A Township councillor has charged gender bias in the selection of a quartet of people who will sit on a standing committee with four council members.
Township bylaws dictate that there must be an equal number of elected officials as lay people on a standing committee. Advertising drew 18 applications, and these were whittled down to three men and one woman who will sit on the Aldergrove pool/community centre committee.
“Women are very strong users of the pool, and I don’t know why there isn’t a better balance,” Councillor Kim Richter said.
The citizen representatives are Troy Theodore, president of the Aldergrove Minor Hockey Association; Mike Baldwin, a chiropractor at Coastal Health Arts Clinic; John Pusic, principal of Aldergrove Secondary, and Joanne Nicolato, a staunch campaigner for a pool and ice rink.
They will serve with chairman Councillor Bob Long, Councillors Charlie Fox, Steve Ferguson and Bev Dornan. Mayor Jack Froese is an ex-officio member.
On Monday, Richter took a shot at one committee member, Pusic, because he does not live in Langley and therefore does not pay taxes here.
Froese defended the selection.
“It’s not a decision-making committee,” he pointed out.
“The final decision always rests with council.”
Dornan said that “this committee is just the beginning, to take the opening concepts to the community.”
“We wanted people who could reach out to as many people as they can,” Fox commented.
The committee will issue its first report in January.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, the committee will host the first public open house where the public can have a say. It begins at 10 a.m. at the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre. It will be followed by the Mayor’s Forum which runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The Township has proposed to build a community/leisure centre on the site of the vacant Aldergrove Elementary School for a new ice rink that will replace Aldergrove Arena, a pool and other amenities.