Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Election in Langford

The election in Langford is the most interesting one in the whole region. The election could result in anything from no change at all to the status quo to an almost complete change in council and direction of council.

I look at the current council in Langford and see a complete lack of passion other than from Mayor Stew Young. In the case of Stew Young the passion he has of making Langford some where desirable for people to live is a wonderful testament to his vision. The problem is that for last several terms of council his positive passion for change often come out in a negative way. I honestly like what Stew Young has done with Langford, but I see the need for him to engage the community better.

When I met the Langford Team the first thing I saw was their passion for Langford. I can see that they have a drive to make Langford even better than it is now through an improvement in civic engagement. From everything that is out there in the media, there is a problem in Langford with how the council interacts with the community. The place has changed dramatically in the last decade, and for the better, but there too many people living in Langford that feel disconnected from their council.

I get a strong "us v them" from the last term of the Langford council. I have also seen anger coming from the Mayor against those that are not supporting all of his vision for Langford. The most recent example was the incident at the council meeting where he was telling Steve Hurdle to apologize to the staff about a comment on his election website.

In my opinion, Langford needs to put some more effort and energy into the cultural and social development of the community. Langford has done a great job of building the physical core of the community, it now needs to put some focus on the social aspect of community. There are enough people living in Langford that neighbourhood associations make a sense and would help with governance. It would also be helpful to have a place in the core of the community where groups could meet - it is not clear if the new Eagle Ridge Community Centre has an space for that.

Who will get elected? The ones I am reasonably certain of are Denise Blackwell, Steve Hurdle and Winnie Sifert. If I had to guess who is most likely out of the rest to fill the last three spots, it would be Ryan Hinton, Matt Sahlstrom, Lanny Seaton, Lillian Szpak, and Vern Trew.

Odds are that Stew Young will maintain a strong working majority on council with only a couple of 'opposition' members on council. My hope is that Stew Young will be able to recognize that someone like Steve Hurdle is a positive addition to his council and will help him improve Langford. The danger is that the council will not be able to work together and Langford may see three years of fighting.
Post a Comment