LETTER: Questioning if some councillors should step back from big decisions – pending court outcome

With tax rate being set, one letter writer argues if some council members should refrain from voting

Dear Editor,

[Re: Tax hikes possible in Township as budget talks begin, Langley Advance Times, Jan. 22]

First I find the heading of this story laughable, ( tax hikes possible?).

It is a guarantee that if the Township of Langley (TOL) staff tell the people on council it will take 4+% just to keep the lights on, you know that is where this council will end up – if not higher in my opinion.

It should be the other way around, council should tell staff this is how much money you have to work with and you are not getting anymore.

It is about time the TOL puts its big boy pants on and starts making departmental cuts and trims some fat out of the trough.

There are a lot of people in positions on TOL staff making more money than life-saving nurses, first responders, police, or other jobs we desperately need.

These people and the people who work under them should be tightening their belts on things they take for granted each day, and or maybe for starters these big salaries need to be corralled.

Now, Kim Richter provided a nice soundbite for the media when she wanted to put a small cap on taxes.

It is in my opinion this will never happen with the make up on council we have today, and she no doubt knew that but a nice gesture anyways, thanks Kim.

The real issue I have with this budget process really isn’t the dollars involved, it is the way it goes about, and the people making the decisions.

First off, I was very saddened to learn about our mayor’s wife passing away, I can’t imagine the emotions and feelings of loosing a long-term partner you have shared a life with. Believe it or not, I am a very caring soul, but I also can separate politics from personal, and when it comes to some of these people who sit on council, you have to try hard to stay laser focussed of the situation that is in front of you.

Back in October, on Halloween day, I was made aware of a brewing scandal that only confirmed my beliefs regarding a handful of local politicians.

I am talking about what media broke that night about alleged possible conflicts of interest some on council found themselves to be accused of. I have since read the entire documents that some anonymous person or persons had put together using public information, this is the same information a judge on the Supreme Court will be looking at as the judge ponders the legal question of were these people in a conflict of interest regarding campaign donations from developers and votes regarding development applications. To a reasonable person, the optics don’t look good.

RELATED: Court challenge aims to remove mayor, councillors in Langley Township

I have always believed that people are innocent until proven guilty, I have looked at the evidence and in my opinion, at this point, it is leaning heavy to a conflict in my eyes, and to quote the news, “a definite conflict of interest” is what they said Oct 31, 2019.

Since Halloween some very intelligent residents of the Township of Langley have made a petition to the Supreme Court regarding the actions of the four in question, three who sit on council today, and one who lost badly at the last election, I believe they have to answer to the courts as they were served with court papers on Dec 16, 2019.

Now you may be wondering what this has to do with the budget process.

I feel very uncomfortable with the sitting three members of council who have this scandal hanging over their heads. In my opinion, I am not convinced they can make informed decisions that have the residents best interest at heart.

Some of these taxpaying residents who turned them into the Supreme Court are the very same people who will be impacted by these three making tax percentage decisions. And it will affect not only those people, but the rest of the Township.

Quite frankly that worries me, and I think they should take a step back from these kind of monumental life-altering decisions until at least the judge decides if they were right for what they did, or if they were wrong.

The budget is one of the biggest things this council has to decide, and if it is like past years, it will be rushed, heated, and not well thought out, giving in to what heads of TOL staff want for monies.

The Supreme Court will be having to decide if these four will be allowed to continue in politics for the alleged actions, this could lead to a by-election, so why have three of them concern themselves with the budget, when they should be – and I am sure are – concerned with what the courts will decide.

Scott Thompson, Langley

Langley TownshipProperty taxestaxes

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