Former Langley Township councillor Mel Kositsky will be contesting the Nov. 15 election as an independent candidate for councillor.
He ran for mayor in 2011, placing second to winning candidate Jack Froese.
Kositsky, a member of Township council for 18 years from 1993-2011 and dedicated community volunteer, says this election is a turning point for local governments in B.C., with the clear message from other levels of governments that there are limited resources coming in the future.
“Doing more with less is a priority as Langley residents have reached the boiling point when it comes to taxation levels, user fees and tolls. An updated long-term financial plan will be required based on today’s economic conditions and expectations,” said Kositsky.
The key issue facing Langley Township is “managing growth” and the related problems that come with it such as transportation issues and keeping Langley a safe community. He says more crime prevention initiatives are needed to reduce the increasing costs of enforcement.
“Langley Township has a unique and high quality of life which attracts more and more people who want to come live here. It is affordable, has plenty of green space with its parks and agricultural zones, and has attractive recreational facilities. Proper planning that promotes sustainability and preserves the uniqueness of our various communities is much needed. But we still have to accept change. As one of my political mentors once said: you can’t stop progress, the role of council is to guide it.”
A long-time Township resident, Kositsky says he brings a positive attitude and level-headed approach to municipal government with his years of experience, training, community involvement and communication skills.
“There was much too much confrontation and too many expensive legal battles during the past term. This cannot continue. I can bring to the council table proven leadership and people skills as a trained listener. My style of leadership is to bring people together and get things done.”
Kositsky is the only Langley politician ever inducted into the Roll of Honour of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (2012). He was elected by his peers in local government to serve on the executives of the Union of B.C. Municipalities and the FCM board of directors. He also received an Honourary Lifetime Membership to the Lower Mainland Local Government Association for his volunteer work on that executive board and one term as president. In 2012, he was presented with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to community and local governments in Canada and internationally.
He also served on the board of directors of Metro Vancouver and was a member of its parks committee for many years. He continues to be on the board of the Pacific Parklands Foundation and is a past board member of the BC Recreation and Parks Association.
He had a career in media, mainly as a newspaper reporter and columnist in both Alberta and B.C. and is a past editor of The Times. He currently does freelance writing for publications geared to seniors. He also sits as a commissioner on the BC Housing Management Commission.