Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek (left) and Coun. Teri James were at odds over the mayor’s recent gala fundraiser. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley City mayor and council clash over gala

Staff to investigate if winter wonderland-themed event breached City policy

A motion directing Langley City staff to review a weekend fundraising gala by Mayor Val van den Broek passed unanimously Monday, with the mayor calling it petty, while Coun. Teri James –the one who raised the matter – describing it as an issue of accountability.

James said the winter wonderland-themed event, held on Saturday, Jan. 25, was not endorsed by the City, as required under a “branding” policy adopted by the municipality.

“The use of the term, Langley City mayor’s gala, the City coat of arms, and the RCMP coat of arms was used in advertising, which suggests the event was an official City event,” James told council.

James’ motion called on staff to report on liability to Langley City in using the identifiers on advertising materials for a non-City event. She also asked for a financial report outlining all materials and in-kind costs to Langley City associated with the mayor’s gala – including RCMP costs.

Coun. Rudy Storteboom, who attended the gala, seconded the motion.

“It was a fun party, but council didn’t even really know about it until it was in the bag,” Storteboom explained.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley City Mayor’s gala raises thousands for LMH

READ MORE: Langley City Mayor’s inaugural Winter Wonderland Charity Gala is sold out

“I am the mayor and I had a mayor’s gala,” van den Broek commented.

“So I apologize if I offended anyone.”

Council was informed in advance about the event, van den Broek insisted.

“I offered them the opportunity to volunteer and come on board,” van den Broek recounted.

“I find this absolutely petty,” the mayor added during Monday’s meeting.

“I’m sorry that it has come to this.”

Coun. Rosemary Wallace suggested the mayor could hold another gala, without using the City crest.

“I hope in going forward, we can just do everything how it should be done,” Wallace said.

Van den Broek then called the vote and raised her hand with the rest of council.

“I’m in favour of it as well,” van den Broek said.

After the meeting, James said the motion wasn’t personal, and was written by a majority of council.

“All but two,” James said, but declined to give names.

James said she raised the question of using the City coat of arms several weeks before the gala, in an email to the mayor.

“You can’t just do anything you want because you have a title,” James told the Langley Advance Times.

“This is about accountability.”

Following the vote, van den Broek said she did, in error, use a city crest in an ad thanking people for making the gala happen.

She said she found out it wasn’t allowed too late, so she is planning to run an apology advertisement.

“I get their point,” van den Broek commented.

As for concerns about costs, “I didn’t use any staff resources,” the mayor declared.

“It was all volunteer.”



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langley CityPolitics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley chamber goes online for vitual conference

A meeting about HR and the coronavirus will be held via Zoom

WEATHER: Environment Canada forecasts snow for Langley

Wednesday will see mostly sun and cloud

MP Tamara Jansen to donate pay raise to Surrey-based charity

Members of Parliament to receive legislated pay raise Wednesday, April 1

Doorstep donation pick-up in Aldergrove seeks to quell food bank’s short supply

Early April initiative allows locals to do good while in self-isolation, thanks to Jodi Steeves

Aldergrove athlete now able to play as himself in favourite childhood video game

Joel Waterman was inducted into the popular FIFA 20 franchise in January

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Catalytic converters stolen from ambulances being repaired in Delta

The thefts were reported on March 31, and police say they have no suspects at this time

B.C. teen donating stem cells for brother’s second fight with cancer

Chilliwack’s Fleming family appealing to the public to look into stem cell donation

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read