Mike Solyom is running for a councillor’s position with the City of Langley. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Mike Solyom is running for a councillor’s position with the City of Langley. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

MEET THE CANDIDATES

IN THE CITY’S COUNCIL RACE: Mike Solyom

Ahead of Oct. 15, the Advance Times offers a profile and Q&A opportunity to each candidate

Mike Solyom

Economics instructor, age 38

Uplands area resident who’s lived in Langley 18 years

I live in Langley City with my wife and two young children.

I hold a masters in economics from the University of Toronto, and teach in Douglas College’s faculty of commerce and business administration.

I will use my expertise in cost-benefit analysis to ensure your tax dollars are always being put to their best use.

With SkyTrain coming, that means preparing the City for the challenges it will bring: by making public safety a priority, by attracting the right businesses to our downtown core with modern mixed-use zoning, all while making sure no one is left behind as our City changes.

I am ready to work with the mayor and others on council to lay down the foundation for the future of Langley City.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MikeForLangleyCity

Twitter: @ForLangley

Website: www.solyom.ca

Instagram: @mikeforlangleycity

Phone: 778-389-4005

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Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No.

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CLICK TO CHECK OUT OUR FULL ELECTION GUIDE ONLINE

Questions:

(These answers are presented as the candidates submitted them)

1. Should Langley City have its own, separate RCMP detachment?

No. But this answer depends on the cost of implementing it. Sharing resources with Langley Township does have some benefit when it comes to cost-savings.

2. Should the City create a performing arts venue within the next council term?

Yes. The Casino had a 420-seat venue that was closed back in 2017. I think re-opening this could be of value. If that location is no longer feasible, another central location could work.

3. Does the City need more overpasses to reduce train-caused traffic delays?

No. Once SkyTrain is functional, Langley should study if there is a need.

4. Should the City set targets for the creation of more low-income and seniors rental spaces, social housing units, and/or co-op development to improve home security?

Yes. New high-density developments should have a minimum number of below-market rental units made available as a condition for rezoning.

5. Are City taxes too high?

No. I would need suggestions as to what services to cut in order to justify a tax reduction.

6. Is the City’s population growing too fast?

No. Although I expect it to increase dramatically once SkyTrain begins service. We need to plan accordingly for the increase in Demand for housing in the area of the terminus station (near where Gabby’s used to be). With an appropriate plan, the City will benefit from this transformative change to our infrastructure—but we need to begin the process now. We only have one chance to get this right.

7. Should the City institute pay parking in some downtown areas?

No. Once SkyTrain begins service my thoughts on this may change.

8. Will the arrival of SkyTrain change Langley City for the better?

Yes. I work in New Westminster – on the SkyTrain line – so I plan to take it every day, once it is operational.

One of the reasons I’m running is to ensure that this project is implemented right.

I don’t want, in six years, to find it more convenient somehow to continue commuting by car.

We’ve got to make the area around it welcoming, easy to get to, and safe.

We’ve learned a lot in the past 30 years about how to build a terminus station and have the area around it thrive.

In addition, the SkyTrain won’t only serve the people of Langley getting to work and school, it should also attract workers to Langley.

I want to make sure that new businesses feel confident that they can open and succeed in our downtown core. To do this, I want to implement the kind of walkable, mixed-use zoning any top-tier city would hope for to achieve its goal of being “the place to be.”

9. Can municipal staff and council do more to attract new green and high-tech businesses to open in Langley City?

Yes. We’ll need to do our best to make sure the Lower Mainland knows that Langley City will soon have the infrastructure to bring high-paying, high-quality jobs into our downtown core. The changes that are coming to Langley City are transformative—we need to make sure we’re growing the right way over the next 6 years to get on, and stay on, the right path moving forward.

10. Does the City have a handle on the problems created by homelessness?

No. The division of responsibilities between Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Governments makes it difficult to coordinate the activities needed to alleviate the homelessness crisis. In talking to current councillors, the sense I get is that improving outcomes is possible if we can the resources available to be deployed in a more strategic manner, with some minimum level of oversight that we might be able to, as a city, provide on the ground. At the same time, we should do what we can as a municipality to keep rents in Langley affordable, so that this crisis doesn’t worsen further.

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CLICK ON OUR ELECTIONS 2022 TAB TO FIND A WIDE VARIETY OF RELEVANT STORIES

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

How the questions were presented to each candidate

Langley Advance Times readers have repeatedly told us how much they value this important, straight-forward reference guide that helps orient them with the range of choices on the ballots – both at the council and school board levels.

Towards that end, we have attempted to make this package available (along with the following instructions) to each of the candidates in a timely fashion ahead of the Oct. 15 election.

Please read carefully before you start to fill this out.

To help voters in Langley make their choices on election day, the Langley Advance Times is asking local candidates 10 issue-based questions.

You must provide a ‘yes,’ a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y, N, D) response to EACH of these questions.

Each question MUST be answered with yes (Y), no (N), or Don’t Know (D). This will be published in a grid in the Oct. 6 edition. Any questions not answered will be LEFT BLANK.

Candidates may also expand on ANY OR ALL of these questions (to a maximum of 200 words each). Please note any responses longer than that will be cut off at the 201-word mark.

Due to space limitations, we can only guarantee to run one of these answers in the Langley Advance Times print edition ahead of the election. You must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you do not specify, we will choose. Any and all expanded answers provided will be published online at www.langleyadvancetimes.com.

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