“Who are you and why do I care about what YOU think?”

IMG_9231What sort of egotistical narcissistic megalomaniac registers as a 3rd party advertising sponsor just to post and promote who he thinks should be elected?

Me?

Possibly… but I’ve been called worse.

Here is my version. You shouldn’t care about what I think. I didn’t create this site or endorse a group of candidates because I need to win, or that I have a financial stake or special relationship with any candidate or that I think I’m more important than anyone else.

I do it because I’m a major geek. And I’m passionate about my community. Every election I have a lot of people asking me who I’m voting for – not because I’m important or smart – but because they know I research everything, I attend or view almost every council meeting, and that I am extremely passionate about my value system.

It is very frustrating for many people to watch thousands of signs pop up every 4 years, listen to many candidates say the same thing (in 30 seconds or less), but its very difficult to get real information about any of the candidates. So many voters often rely on those who do pay attention. In the Township of Langley we have a horde of resident groups (some of which only sprout up over election periods), Firefighter union, a former mayor, and some special interests lobbies all offering you their totally valid two cents.

So who am I? So I’m just another guy who sits at the back of the council chambers on Monday evenings (or at home streaming), who reads WAAAY too many books on urban planning and has always just been a little bit geekier than the average voter (on October 21, I’m back to playing SimCity 2000).

What are my city planning related passions? What are the issues that I would run on if I was a candidate? What are the factors I consider when casting my vote?

First, I am militantly pro-food security. This usually means I am against any Agricultural Land Reserve exclusion- at least until there is an exhaustive province-wide scientific-based apolitical review of the land reserve whereby any change in the reserve is neutral or beneficial to the reserve. Most people are completely unaware of the amount of foreign investment in agricultural lands, but it is immense and dangerous. We must protect these lands from speculation purposes and promote farming as a sexy way of life

I am pro-walkable neighbourhoods. This is easy to say but when push comes to shove, most people in the suburbs still favour car-based planning. What does it really mean? We need road design in a grid network with as many narrow lanes as possible. Parking needs to be very restricted in high density areas. *GASP* Pay parking is not a dirty word. We need to focus on how to promote people walking in new neighbourhoods first and foremost, at the EXPENSE of the automobile. We need to encourage cycling and public transit. The easier it is for the single occupant vehicle to move around, the less people will get off their butts. Our suburban addiction to gas is not sustainable and its time to get a little uncomfortable. Change is always inconvenient.

I crave a strong vision. Langley has suffered from pro-development rubber stamping for too long on one side and naysayers on the other. Just saying “I’ll depend on staff” is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Just saying NO is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. If just doing what staff says is best 100% of the time, why bother with an elected council? Why not just have the bureaucracy run the show? The staff should be guided by Council, not the Council by staff. We need councillors who actually understand modern day planning who will also look at the big picture. Staff just sees small details. Willoughby in 2018 is a result of staff recommending one project after another with very little guidance. Let’s step up, we can do better.

I welcome your criticism, disagreements and praise.

 

One comment

  1. Can’t dispute your list as the people align with what you feel is important. While you are a self described planning geek, as you know from our past acquaintance, I am a Anthropogenic Climate Change Activist.
    What I find disheartening is that the entire cast of candidates for ToL Council are low keying or ignoring this elephant in the room and while there are mentions of environment in many platforms, no one comes right out and says that they will be pushing for more mitigation and adaptation efforts to deal with Climate Change with whatever tools are available to the Township. Has no one read the most recent IPCC report https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/10/ipcc-report-climate-change-impacts-forests-emissions/ Not one? However, I’ll admit that I have not covered the campaigns as well as you have so might have missed someone actually having the courage to speak to this issue. If you are aware of anyone, please let me know as it will make at least one choice easier to make. Perhaps they are waiting for someone to ask them the question; I don’t know what the problem is. I just don’t think the leadership or the courage is there on the matter. Right now, while the environmental platitudes are plenty, no leadership on this issue has surfaced so all I have a choice in making is for a supporting cast.

    John

    Like

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