Outgoing Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese said he didn’t try to predict the results of the Oct. 15 elections, which saw Eric Woodward win the mayor’s seat, along with some major changes to the council.
“There’s always a bit of surprise in elections,” Froese said.
Froese announced earlier this year he would step down and not seek re-election, after three terms in office and 11 years total as mayor.
“People are looking for change,” said Froese, who first won election in the 2011 contest against incumbent mayor Rick Green and longtime councillor Mel Kositsky.
One of the things Froese noticed about this election was that plenty of people seemed to be speaking up about how they didn’t want slates in local politics, but when it came time to vote, a lot of votes went to slates – both Eric Woodward’s Contract with Langley, which now holds the mayor’s chair and five council seats, as well as Rich Coleman’s Elevate Langley group.
“It was interesting to see the change in the voting pattern of Langley residents,” said Froese.
He noted there has been a big demographic change in Langley over the past decade, with thousands of new residents arriving and neighbourhoods in Willoughby booming.
Of the new mayor, Froese said Woodward ran a good campaign, and wished him the best on taking up the job.
“It’s challenging, but it’s also rewarding,” Froese said.
He said he plans to remain involved in the community after he leaves office.
During his term in office, Langley saw a number of major road and infrastructure projects completed, as well as the long and complicated process of creating a new official community plan for Brookswood and Fernridge. Councils under Froese approved the first planned residential high-rises for Langley, and gave the go-ahead to Creek Stone Place, a supported living facility for people getting off the streets.
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