The race for mayor in the Township of Langley

With municipal elections a short week away, the race for mayor is becoming heated in many municipalities. In the Township of Langley, three people running for mayor: the incumbent Jack Froese, Rick Green and Serena Oh.

Froese has been in office since 2011 and has lived in Langley for 35 years. He and his family own and operate a turkey farm. Green, is the former mayor of the Township of Langley and lost to Froese in 2011. Oh, a former realtor, lived in Burnaby for 29 years before moving to the Township of Langley.

What one resident thinks

Katie Rempel is resident of Fort Langley.

What are some of your thoughts on the current mayor?

“I fully support Mayor Froese and intend to vote for him again in this election, as I did in the last. I have attended council meetings and I have had many opportunities to listen to the mayor speak and I find him to be respectable and intelligent with a strong mind for leadership. He gets involved and keeps well informed of the unique concerns within the community.”

Do you know much about the other candidates? If so, what are some things they seem to stand for?

“My husband and I are constantly involved in debates via social media and at community events. We have had a chance to talk one-on-one with several of the council candidates and have researched others. I believe that in order to get a good feel for a candidate, you need to see what they do for and within their community. Mayor Froese, Angie Quaale, Charlie Fox, Bev Dornan and Blair Whitmarsh are all great examples of this, all of them having donated ample time and money to many causes important within our community.”

What are your thoughts on former mayor Rick Green?

“I think if you take a look into the time Rick Green spent as mayor, as well as his current conduct in this election, anyone can see how unsuitable the man is for leadership. Rick Green’s term was disastrous for Langley, and another term served would do even more damage to our community.”

Your family owns a small business. Which candidate do you think is best for owners of small businesses and what they will do to support them?

“Mayor Jack Froese, being a local farmer and business owner, understands the importance of supporting businesses within our community. He wants to see local businesses thriving, and he actively gets involved and gets to know business owners and their families. He encourages the community to support local businesses, and involves small businesses in the many charitable events that him and his family participate in.”

What the candidates said in the debates

The first issue is the rapid growth of the Willoughby region of the township and the lack of schools in the region.

Green: “I am not anti-development, I am pro-community. My feeling is as of right now, we are out of control with development in Willoughby. We have to go take a step back, a deep breath. We need a community planning process. We have got to deal with the infrastructure shortfall in Willoughby.”

Oh: “There are no schools. Better transportation is a must. Especially Willoughby needs the transportation the most but there are no buses in the area. In the meantime, I suppose the solution is to change the bus route.”

Froese: “We need to manage the growth. Willoughby is a growing, thriving community. Sure, it’s not complete yet. But when there is change, comes disruption. Of course, people are concerned about the new schools and the infrastructure. But over the last three years, three new schools have been built in the Willoughby area, bringing 1,760 students to their desks. To slow or stop growth doesn’t do anything to continue building our community.”

The candidates talked about why they are running for mayor.

Oh: “The problems are not only development problems, but also the lack of firefighters and police. But those kind of problems can be solved.”

Froese: “I really love Langley. I wanted to bring responsible leadership to Langley. I felt that a leader, a mayor should respect council and the will of council, and work toward decision-making that helps the community.”

Green: “I am running because I have been urged by residents over the last two or three years to get back into the mayor’s chair. I am frustrated and really quite upset over the last two years over the number of issues raised. But this council has not been listening to or hearing the residents.”

On the issue of transportation and if the township should increase taxes for better transit:

Green: “No, there should be no additional costs to residents of the Township of Langley until we receive an adequate service by Translink. Currently, we are not receiving anything close to what we are submitting in tax dollars (property and gas taxes).” *

Oh: “No” *

Froese: “No.” *

*Answers provided by the Langley Advance.

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