Letter: Mayor’s action was impulsive, inappropriate


Over the last week, the current mayor of Langley chose to depose the Langley Public Works Advisory Committee (PWAC) chair. He did this without consulting her, the PWAC members, the city council or even confirming he had a replacement. This action violated a Langley ordinance, was insensitive in the extreme to the people involved and shows a tragic mis-assessment of the effectiveness of the chair, PWAC members and the director of Langley Public Works in their execution of the Langley Infrastructure Program (LIP). It also suggests poor judgment and impulsive behavior inappropriate for a mayor and equally so were he to be elected to the Langley City Council position 4 for which he is running.

Craig Cyr, currently running for re-election for Langley City Council position 4, supports the PWAC for which he is the designated council liaison/contact member. He also was not consulted about the attempted deposal of the PWAC chair. In contrast to the mayor, Craig has demonstrated diplomatic skill and sensitivity in activity with the Dismantling Systemic Racism Commission and Langley relationships with the tribes that occupied this land long before we came here. He has served the council with energy as regards infrastructure improvement, initiative in advancing matters of safety and policing and administrative skills serving the myriad functions of city government and staff.

The public has a clear choice in election for Langley Council position 4. I will vote for Craig.

During the last PWAC meeting following the incident noted above, I felt a need to be explicit in attempting to neutralize the bad feelings that may have been engendered by the mayor’s action. As an alternate member of PWAC, I asked to make a little speech at the end of the meeting.

These were my remarks: “From the beginning of the LIP as a concept through the present day, support to improve the infrastructure of Langley has emerged from volunteers, city council persons, an elected mayor, the county via a $3.5 million grant and the voters in Langley through 80% approval of a $4 million bond.

“The LIP has progressed effectively through conceptual planning, engineering evaluation up to 90% engineering readiness and is now approaching the contracting phase of LIP installation.

“Along the way, unforeseen issues have occurred, such as the impact of COVID on LIP engineering, inflation of implementation costs and scarcity within the trades of necessary skills. These are partially balanced by reduction in program unknowns, suggesting we can make selective adjustments to contingency margins and consider newly available low-interest infrastructure loans that may accommodate certain LIP project cost overages.

“My comments speak to extraordinary leadership and continuity of the LIP that resulted from initiative of Dominique Emerson starting during her term as Langley councilperson, her idea to form PWAC in the first place and her performance as PWAC chair ever since. Likewise, I commend the performance of Randi Perry as LIP participant in the initial scoping activity, continuing with her outstanding leadership as Public Works director during the initial phases of the LIP. The leadership and continuity of these two persons deserves the respect and approbation of PWAC members, Langley staff and elected officials and the residents of the city.”

Peter Morton

Former Langley council member