our Social Media on LFP and other similar sites!

Editing & Caution in the Social Media

First, apologies for those about our editing. Your most recent corrections, bitches and concerns are valid and I acknowledge them all and thank you for them.

Sometimes we have to edit out the things that are said personally about people herein. Fair & even angry comments about politicians are OK. But they can and do cross the line especially when references are made to their personal lives and things about politicians about legal or police matters or even questioning their moral and legal ethics. Secondly we also get a lot of personal comments about individual unelected bureaucrats in various levels of government. They are not politicians and are individual private citizens that attacking them individually can be very unfair and libelous. Please see this link of ours that outlines some of the dangers in expressing yourself publicly.

I especially draw your attention to these specific comments below,

"Fair comment is allowed to express statements on
matters of public interest, as long as the statements are not
made with ill will, spite, or with the intent to harm the target
of the comment."

"Fair comment is permissible as a statement of opinion
(no matter how ludicrous or irreverent) based on facts which
are correctly stated, and which does not allege dishonorable
motives on the part of the target of the comment.
Libelous, defamatory, injurious, slanderous & harmful
comments tending to maliciously discredit, malign or be

Take specific note of the fact that comments made with ill will, spite, or to maliciously discredit, malign or be harmful or with the intent to harm the target of the commenter are the keywords to be leery of when writing! I will ALWAYS edit these! Attack the issue vehemently that a politician makes not the politician personally and maliciously!

So apologies, but often, especially during an election, I have had to be brutal in my editing and as such may have inadvertently changed your intent of your comment but the alternative was to not publish it at all! Sometimes in my haste in publishing I have also allowed or perhaps created spelling and syntax errors as well. Again my apologies. I draw no paycheck and don't have much help so permit me my errors please.

The New Social Media

I do this for the love of democracy & free speech and because of striving for an ALTERNATIVE voice in the Langley political and media wasteland & wilderness to especially counter Councillor Bateman's political and his political promotional web presence in his what seems like 4000+ websites (LOL) and the partisan and often times pathetic local news reporting and especially their obviously partisan editorials at times.

As media mogul Rupert Murdock recently said in this news link:

"It's not newspapers that might become obsolete. It's some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper's most precious asset: the bond with its readers,"

Murdock further described it as a culture of "complacency and condescension" in some newsrooms.

"The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted."

"It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news--and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened," Murdoch said. "Today, editors are losing this power."

"The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren't satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog, and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven't always responded well when the public calls them to account."

"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively," Murdoch said.

A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let's be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves."

So please, apologies and allow this Editor the occasional error. But do continue to shoot the LFP messenger if and as you wish but in any event please also continue to view, read, comment and share your Langley political and otherwise concerns about me, our biases (we do have many!) LFP and especially the local politicians and media.

Sincerely Yours,
Your lonely, misunderstood and very fragile (LOL),

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Langley Civic Election Results of Nov 15, 2008

2008 Langley Township/School Board/City Election Results
(Unofficial Results - Candidates with highlighted names declared unofficial winners)

LFP Will Post a "The Night After" Overview, Thoughts & predictions in the next day or two!
Stay Tuned and meanwhile, give us all your comments & views on Langley's elections outcome!

Township Mayor - Votes

Rick Green - 7842
Kurt Alberts - 6588

Township Councillor - Votes

Jordan Bateman - 9273
Charlie Fox - 7956
Kim Richter - 7906
Bev Dornan - 7663
Bob Long - 7433
Steve Ferguson - 7155
Mel Kositsky - 6935
Grant Ward - 6402
Sonya Paterson - 5934
Dan Sheel - 5331
Glen Tomblin - 4701
Murray Jones - 2908
Janet Megahy - 2759
Sukhi Dhami - 2746

Township Trustees - Votes

Wendy Johnson - 6643
Joan Bech - 5902

Steve Burton - 5760
Alison McVeigh - 5403
Rod Ross - 5327
Hattie Hogeterp - 5101
Diane Pona - 5075
Graeme Shepherd - 3781
Kari Medos - 3610
Karen Peterson - 3182
David Petipas - 2878
Michael Parker - 2045

City Mayor - Votes

Peter Fassbender - 2683
Ron Abgrall - 822

City Councillors - Votes

Gayle Martin - 2079
Terri James - 2052
Rosemary Wallace - 2002
Jack Arnold - 1955
Dave Hall - 1937
Rudy Storteboom - 1849
Darrell Krell - 1298
Shannon Assion - 1034
John Mark Archibald - 918
Marika Van Dommelin - 877

