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ELECT MEL KOSITSKY
Mel Kositsky for Mayor It’s TIME!
Langley Township is my home and has been since the mid70s when I returned to the West Coast from my first newspaper job in Medicine Hat following university. As a trained journalist I decided community news was the way for me and I settled in Langley to work for the local newspapers. I also settled in Langley to become involved in the horse industry and have been honored by the Horse Council of BC for promoting the equine industry through my horse columns and cable television shows called “Along for the Ride”. Langley is truly ‘the horse capital of BC.’ In 1993, after serving two terms on the board of the Langley Chamber of Commerce, I became interested in Local Government and ran for council. I have since won six straight elections and have been your councillor for 18 years.
Council hired team builders - but they said:
‘Green’s attitude at fault - he rejects leadership principles’
asked to comment on the consultant’s recommendations, Clr. Richter said she was surprised at the report’s blunt language. “It’s kind of refreshing, though, to hear a consultant say, ‘Don’t waste your money,” she said. Other councilors had hoped that the term would have had a more positive start. Clr. Long said the workshop should have taken place as soon as the new council was elected. “I wished the Mayor had approached the term with more positive ideas, rather than just doing his own thing,” Long said. Things did get far worse when the Lidstone Report clearly showed that Green had broken the trust of Council in the mysterious letter scandal. Lidstone’s report concluded that Green misled several times, misrepresented the facts, and that his actions were dishonest.
“On Saturday, November 19th I ask for your support to become the next Mayor of Langley Township.”
Leading a local government requires many skills - not the least is listening to a variety of opinions and bringing council and residents together to make collective and informed decisions. That is the way that municipal councils work best. They are not a “one man show” as we have witnessed during the past three years.
In the first year of the term, Langley Township Council agreed to bring in help to assist with setting goals and team building. “We tried to work with the new mayor,” said Clr. Mel Kositsky. “The intent was to engage a consultant/facilitator to help bring the Council together.” Council hired Gerald Berry the long-time CAO of Nanaimo, and Allison Habkirk a former mayor of Central Saanich. They were instructed to: • Review the duties and responsibilities of the mayor and council and review the communication between the mayor, the council, staff, and the public in a workshop. In general terms, the scope of work of the consultants was to focus on providing services to the Township which would facilitate the building of a positive working relationship amongst the elected council members and between the council and the senior management team. But after interviewing the mayor Rick Green, the firm issued this statement in a January 2011 special report to council:
Report says Green rejects fundamental principles of collective decision making.
Green’s slate platform
“Rick Green has broken the trust with council, staff and the community ...and it can never be repaired.”
Good government requires co-operation and compromise in order to get things done. The community provides direction on priorities and the council as a whole decides how best to spend limited financial resources to build a healthy and safe community for residents of all ages. My leadership skills have been proven by being elected to serve on many boards, committees and task forces by my local government peers. I am well prepared to represent Langley Township with other orders of government. Langley Township has a bright future ahead and as your next Mayor I will lead a council that will focus on what is best for our comunity and restore TRUST in the Mayor’s office.
“Given the Mayor’s open rejection of the fundamental principles of shared and collective decision-making, it is our conclusion that holding a working session to address the issues at this stage in this council’s term is unlikely to produce a satisfactory outcome.”
Council members were disturbed and concerned that the term could get worse instead of better. When
Veteran Township of Langley councillor and mayoral candidate Mel Kositsky is concerned about Rick Green’s view of democracy. “According to Green’s website, Green is convinced that he was ‘voted in’ last term to change the minds of the council. I disagree,” says Kositsky. Councillors are elected on their own merit - by every citizen who votes. How can Green justify such a concept?” Kositsky said. Green’s website boldly states “...I was elected on a promise of change ....but they (council) steadfastly refused to change” Frustrated with the council’s fierce independence, Green now
View of democratic process 'distorted'
has a slate of running mates, seeking to control council. “It is impossible for a council to function for the benefit of the citizens, if the mayor has a distorted view of democracy,” says Kositsky.” We (council) tried to bring in professionals to explain how the democratic process can work, but Green refused to listen or to adopt a leadership style of collective decision making.” “He seems to believe that his way is the only way. That is why I’m running for mayor - to see respect for democracy returned to the council table, and to provide positive leadership to the council that the people elect,” says Kositsky.
Finance Committee failed at 0 - 0 - 0
Mayor refused to cut budget
Clr. Ward. “So the plan was thrown out.” At the time of passing the budget, Green was asked by one council member if he would suggest cuts rather than vote against the budget as mayor. But Green refused to offer any suggestions. Green has voted against every budget in his term, but according to Clr. Ferguson, he still likes to take credit for the popular projects in the Township. “The fact is he voted against parks, artificial turf in Aldergrove, the LEC, Aldergrove core planning, expansion of police and fire services, water and sewer.” Green has voted against bringing business and growth to the community,” said Ferguson.
Council 'misled' again
day before a scheduled meeting the Mayor announced he had just received a letter of resignation from three members of the public that he had appointed to the committee. But Clr. Fox says a copy of the letter was left on the photocopier by the mayor’s office several days prior. “Why did Green not tell the truth? Perhaps he was embarrassed about the committee’s failure to cut the taxes and come up with the 0-0-0 he promised,” said Fox.
The Lidstone report revealed facts about Green’s mishandling of private information; but to date he has not apologized to those mentioned in the documents that he claims were stolen from his office. But there are other episodes that are suspicious according to two members of council. Clr. Ferguson says “the mayor was not truthful about the resignation of the mayor’s finance committee.” According to Ferguson, the
Green’s 2009 finance committee included two members of council and three members of the public chosen only by Green. Other councillors were not allowed to attend the finance meetings for reasons not yet explained by Green. The two appointed councillors, Ferguson and Richter objected to the closed meetings and Ferguson accused Green of arranging other secret meetings without them. But by the time the full budget meetings began, the committee could not produce a zero tax increase - instead they proposed to borrow from utilities and dip into reserves. “Council was quite concerned of the legality of using utility funds in such a manner,” said
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