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01 Dec
0

“I’m not understanding how a 42-per-cent household increase over five years is sustainable,” said Langley Township Coun. Kim Richter.

Citing ‘taxpayer fatigue,’ Metro Vancouver board re-examines regional budget

Board members questioned how the region’s residents would absorb a 5.5-per-cent increase in taxes and fees charged by Metro

The construction site for the new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant last August.
The construction site for the new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant last August. GERRY KAHRMANN / PNG
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Members of Metro Vancouver’s board of directors have concerns about the regional district’s spending on major projects and how the costs will be passed on to taxpayers.

A special meeting was held Friday so that both new and experienced board members could review the budget, which was passed in late October, just after the municipal election, but before the new board met for the first time.

Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall called the numbers “a bit alarming.”

“We need to really manage the incremental costs and the growth because there is taxpayer fatigue, especially around Metro Vancouver, with just even the cost of living here,” Dingwall said.

Metro Vancouver residents will see a 5.5-per-cent increase in the taxes and fees they pay to the regional district for the services it provides, including drinking water, sewage treatment and solid waste disposal.

That’s a $28 bump for the average household, which is based on an assessed home value of $1.23 million. Infrastructure expansion and upgrade projects are responsible for the increase.

The average cost for all Metro Vancouver services in 2019 is $534 per household, but that can vary based on assessed property value, location of the property and service use.

Langley Township Coun. Kim Richter: ‘I’m not understanding how a 42-per-cent household increase over five years is sustainable.’
Langley Township Coun. Kim Richter: ‘I’m not understanding how a 42-per-cent household increase over five years is sustainable.’ KIMRICHTER.COM

Over the next five years, the cost of Metro Vancouver services is expected to go up by nearly $200 — $28 in 2019, $40 in 2020, $50 in 2021, $55 in 2022 and $43 in 2023. The average annual increase is $43, or 7.4 per cent.

“I’m not understanding how a 42-per-cent household increase over five years is sustainable,” said Langley Township Coun. Kim Richter.

Board members also had concerns about the necessity for some of the major capital projects that will contribute to budget increases over the coming years.

“How necessary are they? How quickly do they have to be done and can the investment or the building of those infrastructures be reconsidered and stretched out so that the expense is not as high every year and therefore the tax burden can be alleviated?” asked Burnaby Coun. Pietro Calendino.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said the consequences for taxpayers are considerable.

“I don’t question the rationale that staff are providing for some of these things, but there are other things this board needs to consider,” said West.

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said the previous board had similar frustrations about the enormous costs associated with massive infrastructure projects such as the new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“I’m a fiscal conservative, and I hate the amount of money we’re spending here,” Stewart said. “I’ve asked these questions and a whole bunch of this stuff is absolutely imperative. We have to get on with it.”

To make sure that everyone on the board is comfortable with Metro’s decisions, Stewart suggested coming up with a model that would allow elected officials from across the region to meet and examine the issues, such as a council of councils.

At the next board meeting, the board will consider a notice of motion from Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, which asks that the recently approved 2019 budget for all of Metro Vancouver operations and entities be considered interim until a complete review is conducted by the new board and approved changes are incorporated.

jensaltman@postmedia.com

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09 Nov
0

Kim Richter’s speech at Nov 5, 2018 Inaugural TOL Council meeting

Kim Richter Inaugural Speech – November 5, 2018

To All in Our Township,

I am so very honoured and humbled by your decision to give me another term as Langley Township Councillor.

Throughout my time on Council, my priorities have always been about sustainable growth, public safety, and fiscal responsibility. People and community always come first for me. It’s about “Quality of Life” not “Quantity of Development”.  I will continue to actively support these priorities.

In this next term, we need to focus on ethics, transparency and accountability of Council, affordability of taxes and housing, public safety (including police, fire, food, and water), the preservation of our green spaces, trees, agricultural land, heritage, culture, and wildlife, as well as continued respect and reconciliation with the Katzie, Kwantlen, and Matsqui First Nations.

In this election, Township residents made it very clear what you expect us to do. You want us to protect what keeps our great community so unique. You want balance and a better Langley for all generations. I respect this and will work hard to achieve it.

I extend a very warm welcome to both Margaret Kunst and Eric Woodward, the new faces on Council this next term.

Margaret’s passion for sports, tourism, and helping new immigrants in our community will make our Council stronger. We need more kindness like hers.

Eric’s background in business and development as well as his dedication to finding solutions and fixing things will set a welcome tone for the future of the Township. We need more ideas like his.

I would like to thank the Mayor for his theme of “New Beginnings”. I appreciate and value this. In this new term, we should all make a concentrated effort to look beyond personalities and instead to focus our collective energies, abilities, and attention on facing the many challenging issues in front of our community. I sincerely hope that this “New Beginnings” theme will prevail throughout this term as we protect and grow the community.

