Absence of blue tarps is Chesney’s legacy


Sometimes it’s the things that are missing from the Township of Langley that we too easily overlook —like the absence of blue tarps signalling leaky condos.

Retired chief building inspector David Chesney made it his top priority to beef up the building code to go over and above the accepted requirements for a “pass”  — and pretty much guarantee that leaky condos would not be built on his watch.

Some builders didn’t like Chesney much. They’d call then-mayor John Scholtens and complain loudly about Chesney’s firm, but eminently practical, rules. When they admitted that it would cost an average of $75 a unit to comply, the mayor deferred to Chesney.

On a tour through a leaky condo in Langley City, David showed me how the wallpaper in the lobby peeled back to reveal black mould; how the balconies sloped inward soaking the rugs and floors and making the units unlivable; how he could claw his fingers through a joist and present a handful of wet, soggy wood fibre as evidence of water infiltration; how stucco didn’t stick because it wasn’t allowed to cure between coats.

Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, David Chesney died of cancer on May 30 at the age of 80.

The service should not be more than an hour, he had requested.

And it wasn’t.

Just long enough for the overflow crowd to consider the family man, the man of God —  and the man the taxpayers of Langley Township should thank every time they see a blue tarp covering up a multitude of sins.

Driving by the former site of Township Hall on the way home from his service, it occurred to me that Barbra Streisand got it right with her song: “Give me 10 men who are stout hearted men, who will fight for the right they adore. Start me with 10 and I’ll soon find you 10,000 more… Shoulder to shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder, they grow as they go to the fore. Then there’s nothing in the world can stall or halt their plan. When stout-hearted men can stick together, man to man.”

Bless his heart and soul.

Karen Kersey


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