In opposing the Coulter Berry building, Oliver McNiell [Mayor needs to listen to people, Dec. 6 Letters, Langley Advance] states that Mayor Jack Froese, as a business owner, thinks that the building "will bring some much needed vibrancy to the town in the offseason."
He adds that Froese's business is nowhere near Fort Langley, but neglected to mention that Froese lives in Fort Langley.
The main theme of McNiell's letter is that he believes council should govern by petition: if residents show up with a few pages of signatures opposing a project, council should automatically vote it down.
When activists are out soliciting signatures, they rarely, if ever, give both sides of the story, and I suspect they frequently pressure people into signing. I don't believe they suggest people take some time and use their best judgment before signing. This is akin to having someone look over your shoulder at the voting booth.
There were other surveys that indicated support for the project he opposed.
The petition McNiell favours was signed by significantly less than half of Fort Langley residents, even though they had months to gather signatures.
On another point, only one member of council voted against the project. Given that there was near unanimous support at council, it is difficult to accept McNiell's statement that Mayor Froese's arrogance is astonishing. In fact, what is astonishing is that there are flyers being distributed urging people to boycott JD Farms - flyers remarkably similar to McNiell's letter to the editor.
Another point that McNiell fails to consider is that Mayor Froese no longer works at the business. It is being operated by his children and their 20 employees.
It is reprehensible when protesters attack the children of public servants, just because they don't get their way.
John Cameron, Langley