City Trustees - Votes

Rob McFarlane - 1680
Stacey Cody - 1215
Kirsten Shaffer-Charlesworth - 987
Diana MacNeil - 733
Paula Clark - 547
Aaron Fedora - 436
Alex Hagen - 425

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Your # 1" Langley's Election Central - Voter's Information, Reference & Resource Guide

LFP Editorial Board's Endorsements & Recommendations of the Langleys' Municipal Election Candidates
To Print out LFP Endorsements - Mouse click pictures below and Print or choose & print Township here or City here.
LFP Editorial Board's Endorsements & Recomendations of the
Langleys' Municipal Election Candidates
Backgrounder & Rationale

Election Candidate Debate Videos
Basic Voting Day Tools

Langley Township Where & When can I vote? - Who can vote?
(Don't forget to print it out after opening this brochure )
Langley City Where & When can I vote?

Are There Slates on Township Council & School Board? Who are they?
  1. Mayor Alberts Had And Does Have A Slate!

  2. Rod Ross Ad 'We're All In This Together' - A School Board Trustee Slate?

  3. NEW - Re: MLA's Slate Endorsement of School Board Trustees, Has This Happened before? You Bet ! Read This previous LFP Posting.
Questionaires With Candidates Responses From Various Media & Special Interest Groups
Previous LFP Postings that Highlight Mayor Alberts' Township Council Slate Tax, Spend & Borrow Excesses
(Stay Tuned - More shocking links may be posted before Election Day)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Prost's Perspective On City's Bandshell Controversy

LFP welcomes Prost who will join us with his satirical and unique cartoons "Prost's Perspective". Our photog, Bob, reported that the two major issue he saw at last night's Langley City Municipal debate was about a bandshell and homelessness as a distant contender! Bob' s videos of all the city Council Candidates will be published in the next 24 hours. Hopefully this will help those who have not met the candidates to help make their ballot choices. I understand that Dave Hall provided the best counterpoints. Dave would you care to expand on this for our readers?...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

UPDATED Nov 11 - Rod Ross Ad - "We're All In This Together" - What Slates?

UPDATE Nov 11 - Note that in today's Langley Advance Mr. Ross now added his City Trustee endorsements of MacNeil & Fedora. Any thoughts on this ad in yesterday's Langley Times folks. Just to help you out check out this previous LFP Posting related to this. And then check out another ad previously written about in LFP.

What I don't understand is why all the silent slates in Langley Township? Why don't they just all come clean finally? Imagine what they could save the environment with just one sign and 5 names on it. But let's go further and include their sister slate just like the times of old when the LLT ran a joint slate for school board and council, imagine if Kurt Alberts' silent slate along with these 5 ran single ads, literature and signs? As I said before "If it looks like a slate & quacks like a slate, it is a slate." Who's kidding who?...

Monday, October 27, 2008

LFP RUMOUR MILL - Two Langley School Board Election Silent Slates Face Off With Mayors' Silent Support

This Langley Municipal election on November 15th is all about the school board trustees folks. Nobody seems to care about the Langley City or Township municipal council elections at all this time around. Great news for the council incumbents but bad news for the newcomer council wannabees like Rick Green and all the other rookie council candidate hopefuls in both City & Township except for the vacant seats.

The real big news and the serious rumoured word on the street is that this election will pit two powerhouse Langley school board undercover and silent slates whose key slate members also are said to seriously dislike each other. Fireworks indeed are in store folks. This dramatic school board election stage was finally set with the controversial realignment of schools in Langley that culminated with the closing of H.D. Stafford (HDS) secondary school and introduced the middle school concept to all Langley parents and kids that created much anger, howls of protest, emotions and tears. So who are these slates?

One obvious strong rumour suggests that the "Stafford Closure Tag Team" on school board (Burton, Hogeterp, McVeigh, & Ross) who rammed through the closing of H.D. Stafford high school are one slate. Newcomer candidate Kari Medos who was also seen seated at the Rotary crab fest dinner with Burton, Hogeterp & McVeigh is also rumoured to be on their rumoured slate as well. They are also strongly rumoured to be very closely connected to the Langley Township Mayor Kurt Alberts Township council slate. Many go to each other's fundraisers and events. They are often seen seated together at many recent public functions pushing other independent candidates to far away tables by the washrooms. These new breed of silent non-declared slates was successfully first used by Mayor Kurt Alberts in his Township council elections.

