City councillors butt heads on budget

Langley City council is going with a 2.71 per cent tax increase after several cost-cutting motions by Councillor Dave Hall failed to gain any traction with other civic leaders.

Again this year the budget debate during public meetings turned contentious between those on council.

Hall opened his budget statement by acknowledging resident Paul Albrecht: “the one and only person to show up at the [budget] open house.”

“I would have expected other people considering running for a council seat in the next election,” Hall went on to say.

Coun. Gayle Martin challenged Hall’s comments.

“We’re dealing with the bylaw 2931, not the upcoming election and who’s running and who shouldn’t run and who should be here and who shouldn’t be here,” she said.

Hall said his comments were introduction to his discussion of the budget bylaw. The cuts and reallocations concerned the Penzer Bike Park, mayor and council remuneration, the infrastructure levy, the floodplain, dog off leash areas, community gardens and the Douglas Park sports box.

“My amendments that I propose are not only an attempt to reduce taxes… but also a more effective delivery of some of the capital items,” he said.

He proposed 11 budget amendments and cuts. None was seconded by others on council so the cuts would not be discussed and council approved the budget as presented with the 2.71 per cent tax increase.

“Not everybody is 100 per cent happy with the budget,” Martin said.

She said council tries to “rule” by consensus.

“Democracy is not fighting until you get your own way,” Martin said.

She said the councillors have different priorities but must work together.

“I won’t put comments on Facebooks about how dysfunctional council and the mayor is. I wouldn’t do that,” commented Martin.

In response, Hall said the debate was supposed to be about the budget and the items in that plan.

“It is an attack on an individual’s right and opportunity to speak to their public through the media,” he said.

“I was not directing my comments at anybody,” Martin said.

Hall called on Acting Mayor Ted Schaffer to keep the discussion on topic.

“I’m asking both colleagues to keep their remarks to this bylaw,” Schaffer said.

“I won’t lower myself to the level of some councillors that use the media to do that,” Martin commented.

She noted that the public input does not go unheard .

“There’s several seniors sitting around this table,” she said about City council.

But costs rise and the City must factor that into the budget.

“It’s unfortunately a way of life,” Martin said.

She added that the public has told council not to cut services but to increase taxes.

“When we started with this budget we were at a five or six per per cent tax increase,” she noted.

Just Posted

Crime Briefs: Police seek suspects in thefts of perfume, groceries, blue jeans

Langley police are asking for the public’s help to identify suspects.

Langley curling couple bound for provincials in Creston

Craig and Karen Lepine are skipping their own teams in the upcoming BC masters curling competition.

Painful Truth: Season of ice, season of puddles

Waiting for good cycling weather is a long process in a cold winter.

Langley Hospice Society formalizes its opposition to medically assisted dying directive

The local hospice board wanted to hold a discussion before making a public statement.

Museum showcases the changing face of Langley

From forests to farms to acreages to suburbia, a new show will capture Langley’s changes.

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

Coroner says no foul play suspected in death of 79-year-old Stanley Okumoto

Questions raised over B.C. NDP’s childcare budget plan

Advocates concerned how to fill 22,000 new spaces for early childhood educators

Police zero in on Vancouver park in search of missing mom

Evidence shows Su Yi Liang’s car in the parking lot of New Brighton Park on Jan. 8

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

IIO: Kamloops RCMP did not have to report shooting

The IIO is not investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Kamloops in 2017

No smoke alarm, faulty cord contributed to fatal B.C. fire

Faulty electric cord and power source connected to space heater believed to have caused flames

Most Read