LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Mayor’s a man of integrity
May 15, 2012 · Updated 2:29 PM
To the editor:
I’ll be clear from the beginning. The mayor of Langley is a good friend of mine. For a few of you I’m sure that admission will negate the rest of this letter. That is unfortunate, but so be it.
Larry Kwarsick and I have been friends for many years and the reasons for our friendship are just as numerous. But I must say that I have always considered his integrity to be at the top of the list. So, of course, it is disheartening to watch the process that is occurring in the aftermath of an allegation against him when he was city planner of Langley.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in the process. But the whole story is yet to be told and not all the facts are known to us. Obviously, there will be a determination in the near future to the questions of any wrongdoing and whatever the outcome, we will go on with our lives, even Larry. There is no huge conspiracy here or criminal intent. But, oh boy, what a story, huh?
I do not know all the details of this scenario. Larry and I have had very few conversations about this allegation. But what I do know that motivates me to write this letter (particularly in light of my perception of a one-sided campaign against him via blogs, etc.), is his character, experience, ability and desire to make Langley a better place for all of us. With no disrespect for previous royalty, Larry is the most qualified person for the mayor’s seat in some time.
He has been accused of “wearing too many hats,” which is not surprising given his knowledge, expertise and desire to be involved. To those critics I would say, “Step up to the plate (or the hat rack) and take an active part in the work.”
As I recall, the previous mayor of Langley received his fair share of criticism as well. There is a time and place for criticism and certainly for disagreement. This is what we do, right? Criticize. It can serve a purpose. It can be constructive. It can help manifest our beliefs and who we are as individuals. It can also reveal how capable we are of becoming small minded, self-righteous and even vindictive.
It’s so easy to sit on the sidelines and cast stones. I know this because I’ve been so adept at it myself. So as I think of this, I know the caution here is as much for myself as anyone.
Langley is unique. And not unlike many small towns, it holds a blend of aspirations. Small-mindedness does not have to be the mandate for a small town. It does not have to be participated in or condoned. It’s our choice.