FYI Mayor Alberts rumoured slate members are said to be at minimum councillors Bateman, Fox & Ward. The other rumour is that newcomer council candidate Bev Dornan, if she is elected, will replace Vickberg on Alberts silent slate, who decided not to run again. Lots of rumoured reports that Vickberg and Alberts are promoting and introducing Bev Dornan everywhere and anywhere. And if you don't believe that Mayor Alberts has a slate again this time see this previous advertisement of his just before the last election.

The other rumoured school board slate is the " Langley City & NDP Tag Team". This rumoured counter tag team slate is said to include key supporters like the past and present Langley City Mayors, Marlene Grinnell & Peter Fassbender as well as prominent trustee candidates Beck, Pona & Johnson who have strong NDP history and/or connections. It is rumoured that the Langley City Mayors are going to be instrumental in putting their political capital & machines behind this tag team to hopefully reverse the closing of the H.D. Stafford secondary school. The fact that Langley City advertises itself as a complete community has taken a major hit since the closure of its only high school, HDS. This is probably why this rumoured alliance of City & NDP candidate slate is occurring. If it is occurring. Remember it's a rumour. Strong rumour though. Oh by the way check out Joan Bech's website and note the picture of former Langley City Mayor Marlene Grinnell endorsing Joan!

So there you have it the big rumour of this election. Langley Township Mayor Alberts and his silent slate backing Burton, Hogeterp, McVeigh, Ross &
Medos the "Stafford Closure Tag Team" versus Langley City's Grinnell & Fassbender's " Langley City & NDP Tag Team". You decide if it's true or false. But which is worse? A School Board run by Langley City or one run by Alberts and his "Good Ole boy's Club"? Both sound scary, very scary and it's not even Halloween yet!

Another tidbit or perhaps evidence of slates is this website, LANGLEY EDUCATION ADVOCACY PROJECT - L.E.A.P. This group describes itself on their website as "an informal group of parents who have come together to look to the future and to spread the message that students and parents should be treated with respect and empathy in their endeavors to find the best education possible in the Langley school district". Now it doesn't say who they are but curiously LEAP links to the Keep Stafford Secondary website if the reader wants to further help out.

We noticed that LEAP provided their Langley Township School Trustee Endorsements and the Langley City School Trustee Endorsements. Curiously they copied and used our LFP Final Election Candidates List too. We don't mind that but we at LFP would certainly wish that who ever you LEAP people are, please publish credit for our creating that list that you used! We know you guys obviously read LFP too! Thanks, but please credit your source!

The interesting things on the LEAP endorsement list is the fact that they recommend Beck, Pona, Johnson & Shepherd with check marks and crossed out the names of Burton, Hogeterp, McVeigh, & Ross as well as Kari Medos. The suggestion is to basically plump the vote in this Editor' opinion. This is an old political tactic for first past the post elections. They left out the names of Petipas, Parker & Peterson though either way. They were not crossed out or endorsed. Does that essentially mean that these three are the only real independents running? Is this all curious speculation, or is this all further evidence of both slates? In any event this election in the Langleys is predominantly all about the school board trustees. Enjoy!

So if you aren't going to vote for the "Stafford Closure Tag Team", consider also not voting for their rumored sister slate, the Mayor Kurt Alberts Township Council "Good Ole boy's Club"!

For more information on the trustee candidates go to the Langley DPAC website to see the candidates, get their contact info and website addresses as well as their individual responses to the DPAC qustionaire. Langley DPAC published a Master file containing responses by all candidates as well as Master file containing candidate responses by question .

Also note that the next public Trustee Candidates Meeting

Wednesday October 29, 2008
7:00 - 10:00 PM at Christian Life Assembly 21277 - 56 Avenue, Langley, BC
Moderated by Matt Brandon

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Smartgrowth-Transportation Langley Township Council Candidates Debate Oct 21

Incumbent Candidate Kim Richter responds in this video on the question of her Langley transportation priorities. She takes moderator Frank Bucholtz (Times Editor) to task for plugging Bateman's blog and not Richter's blog (LFP) in his previous introductions. In this other Video, Kim Richter explains to the audience what she thinks Langley's great strengths are to build on. Also on transportation options, are videos of new Langley Township council candidates: businessman Glen Tomblin and firefighter Dan Sheel. View Glen's Video. View Dan's Video.

