Moderator Scott Kristjanson introduces candidates at the second of two debates before White Rock’s Nov. 15 vote.

LETTERS: Post-vote critique doesn’t add up

Editor:

Re: Elections aftermath; What to do with school boards?; Little to distinguish candidates; Baldwin voted back in.

Editor:

Re: Elections aftermath, Nov. 20 letters.

As much as I admire Dennis Lypka’s run for White Rock council, I feel obliged to point out the apparently genuine but really illogical argument he laid out in his letter to the editor.

He correctly states that “the total number of votes given to Mayor Wayne Baldwin and the six coalition candidates were less than the total number given to the 12 independent candidates.” For the record, Baldwin and the White Rock Coalition received 15,459 votes. The ‘independent’ candidates received 15,547 votes.

Hence, his assertion is correct by a mere 88 votes.

However, this numerical fact is completely irrelevant and has no intrinsic value. He used a false premise to draw the conclusion that the majority voted for candidates other than Baldwin and the White Rock Coalition. This is impossible to determine.

His contention would only be true if voters were allowed to choose just one candidate – like in a federal or provincial election – but, in fact, voters were allowed to choose up to six candidates.

Lypka’s logic also assumes that voters chose candidates exclusively from either the coalition group or from the independents. He cannot know this either, unless he was able to scrutinize the ballots themselves. Perhaps there were many voters, like me, who chose candidates from both the coalition group and the independents.

Lypka then states, based on his false premise, that Baldwin and the four coalition councillors-elect should “duly consider the interest of the majority.”

One would be absolutely right in saying that the majority of voters did clearly choose Baldwin, since there were only two candidates in the race for mayor – by a ratio of nearly 2:1.

As for the newly elected council members, the only valid conclusion one can draw from the vote count is that the first six ‘past the post’ candidates won and, therefore, will become White Rock councillors on Dec. 1.

H. Newman, White Rock

Educational commentary

Editor:

Re: What to do with school boards?, Nov. 18 column; Little to distinguish candidates, Nov. 18 letters.

Well done, columnist Tom Fletcher, for calling attention to, if not actually belling, this perfidious cat.

And kudos also to letter-writer Diane Salter for pointing out the lack of availability of any meaningful personal information on candidates in the recent election.

Yes, by all means let’s get rid of school boards altogether. Was there even one Surrey school board candidate who was not a teacher, retired teacher or a CUPE representative? One winning candidate even identified his occupation – in the pre-election questionnaires published in PAN (Nov. 11) – as a trustee, whereas his real job, according to his own website, is president of local CUPE 379, which represents school support staff. Electing foxes to guard the chicken coop does not seem very wise!

Virtually all candidates professed to love kids and demanded more funds from the province – that is, from the pockets of the same voters they were wooing– to reduce class size, etc. Not one recommended squeezing more out of current resources or improving accountability and performance on the part of teachers.

And remind me again, what exactly does a school trustee do to earn his/her $30,000-plus annual stipend? Are they empowered to do anything remotely useful?

Please, Premier Christy Clark, let’s put an end to this wasteful charade.

Chris Hodgson, Surrey

‘Sky is falling’ rhetoric failed

Editor:

Re: Baldwin voted back in, Nov. 18.

It should be a big relief to most White Rock citizens that the ‘slash-and-burn’ group of election candidates did not succeed in the recent White Rock election.

For another four years, at least, we will continue to receive first-class service from both the White Rock Fire Department and the RCMP detachment, as well as from the city itself.

Where else does the fire department arrive anywhere in the city within a few minutes of being called? I know many White Rock citizens who have benefited from their rapid responses. The same applies to the “no-call-too-small” approach to policing, which is a great benefit in an city with a relatively vulnerable population.

After a nearby break-in, the RCMP came to our house to warn, reassure, and to advise us, indicating they patrol areas of White Rock on a routine basis. This would not happen in Surrey where, according to recent reports and complaints, the level of policing is not adequate. Pay low taxes, get low service. Simple as that.

I, for one, am glad to pay my taxes to ensure that such services continue.

Similarly, for the upkeep of the city to keep it looking attractive, and a place where people will want to live and visit. Consequently, expenditures for such services do constitute reckless overspending as was being claimed by many of the election candidates.

I shudder to think what mess the slashing of taxes would have created. Fortunately, thoughtful and responsible citizen-based democracy prevailed, and the ‘sky is falling’ rhetoric failed.

Keith Knightson, White Rock

 

 

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