Langley Township Mayor Rick Green has been defeated at the polls by newcomer Jack Froese.
Green, who ousted incumbent mayor Kurt Alberts in 2008, finished third, while incumbent councillor Mel Kositsky came in second.
The close of polling drew only 50 people to the Township council chambers to watch the results from the 15 polls, but after the results of the advance and special polls were announced, the race for mayor had already been won. Froese led in these, and in the first two polls reporting. Kositsky was in second place, and Green in third all the way.
“I’m feeling great, we ran a good campaign and we had a great team,” said Froese, surrounded by an estimated 200 supporters at the Fort Langley Golf Course.
“At the beginning of the campaign I said there are two things we wanted to do: have fun and win, and we did it. I’m really proud of my team and I’m proud of Langley, and we’re going to move this Township forward.”
As he conceded defeat to his Vote Langley Now campaign team and fellow candidates, gathered inside Milner Chapel, Green said that despite having gone through, “probably the worst three years of my life,” he remained “a very happy and content individual.
“I did it with a lot of pride. I stood up for this community and gave back,” he said.
“We won some big battles, we stepped on some big toes. But it turns out, they had a lot more power than we thought they had.
“I’m a happy guy, but I’m not happy for the Township,” Green said, adding the comment was “not sour grapes.”
In the context of his daughter’s illness and having been told by doctors at one point that she would likely die, Green called his defeat “a piece of cake.”
Councillor Grant Ward, the incumbent councillor who locked horns with Green during the entire term, commented that Green “dug his own grave.”
Throughout the term under Green, Kositsky, who served 18 consecutive years on council, distanced himself from personal attacks on Green, and as the final result came in, he accepted defeat with grace.
“I wanted to be mayor, and came back from the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) convention in June and decided that it was time to run for mayor. I was working at it since then.”
Kositsky said he has become a local government specialist, and will use that talent wisely for the next chapter in his life.
“There are many opportunities,” he said, adding he had no regrets about taking a gamble.
“You have to put your name on the ballot to win to be mayor. You can’t sit back and wait.”
Kositsky had praise for his campaign team, many of whom had never met before it started.
Kositsky wished the winner well, calling Froese “a good community volunteer.”
Froese has a learning curve to face in local government and Kositsky said he is confident that he will do well.
The two new councillors, Michelle Sparrow and David Davis, are excited about the new challenge ahead of them. Both told The Times on Sunday, at the annual Douglas Day event, that their winning campaigns were the resuilt of a lot of effort, and they look forward to being part of council.
At his own celebration in Langley City, Mayor Peter Fassbender acknowledged the close link between the Langleys, noting “the City is part of a bigger community with the Township.”
“It’s about working together as a team, it’s not a one-man show.”
Voter turnout in the municipal election was only marginally higher than the average since 1978.
Township figures show that turnout was 25.9 percent, compared to the average of 25.8 over the past 33 years; 18,864 people voted.
Both numbers are down significantly from the record 42.3 per cent who voted in 1996.
— with files from Brenda Anderson, Miranda Gathercole and Frank Bucholtz
Jack Froese 7706
Mel Kositsky 6522
Rick Green 4466
Charlie Fox 7973 (inc)
Kim Richter 7903 (inc)
Michelle Sparrow 7792
Bob Long 7470 (inc)
Steve Ferguson 6988 (inc)
Bev Dornan 6580 (inc)
Grant Ward 5945 (inc)
David Davis 5644
Dan Sheel 5250
Rebecca Darnell 4850
Petrina Arnason 4577
Sonya Paterson 4298
Dave Stark 4220
Glen Tomblin 4045
Ben Penner 4025
Bert Chen 3908
Misty VanPopta 3846
Carla Robin 3797
Tyler DeBoer 3678
Dorothy McKim 3536
Tony Malyk 3521
Wayne Crossen 2415
Murray Jones 2277
Carey Poitras 2158
Rick Manuel 1821
Terry Sheldon 834
Clive Rippingale 786
Wendy Johnson 8925 (inc)
Alison McVeigh 7346 (inc)
Cecelia Reekie 7096 (inc)
Rod Ross 6587 (inc)
Megan Dykeman 6264
John McKendry 6160
Kari Medos 4733
Kirsten Schaffer-Charlesworth 4479
Brian Leonard 3399
Pamala-Rose Combs 2941
Douglas Smuland 2319