After numerous requests from citizens and media outlets, including The Times, Langley Township council has released the report of lawyer Donald Lidstone into the actions of Mayor Rick Green in the Brownshak affair.
While the report is at times hard to follow, due to the editing out of every single name other than Township officials and Lidstone lawyers, details do emerge. The basic facts have been well-known for months, but the report adds considerably more detail.
Green was aware of Brownshak Developments long before he said he was. E-mail evidence from the Township server proves that.
His actions in calling a special closed meeting, on 24 hours notice, without administrator Mark Bakken being present, are puzzling— particularly in light of the fact that he knew about Brownshak months earlier.
His actions must be considered for what they were.They were a clumsy attempt to gain some political leverage against a council that, almost from the day he was elected, has fought him tooth and nail.
Needless to say, he gained no leverage. In fact, his actions led to the Lidstone investigation and report and to an investigation by the RCMP, which passed its information over to a special prosecutor. Earlier this year, the special prosecutor concluded that no further action would be taken.
So the Brownshak affair is back where it started — a political football to be manipulated by those jockeying for position. As the municipal election campaign is now underway, it will be taken out of context and used by all sides to justify their positions.
Where does this leave Township residents, who ultimately paid for this report and the subsequent investigation? It leaves them out of pocket thousands of tax dollars.
They also now can see more clearly that Green on one side, and the council majority on the other, were far more consumed with political gamesmanship than providing leadership and good government.
Many Township residents feel that both Green and the majority of council have disgraced themselves by their wrangling over this and other issues. It’s hard not to disagree.
The Lidstone Report is worth a read, and can be accessed on The Times’ website. It provides another good reason to get out and vote on Nov. 19. There is no shortage of candidates to choose from.