No room for parties on local councils
Editor: On Tuesday, July 26, I attended Murrayville Hall, after receiving an open invitation to the residents of Langley to hear an “Important announcement that will have a significant impact on the future for all residents of the Township of Langley.”
I was disappointed to discover that it was nothing more than a campaign rally to announce a new Langley slate. One after the other slate candidates, sporting their new “Vote Langley Now” T-shirts, spoke about how they were part of a “team.” Their team appears to be united by T-shirts and a desire to re-elect the mayor.
My team doesn’t wear matching T-shirts. My team is the community of Langley. If I’m privileged enough to be elected, I will remember that my team is you, the community.
I rasied my family and built my business in Langley. It’s a great place to live and I want to make sure that continues well into the future. To accomplish this we need to leave council infighting behind, and move towards good debating and respect for all opinions. Slates don’t provide that atmosphere.
I am looking forward to working with a council elected by the voters, comprised of truly independent men and women who will work for the good of Langley Township without an allegiance to a political party.
We see party politics in provincial and federal politics everyday. Local government functions better when each member of council works independent of party alliances. As the former mayor of Calgary and premier of Alberta, Ralph Klein puts it, “The caucus situation is much different than council. Provincial politics are adversarial. Municipal politics are concensus-building.”
Do we want slate politics in Langley Township council? The voice of the individual councillor is drowned out by the will of the slate’s leader and decisions are not based on the best interests of the community.
Even with the difficulties of the past three years, I have witnessed councillors demonstrate their independence by supporting each other on some issues and then opposing the same councillors on other issues.
I believe in a truly independent council with a balance of maturity, diversity and innovation, where new ideas can flourish with the best interests of the community always in mind. This is what the people of Langley want. As mayor, I will provide the leadership we so desperately need and leave the infighting and drama behind us.
On Nov. 19, I ask you, the community, to join with me to vote for a council that is made up of truly independent citizens. Together, we will elect a strong and independent council which reflects the will of the community.