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Green introduces seven running mates

Mayor Rick Green unveiled a group of seven running mates in the Nov. 19 election at an event on Tuesday at Murrayville Community Hall. The campaign launch drew a crowd of just over 200 people.
Langley Township mayor Rick Green will not be charged

When Mayor Rick Green held a campaign launch at Murrayville Community Hall in September, 2008, he attracted a crowd of about 50 people.

On election night a few months later, the number of supporters at his victory party numbered about half that. Clearly few had expected him to unseat the incumbent mayor, Kurt Alberts.

On Tuesday night, Green returned to Murrayville hall to unveil seven running mates in the Nov. 19 election, drawing a crowd of just over 200 people.

Not all were supporters. Sukhi Dhami, who recently asked for Green to step aside while a special prosecutor reviews the RCMP investigation into Green, was in the room, as was Green's only declared mayoral opponent, Jack Froese.

Green said his running mates are not a slate. As he introduced them, the candidates came up on the stage, slipped on jerseys with their surnames on the back and a letter on the front to spell 'LANGLEY!' They are running under the Vote Langley Now banner.

The seven are Tyler deBoer, operations manager for Jonkman Equipment; Tony Malyk, who owns and operates a distribution company; Dorothy McKim, executive director of Ishtar Transition Housing Society;  Ben Penner, an assistant deputy warden for B.C. Corrections Branch; Carla Robin, who has worked in land development, construction and property management for more than 30 years and is co-chair of Langley Horse Federation; Dave Stark, executive director of Langley Meals on Wheels, and Glen Tomblin, a self-employed businessman.

Stark declared his candidacy earlier this year.

After their speeches, the candidates each signed a declaration where they committed to:

* be honest and independent in decision making;

• work together with respect and integrity;

• be open and willing to consider new ideas, and

• bring back the democratic process to the Township.

Green and his Vote Langley Now running mates are hoping to defeat all the incumbents except one — Councillor Mel Kositsky.

Green said that the "Six Pack plus One" — incumbents Grant Ward, Charlie Fox, Bob Long, Steve Ferguson, Bev Dornan and Jordan Bateman, with Kim Richter the 'plus one,' caused him to "reach the point where I cannot sit back any more and watch what is happening to our hard working taxpayers and our community."

Kositsky, the longest-serving member of council, "deserves to be respected," Green said, as he does not attack Green when he disagrees with him.

Green and a majority of council have been at loggerheads since his election.

"It's been a very difficult first term," Green said, adding that most of the incumbents were resistant to change and co-operation, and six of them formed a coalition against him.

"This will be a watershed election," Green said. He called the Vote Langley Now candidates "a group of very independent residents . . . who will have their own individual platforms and individual belief systems."

Saying he has not enjoyed his first term as mayor, Green said, "I refuse to get into the ditch with anybody. I am taking the high road."