A former public servant is looking to serve the public in an entirely new way: As a Langley Township councillor.
Rick Manuel, who retired last year as superintendent of critical care programs with the B.C. Ambulance Service, said he is running because “it’s time for an independent change.”
He said that running as an independent candidate “allows me to distance myself from the current crop of councillors and remain open to a wide range of ideas and input from citizens and council members alike.”
As a councillor, Manuel also hopes to put to good use his master’s degree in leadership.
“The Township is at an important crossroads in its future and increased diligence from a proven leader (as opposed to the current status quo) may assist in navigation through to viable solutions for the area’s issues,” continued Manuel.
Manuel has spent more than 35 years with provincial Crown agencies, and he also has experience as a business consultant, labour relations manager, human resources agent, coach, mentor, and institute teacher, which he said will prove useful as the Township approaches federal, provincial and municipal negotiations, as well as dealings with government entities such as TransLink.
“I have been fortunate to have a varied career which has produced valuable contacts, skills, and abilities in leadership and management within large public service entities. These assets could be very useful for the Township in terms of a position on council.
“Not unlike other residents in the area, I have concerns about lack of infrastructure, continuous spending and tax increases, lack of public transit, access and viability options for seniors, and the redundancy of City and Township,” said Manuel.
“Also appalling is our current dysfunctional council which has become a weekly newspaper cartoon and area of discontent for many residents.”
Manuel says he has deep-rooted values and beliefs that include teamwork, collaboration, mutual respect, and remaining open to alternative ideas.
“There is always another way of doing things, and such a perspective increases one’s integrity and reduces the occurrence of arrogance which has no place in public service,” he said.
Although he is running as an independent, Manuel has aligned himself with the political group of ‘anyone but the current council.’
He said he hopes that the new council that will sit after the Nov. 19 election “will work more co-operatively, with a focus on the future, as opposed to each other’s squabbles.”
Manuel lives in the Salmon River neighbourhood. He is a hobby farmer and gardener, diver, pilot and a member of Langley Harley Owners Group (HOG) and Langley Rod & Gun Association.
His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org; he can be contacted at 604-763-6941 and his website is www.rick.manuel.com.