Mayor and council should encourage debate

Editor:

My letter to the editor at the end of April regarding the budget process at Langley Township Council precipitated a rush of letters both for and against my position. I appreciate the concerns raised by the letter writers and the various points of view on my candidacy for Mayor. I believe the democratic process is well served by encouraging debate around the important issues facing Langley Township.

I am writing this letter to clarify my position on a very important matter that may have been misinterpreted. It was stated by Robert Moats that I would support the “existing” council and by doing so I “will obediently take direction from the backroom” as a rubber stamp for some of the councilors.

Every three years the voters go to the polls to vote for Mayor and eight Councillors. Some of the faces may be the same, but with the addition of a new Mayor and/or Councillor(s) “Council” is renewed. Unlike the Premier, the Mayor does not have the luxury of selecting his cabinet. After November’s election there is an expectation that the Mayor will work with the duly elected Council.

Under provincial legislation for local government, the Community Charter, it states as part of the Mayor’s duties, he or she is to “provide leadership to Council” and “reflect the will of Council”.

The Mayor has one vote on Council. After allowing for healthy debate on issues facing Council a vote is called, the outcome then becomes the will of council. I believe for Langley Township to move forward and brand itself as the very best place to live and work, we need a Mayor who speaks for Council. This is not a “rubber stamp” but good government.

Jack Froese, Langley