This will probably be the most important article I will ever post on this website.
I have watched and listened to the majority of available all candidate meetings, almost every evening council meeting and I know some of the candidates fairly well on a personal level. I truly believe that every candidate running for Mayor and Council truly loves Langley and really does want to make the Township of Langley a better place. I honestly cannot think of a single exception to this rule. My endorsements are for people who best fit my personal vision of what I see the future of Langley becoming with my understanding of smart growth and urban planing.
This doesn’t mean that all of the candidates are particularly nice people or that I haven’t been the subject of personal attacks by some of the candidates and their supporters. But it really isn’t worth it to respond to these attacks – I understand how heated and personal politics can get. I know in years past I’ve done my part with some vocal opposition to issues. But it was always the issues. Whether I don’t agree with developer-funded campaigns, zoning changes, corporations getting their own vote or whole community plans or not, I hold nothing against the people who support these issues. I know they support it for their own reasons. We are allowed to disagree with civility.
I want to refer to people to two incumbents as an example of people that have shown me that such civility is still possible in Langley politics. First, someone that I support and endorse: Petrina Arnason. Petrina tends to be a bit more on the “anti-growth” side of things and we certainly don’t see eye to eye on all the issues. However, I never see her get angry or personal despite what I know are some very strong convictions in that incredible mind of hers. Secondly, and maybe more surprisingly, I appreciate that our current Mayor, Jack Froese, whom I disagree with quite often, still shows kindness, civility and friendship with myself and others who he knows disagrees with him. While I know he does show his frustration – he is human after all – he has been a beneficial chairperson at the head of council.
I will not post any other specifics about any candidate I did not endorse. There are some wonderful people that did not make my list. I hope that those people – if they do not win – take the time to further engage with the city planning process, not just as an activist, but as a participant in the whole system. I hope that the people from Brookswood get to know the people in Willoughby and Walnut Grove and vice versa. For those who do win, I hope that you can see my opposition to the issues as merely as discussion of ideas instead of an attack on the person. We all love Langley, let’s work together to build a better Township.