Bob Long and I started out together on this public service road 18 years (and 7 consecutive Council terms) ago. I have always appreciated, and still do, Bob’s unique ability to bring a group to consensus as well as his ability to bring laughter and music to any group.

To David and Petrina, I say how very thankful I am that you are both here again for this term. There is no doubt in my mind that your hearts have always been in the right place. You always put community first and work very hard to do the right thing for everybody. I am honoured to serve with you both again for another term. You are role models like no others.

Steve, you are truly “The Comeback Kid” and I value your persistence and dedication. I hope we will all work together to “create new opportunities for Langley”.

I know that we can always count on Councillor Whitmarsh to keep us mindful of staff’s expertise and the need to adhere to written plans, policies, and rules.

To all the people who ran in this 2018 election, thank you for keeping democracy alive and well in our community. It was a pleasure to meet you all and I encourage you to please consider running again for public office. We need voices like yours and sometimes it takes more than one try to get there. (It did for me).

To Mr. Bakken, his team, and all the Township staff, thank you for what you do on a daily basis to keep our community safe, clean, green, and vibrant. We couldn’t do it without all of you.

To my family and friends who stood by me throughout this election – through the thick and thin, the highs and lows, and the slings and arrows, I can’t thank you enough. I love you and value you more than I can ever say.

This is a new day, a new beginning, and I look forward to how we can combine our collective strengths (and they are many) in achieving the best for this community that we all love.

I sincerely hope we will all work collaboratively together to build a better Langley – one that our children and grandchildren will be every bit as proud to call “home” as we are.

Last, but definitely not least, to all the Township residents, voters, and taxpayers, I respectfully thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you again for another term. Please call, text, email or message me any time. I always have, and I always will, stand up and speak out for you.

 Kim Richter

(November 5, 2018)

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30 Sep
1

Investigation Report Respecting Social Media Interaction and Related Allocations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 28, 2018

Re: Agenda Item M.1 Investigation Report Respecting Social Media Interaction and Related Allocations – Township of Langley Regular Evening Meeting Agenda for October 1, 2018

The Mayor’s majority on Langley Township Council has made the decision to censure me for doing my job. In October 2017 I brought to public attention the fact that a sitting member of Council was doing business with the Township. I did not think that was right at the time and considered it my duty to say so publicly, not only in Council and to the press but also on social media including Facebook.

My views plainly upset the Mayor’s Gang of 5. In November 2017, the Mayor’s Gang of 5 hired a lawyer at the expense of the Township to provide a legal opinion about my use of social media. I told them then to save the taxpayers money and just to go ahead and censure me because that’s what they were really up to anyway. My crystal ball prediction was right.

I unequivocally reject any suggestion in this resolution that there was any reasonable basis for the Gang of 5 on Langley Township Council to censure me for anything I have done or said.

I also have no hesitation in saying that this resolution has nothing to do with my use of social media. The title of the “Agenda Item” is misleading. Nothing I have said on social media (or to the press or in council) is the actual subject of this motion of censure.

In response to this political stunt to sully my good name, I say the Gang of 5 should be held accountable for an extraordinary waste of tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars leading up to this baseless resolution.

I will not allow my constitutional right to freedom of expression to be chilled by censorship or attacks on my reputation. My Charter free speech rights belong not only to me, but to the public at large, who are entitled to hear what I have to say.

A majority on Council should not be allowed to employ scarce public resources to chill speech by other councillors who may disagree with them, particularly new councillors.

Is this the government Langley Township deserves? Or wants?

This needs to stop now. On October 20, 2018 please vote for major, honourable, and principled change on Langley Township Council. The “Gang of 5” needs to go.

I will be conferring with my lawyer about legal options to vindicate the reputation which I have built up over my many years of public service.

For Further Information, please contact Kim Richter (604-856-9788) or Roger D. McConchie, Barrister and Solicitor (604-988-1622).
___________________________________________________

These related postings & videos were posted in November 2017 regarding hiring a lawyer for a legal opinion on the use of social media and the respectful workplace policy.

http://bit.ly/2AcfkDo Part 2 video F/B posting by Kim Richter –
re: Fox & Quaale “Witch-hunt” Motion Nov 27, 2017

http://bit.ly/2AcX50G Part 1 video F/B posting by Kim Richter-
re: Fox & Quaale “Witch-hunt” Motion Nov 27, 2017

http://bit.ly/2xNQMyw Kim Richter posting re: Questions arise
after Councillor’s Business hired for Township event in the
Langley Times Oct 4, 2017

http://bit.ly/2xKAeYi Questions arise after Councillor’s Business
hired for Township event – Actual Langley Times Article link –
Oct 4, 2017

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28 Sep
0

2018 1st All Candidates Meeting

Our first All Candidates Meeting of 2018

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04 Sep
0

Election 2018 Campaign is Underway !

Welcome to my new Website kimrichter.com . We are already dropping off brochures and signs. Pictured here beside me is Shirley Sawatsky. She gets my first campaign sign of the election season – Thank you Shirley for all your support!!

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