Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Biggest Winner of the Night - Stew Young

Stew Young was acclaimed as mayor but he also had the biggest election win of anyone in the region.

Langford had a very clear division between the people on the mayor's side and the Langford Team put together by Steve Hurdle. I had thought it would have been a closer election that it turned out to be, but when the dust settled the people of Langford had overwhelmingly endorsed the vision and direction of Stew Young.

For every vote the Langford team got, the mayor's team got two. That is a landslide.

Langford is a place where I do a lot of my shopping and I live in the City of Victoria. I personally like the development of Langford and what Stew Young has done as a mayor, though I have some issues. The criticism of Steve Hurdle of the low degree of civic engagement by the council is a valid one from everything I can see.

I can understand the desire to work quickly and cohesively but I know you get better buy in for decisions when you engage more of the public. Stew Young should see the election results as a vindication for his vision but should also see that enhanced community engagement will support his vision.

I do believe that Langford would have benefited from the election of Steve Hurdle. I do not agree with him on a lot of issues, but I know he would have brought a thoughtful and sober second thought to decisions. He could have been a constructive foil for Stew Young that would have enhanced the development of Langford.

I am interested to see how the Langford continues to grow over the next years. Goldstream avenue is a street that has been transformed into walkable and human scale place. Millstream road has provided us in the region with a compact single destination for all the big box stores that we want. I have seen no place in BC that has done big bax store thing as well as Langford has with the Millstream road area.

One big issue Stew Young is pushing, as are a lot of people on the westshore, is the idea of light rail transit. I remain unconvinced of the case for the idea. My single biggest concern is that the cost to build an LRT is very expensive and the cost to operate is not something I can see this region being able to sustain.
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