One Aldergrove reader was upset with the snow plowing in her neighbourhood. (Langley Advance Times files)

One Aldergrove reader was upset with the snow plowing in her neighbourhood. (Langley Advance Times files)

LETTER: Richter for ‘president’

Aldergrove woman expresses frustration in her quest for snow removal

Dear Editor & Neighbours,

I have spent the past two days trying to figure out why our roads (side streets in particular) have been sorely neglected.

I have had to travel to other communities this week and have been shocked to see their roads so well cleared of ice and snow, only to return to mine and gingerly proceed along 29th Avenue and then navigate the treacherous conditions of my own road.

Just today, I watched elderly neighbours get stuck at corners and even just getting out of their driveways the conditions are so bad.

The clearing of roads has been much quicker in past years with similar conditions.

In my quest for answers and assistance, I would like you to know who responded with a sincere desire to help, and who did not.

Please keep these names in the back of your mind for when the next election rolls around.

When I consulted the Township of Langley website and phoned the storm response line, I was informed by a recorded message that they were closed until Tuesday, Jan. 4.

When I consulted the weather update section, the most recent posting was from Dec. 2.

I then attempted to connect with our mayor, Jack Froese, and was initially rebuffed with a generic message that my concerns would be passed on to staff. This response was cc’d to the executive assistant whose email response was also a generic one that indicated they were on holidays until Jan. 4. (They did eventually respond that my concerns were being passed along.)

When I pressed for more from Mayor Froese, I was referred back to the website – the one I had consulted previously that indicated things were closed until Jan. 4 – and it was suggested that I also consult the snow removal policy.

In my frustration, I reached out to a few others – Eric Woodward (City councillor) and Tako Van Popta (Member of Parliament) – the MP has yet to respond.

In one final attempt today, I reached out to Councillor Kim Richter via email. She responded within a very short period of time in a humane and practical way that actually addressed the issue.

It was an actual request for a Township worker (I assume someone in the head of operations) to get in contact with me to assess the conditions of my road and to take care of it once priority roads had been plowed.

Now, at some point, between sending my email to Ms. Richter, and receiving her response, what do you know?! Our road was plowed! Whether it was just plain luck, or we were finally in the queue or someone in the Township was finally listening, I don’t know, but I (and my neighbours) are grateful.

At the heart of this, snow or no snow, holiday or no holiday, citizens deserve to be heard and should have people at the top who will listen and respond in a human way.

I realize that recorded messages and emails and websites are the way of 2021, but should it really be so impossible to interact in more personal ways?

When I shared Ms. Richter’s email with my 20 something daughter, her cheeky response was “Kim Richter for president!” I will settle for “Kim Richter for mayor!”

My thanks to her for listening and being ready to help, even if our road got plowed just because it was finally our turn. (And no, I don’t know Ms. Richter personally – a neighbor had suggested to me that she was someone who really worked for the people.)

I would like to add an addendum that Eric Woodward has now also responded with a genuine interest in helping. Another council member who seems to be ready to serve.

Marilyn Kirk, Aldergrove


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