Langley Free Press will highlight other candidates from the next debates. Any preferences? LFP photographer, Bob Richter will attend with his trusty camera. Post your comments/suggestions below.

Vecchiato's Voice - Your Vote

On Tuesday, October 14, I cast my ballot in the Canadian federal election. On Wednesday, October 15, I smacked an Obama for President bumper sticker on the back of my Ford Escape. An element of gratitude is inherent in the juxtaposition of both acts. I have the best of both worlds, and despite doom and gloom south of the border, and foreboding angst seeping north of the 49th parallel, those of us living in the States or Canada thrive within countries that exceed the greatest dreams of most of the world's population. We have the right to vote.

So besides the U.S. election, an equally important ballot casting will take place in November right here in Langley. The powers delegated to municipalities in BC are mighty, and the representatives we choose can make or break the quality of life in our immediate vicinity. Having participated in candidate forums in the past three elections, I feel that a forum is not a place to bring a personal confrontation to an incumbent. I've seen it done and it does more harm than good. New candidates are denied exposure they desperately need to place them neck to neck with incumbents, who have gained publicity over their years of service.

Case in point is Tuesday evening's SmarthGrowth and South Fraser on Trax candidates' meeting. Questions ranged from freight (or fright) trains running through the core of the Langleys, road reconfiguration from 64th to Glover, preserving the ALR, the now-dead water management plan, to one suggesting a "spine" of trees/trails going from the 49th parallel to the Fraser River (huh?).

But what was noticeable was that new candidates were not privy to the same information as incumbents, and a lack of knowledge can appear as being uninformed, when, in fact, the information is not necessarily public. I'm leading to the issue of "in camera," which is a bureaucratic term for "behind closed doors."

I had to imagine myself up there and how I would respond to many of the questions posed by both the sponsoring organizations and individuals, whose questions were well-handled by Frank Bucholtz. In fact, Bucholtz left no room for personal dialogue between a voter and a candidate, which was a blessing. If you have a bone to pick, talk about it over coffee. Some of the questions were common knowledge to incumbents, but candidates would have had to spend lengthy hours researching every aspect of township business. There is no administrative staff for candidates to investigate issues whose answers might not even be public. I'd compare this to the Iraq War and those who voted for invading, then whined that they were given the incorrect information. It's their job to get the information if they are sitting in the U.S. Senate--a far cry from running for council in a moderately sized town like Langley.

Forum questions need to be posed so that an element of background information is given to each candidate beforehand. Leveling the playing field is the best thing we can do. Several of the new candidates are some of the brightest and most diligent people I know, but it's a lopsided playing field when one half of the candidates know the issue inside out and the other half possess a superficial knowledge of a topic that's make its way around the staff offices and into the "in camera" meetings.

So let's compensate and give some exposure to
Sukhi Dhami
Bev Dornan
Rick Green (mayor)
Murray Jones
Janet Megahy
Sonya Paterson
Dan Sheel
Glen Tomblin

Learning about these candidates is a responsibility to be carried by the media--both virtual and print--because none has a voting record...yet.
Cathleen Vecchiato has been an outspoken environmentalist for many years. She is the recognized champion of the environment and a community activist in Langley and other adjoining communities. View her full bio and read all her LFP postings at this link. Editor-LFP...

Wally's Words - Langley Tourism, Taxes, Water Forum & Sidewalk To Nowhere

Langley Tourism
It was recently revealed (report #08-166 presented to Township Council September 29,2008) that Tourism Langley spent $60,000 ( sixty thousand - yes you read it right) to create a web site. The vast majority of businesses spend less than $500 to do the same thing. This is a typical example of out of control government spending which has spiraled out of control in Langley township. We need big change at township hall to reign in spending.

Tourism Taxation
Recently Premier Campbell announced some changes to the provinces taxation for hotels. The change for inn keepers reduces the cost of a nights stay by less than 50 cents. A saving of 50 cents will do nothing to stop the bleeding of the provinces tourism sector that is now on life support. This rate of saving would take our hotel 500 years to pay the cost of the Tourism Langley website recently revealed to cost a mind numbing $60,000 We need a lot more change than 50 cents.

Water Worries
I went to this week's water forum at D.W. Poppy school. What I heard was that the new water management plan was going to cost a lot of money. The spokesperson for the Province said they would need to hire more staff. That would mean they also need more new pickup trucks. That is code for higher TAXES.The amount that will be spent on 'administration' will probably be more than to proceed with a system upgrade to connect the east and west systems and increase capacity from the Fort Langley basin. Start laying pipe now.

