Candidates running for the office of mayor and councillor seats were invited to Langley Senior Resources Society (LSRS) on Wednesday afternoon ahead of elections in Langley City.
All 16 candidates were present to share their thoughts with a key demographic – seniors, who asked questions on crime, housing, SkyTrain expansion, and more.
The event started with a two-minute introduction, and almost all candidates talked about their connections with the community, their professional backgrounds, and how it was for them to raise their families here. Many shared their election agendas in their individual speeches.
Hosted by LSRS in partnership with Langley Seniors in Action, the meeting used a format that included candidates spending time with a group of about five people at a time in a round-table-like setting.
Each group had the opportunity to interact with two candidates at a time.
There were about eight groups, and candidates switched tables after spending about five minutes at each station. Many questions were centered around SkyTrain expansion, safety, road accessibility, and the rising cost of living.
Incumbent councillor Nathan Pachal, who is running for mayor, said if elected, he would focus on increasing affordable housing and reducing homelessness.
Incumbent mayor Val van den Broek said her experience as a corrections officer would help her improve public safety in the community. Councillor and candidate Paul Albrecht spoke about his commitment to providing housing options and ensuring adequate staffing ahead of SkyTrain expansions.
Running for a seat on the council, Shelley Coburn wants to work towards “better representation of people living in Langley.”
Gurjit Dhillon promised more bike lanes and community gardens. Affordability, homelessness, an expanding transit infrastructure, and a “growing population,” were top issues for Jeff Jacobs.
“Our city needs someone that genuinely listens, works with the public, staff and council, as well as the provincial and federal government,” he said.
Running for re-election for Langley City council, Teri James said she wants to address “more challenging problems” of homelessness, increased drug overdoses, and increased crime.
Delaney Mack’s concerns revolved around affordability, safety, and development.
“We need development and growth that’s conscious of businesses and community needs,” she said.
Incumbent councillor Gayle Martin also expressed similar concerns and added that she wants to ensure “exceptional value” to the public’s tax dollars.
Cherise Okeymow promised her commitment to youth initiatives and “strong” advocacy for the transit system.
Public safety is a priority for Mike Solyom, who added that he wants to attract more businesses to the downtown core.
David Stingl addressed the seniors group by promising more facilities and reduced crime rates.
Incumbent councillor Rosemary Wallace, who is seeking re-election, wants to make Langley an inclusive, welcoming, and equitable place to live, work and recreate.
Like most candidates, Leith White, too, brought up the issue of homelessness.
“I want a safe community and relevant social supports,” the candidate said.
Have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.