It takes more than one to approve a project

Editor, The News:

Bending is not breaking rules. (Letters, July 20).

Coun. Al Hogarth should be applauded for his long-standing commitment and service to our community.

While serving multiple terms on council, he has provided a level of expertise and knowledge that the District of Maple Ridge could not begin to hire for the salary a council member is paid.

L.A. Graves stated that “realtors should not be allowed to act as politicians in their local community.”

Mr. Hogarth was a realtor long before he was elected to council and in all likelihood his political life costs him far more monetarily than it will ever earn him.

Did it occur to anyone that perhaps Mr. Hogarth was hired to market the Urban Green project because the developer felt his expertise and experience as a realtor would provide the project its best opportunity of success?

I am at a loss as to how Mr. Hogarth’s support of this project, through the municipal approval process, can be construed as a conflict of interest. The council decision to approve this project was made long before his involvement and obviously he was not the only member of council to vote their support. After all, it does take a majority vote to gain council approval.

Mr. Hogarth’s chosen profession is real estate. How can we, as a community, ask him not to perform the very function that provides a living for him and his family?

Operating a successful real estate business is time consuming enough, add the time commitment that accompanies his role as councillor and it is far beyond what most of us are capable of.

Joel Lycan

Maple Ridge