Misty vanPopta has announced that she is running for Langley Township council.
“It's time to make Langley a more business friendly community, and it's time to plan for safer neighbourhoods.” says vanPopta. “We live in the best town in the Lower Mainland. I've lived here my whole life — first in Brookswood, then Murrayville, built a home in Willoughby, and now live in Fort Langley with my husband Tim and our two daughters.”
She is campaigning for specific things that are important to Langley.
“Everyone knows that the councillors and the mayor don't get along. That's an easy topic to campaign on. But I've decided to campaign for something — for better, safer parks, and sports facilities, for things like traffic-calmed neighbourhoods.”
Having recently opened a bike shop in Fort Langley, she has seen firsthand the challenges that come with too much red tape.
“We have an opportunity in Langley to expand our business sector and to hire more local employees. Township small businesses pay 14 per cent more tax than businesses in Surrey. In many cases, this means money goes to high taxes, instead of adding a new part-time employee.”
“It cost almost $1,000 to put up a 4X6 sign on our store. Half of that goes to fees — $400 for someone to tell me how many screws to put in the sign, and about $100 for a licence — for a sign on a store. While I understand the need for safety, these types of policies need to be balanced against the needs to spur the economy with new business opportunities from top quality employers and to create jobs.”
Making Langley more business-friendly will bring more business to the community, increasing tax revenues and creating local jobs. This tax revenue can then be used in tax savings for residents, she says.
She believes Langley needs to focus on planning liveable and sustainable communities. She cites 208 Street and the almost constant gridlock throughout the day.
"We haven't invested in widening the road and enhancing the intersections. That community plan has been in place for over 10 years — surely we can plan ahead better for the fastest growing parts of our town."
In the area of property taxes, vanPopta thinks it will be hard to keep to a 0-0-0 increase as proposed by the sitting mayor and some of the members of his Vote Langley Now group.
“A more realistic approach is to keep any tax increases in line with inflation, while taking a hard look at expenses to be sure we're maximizing the value the township delivers to citizens of Langley.”
She is a member of the Fort Langley BIA marketing committee, with a focus on promoting Fort Langley as a great shopping, dining and service district. She also just finished a term as director on the board of the Langley Christian School Society. She is also a long-time professional in the technology field, working for a software firm in Burnaby.
She can be reached at 604-534-6002 or @mistyvanPopta on Twitter or follow her on Facebook.