Sidewalk to Nowhere3 photos attached
- This image was taken Oct 23 2008 and shows hidden in the weeds the "sidewalk to nowhere" in the center of the 5 corners roundabout in Murrayville.
- The further below images 0449 and 0508 were taken 2 years ago.

Below is the letter I sent to Mayor and Council 2 years ago. It is obvious that they paid no attention to my concern of saving tax dollars and went ahead with this ridiculous project. This extravagant waste must end now. In addition, every week the township sends a crew equipped with ride on mower, leaf blowers (yes more than one) pick ups (yes more than one) to trim the sidewalks around the 5 corners. These are all private land frontages. Why are tax dollars spent to maintain private frontages?? By the way, the workmen who installed the sidewalk to nowhere told me it cost $17,000! End this waste now.

From: Traveller's Hotel
Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2006 3:27 PM
Subject: 5 Corners

Mayor and Councillors
Langley Township

Attached are 2 photos. One is the new roundabout at 5 Corners (photo was taken on September 2 2006) and the other is in Surrey at King George and 8th Ave (photo was taken August 15 2006)
It seems that a concrete pathway is being installed across the roundabout at 5 Corners. This is a bad idea. Pedestrians are not to be walking about in the centre of the roundabout. Getting to the centre is dangerous and is sure to cause an accident. Installing any kind of pathway will be an allurement to persons and the Township will be held liable if an accident occurs. The entire centre should be planted with vegetation similar to the Surrey example.
Note the tree planted in the Surrey example. I also want to see a tree that can serve as a Murrayville Christmas tree. I have discussed this with numerous neighbours and they agree with the idea of a tree.

Yours Truly

Wally Martin

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Langley Civic Election Candidates - Final Lists in Actual Ballot Order

Mouseclick the above final candidate's lists to better view each of the above 2 lists and to seperately enlarge and/or to then print them. Election day is Nov 15,2008.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kim Richter : "On the Taxpayer's Side...Making Every Dollar Count" Election 2008 Video

Kim Richter, Professor of Business Management at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and 3 term Councillor in Langley Township, has decided to seek one more term as Councillor for the Township of Langley in the November 15, 2008 Municipal election. Choose this link to see or print out Kim's press release.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Susan Semonick Says Goodbye To LFP Readers & Susan Is Not Running For Langley School Board

With great sadness this LFP Editor says goodbye and thank you to Susan Semonick for her excellent LFP coverage of School Board issues since 2006. Her contributions will remain in LFP archives for all to refer to. If anyone in the Langleys would wish to become the Langley School Board/Education LFP critic or anything else, email the LFP EDITOR or even contact Susan herself for info. Again, Susan thank you so very much, it's been indeed a pleasure! Following is Susan's final LFP submission. We welcome LFP reader comments, far below, wishing to thank Susan for her demonstrated passion for education excellence in the Langleys. - LFP EDITOR

Well readers, it is my time to say adieu to you. After the last Board meeting, I left so disappointed that despite the urgings of many people, I have decided not to run in the next election. It would be great if LFP is able to find someone to replace me as a contributor. I have enjoyed trying to give the public insight into the Board and advising you of issues.

Now, the antics at the Board table have become more of a gong show than ever expected. All I can say to whoever wins at the polls is start fresh - hold respect for the community who elected you and take the steps to correct past errors in changes to policy #1204.

I hope the discussion and debates will actually focus on reporting on real issues and developing constructive ideas on how to improve conditions within the school district. Please put aside your egos, grudges, hurt feelings, etc. and concentrate on what is important - delivering a high quality public education to each and every one of our students in this district. Dissolve the SDBC; and stop contributing money that can be used directly in the classroom to outside (at arm length) interest groups namely the School District Foundation. Let the Foundation stand on its own feet.

Request that the Ministry of Education amalgamate the electoral ballot for the Board of Education in School District 35 for the next election so that true voter parity and democracy can be served. Good luck to the students; I wish them all a well-balanced, high-quality education.

I leave you with a suggestion to improve the Board’s communication and behavior toward the public - that is, to lobby the Board to record into the Board meeting minutes all questions asked during question period along with the responses provided. This will give a snap shot for reference in the future. I believe this would also be a small step toward repairing what damage has been done and begin to restore the trust of the public in the Board of Education.

Thought of the day: Providing choice does have a cost. What must be determined is, is it really worth it?

So long, Adieu, Auf Wiedersehen

Susan Semonick