Letters: Keep firefighters out of election

Dear Editor,

I want firefighters, not a political power

We’ve seen the Township of Langley Professional Firefighters large bright yellow signs telling everyone to vote for their choices for council and mayor stating that voting for them is a vote for public safety. Two of the list are newcomers.

Ignored are all the other candidates who, for the most part, were just as supportive of firefighters’ questions of minimum staffing to become WBC compliant, capabilities to meet various NFPA standards, etc.

Reading their poster, though, one would think if you don’t vote for the candidates supported by the fire department, we will not achieve public safety.

Today I found a door-hanging notice from the firefighters (never have I felt so safe with all this attention!) on my door: same bright yellow, same list of candidates.

Additional descriptions of things such as “Support Local Champions of Public Safety!” and “ensure those elected to Council agree that the safety of your family and your property is a priority.”

I imagine many other candidates are reading this, thinking, “What the heck? I supported them too!”

Most of the list is the current council and the same mayor – much the same team who were unable to reach an agreement with the firefighters since their last contract expired at the end of 2009.

Then, miracle of miracles, it all comes together just before the election, finalized Oct. 27 with a healthy three per cent raise per year for two years.

Then the large yellow posters stating who they support went up all over Langley, with lightening speed, by Nov 6.

Anyone else find this even remotely curious?

I support firefighters. Of course, I do. Who wouldn’t?

I want them happy and reasonably compensated and have the means to do their jobs. If I have a fire or an accident, I depend on them coming to help.

However, in a municipal election where they can have a lot of effect on the outcome because they are a needed and highly respected section of our society, I don’t want their help!

George Otty, Fort Langley

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