Editor: What a contrast between Langley City council meetings and Township of Langley Council meetings.
Recently, my wife and I attended a Langley City council meeting instead of our area’s council meeting just to change things up. The City meeting sure was a breath of fresh air. The mayor and councillors came into the chambers all smiles, they acknowledged the people in the chambers with eye contact, smiles and a friendly head nod.
The meeting had three issues on the agenda open for a public hearing. Short presentations on the issues were followed by a couple of comments and generally everyone seemed OK with the new condos about to be built. Mayor Ted Schafer kept the room in good spirits with words of praise for the developer, and small tasteful humour for the 20 or so in attendance.
Three public hearings, roughly three or four presentations by staff and others and, bam, the meeting was over in less than an hour and a half. It was a nice, tasteful council meeting that left us with positive thoughts about how Langley City seems to be doing things right in a meeting.
Now rewind to the dark and gloomy often downright mean and negative council meetings that take place in the TOL chambers. The TOL meetings often have a lot of arguing between our elected officials, and most of the time an air of bullying can be felt coming from a good majority of people situated in on council.
I have often seen and heard councillors scowl, groan, talk down and talk over other people on council who are just trying to do the job the people elected them for.
It is my opinion that a handful of people on council even get together before a meeting and discuss how a vote will go one way or another.
The TOL meetings make people feel that something else is really going on, it makes people wonder where the transparency, trust and ethics have gone. I feel watching a TOL meeting just depresses a lot of people because they feel what they say mostly falls on deaf ears.
I am also a believer that both the City and the TOL should have their meetings on opposite Mondays, that way the great people of Langley can witness the contrast between the two, and see the good, the bad and the ugly.