‘No conflict of interest for Coun. Ashlie’

Objections smack of sour grapes by defeated NDP types

Editor, The News:

Re: Taxpayers footing bill for both positions (Letters, Aug. 2).

I fail to see how Cheryl Ashlie’s acceptance of a part-time position as an assistant to newly-elected MLA Doug Bing is improper.

Ashlie’s positions are dissimilar and do not conflict with one another. As an elected municipal councillor, Ashlie has no direct influence on provincial government policy.

Her new job as an assistant in an MLA’s constituency office is not an elected position, so she will have no power or influence over policy whatsoever in that capacity. So where is the conflict of interest? There is none.

Her critics suggest Ashlie’s loyalties will be divided. This spurious argument says more about her detractors, who seem to view local government as little more than a soapbox for criticizing the provincial government.

Having spent most of my life in Burnaby, I have no patience with municipal councils that spend inordinate time discussing issues that aren’t even under their jurisdiction.

As for accusations Ashlie is double-dipping, let’s get real.

The job of councillor in Maple Ridge is part-time and council sessions are held in the evening. Historically, many councillors have successfully juggled their council duties with full-time jobs.

Ashlie’s two positions are, at most, equivalent to one full-time job. To say she is swilling at the public trough is to call anyone who collects a taxpayer-funded paycheck a pig.

Frankly, I smell sour grapes over the NDP’s epic failure in the last provincial election.

Kirk Brown

Maple Ridge

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