Budget process in disarray

Editor:

The article, “Township budget approved, despite in-fighting” (April 21, 2011) raises concerns that the mayor has abdicated his responsibility to be actively engaged in the budgeting process that is so important to the taxpayers of the Township of Langley.

The Township of Langley, incorporated as a Municipality in 1873, is one of the oldest in B.C. A primary reason for incorporating is to provide a responsible local government. The council, of which the mayor is part of, is entrusted by the taxpayers to provide a budget and set the tax rate.

The mayor chose to sit this budget out by not contributing any constructive ideas to help reduce taxes. Calling the budget a “staff budget” is a clever way of blaming our hardworking civic employees whose task is to provide the budget to council for revisions. The budget is a council budget and as such it is council who provide direction to staff. Simply saying that he “disagrees with the process” is not good enough. We expect the mayor to provide leadership and contribute to creating a responsible budget.

Whether the mayor likes it or not he entered office in the midst of the five-year Township of Langley financial plan, initiated in 2007. Amongst other items, the plan allowed for increased public safety by adding police officers and transitioning to full time firefighters. These costs are due now. By voting against the budget the mayor has ignored our need for increased safety. This is no different than any household planning to purchase a car or go on vacation without a solution to pay for it.

I encourage the men and women who live and work in the Township of Langley to observe what the mayor is doing to our future. He appears to be more interested in gaining votes in November than doing what is right for the Township.

Jack Froese, Langley