Langley Township mayor-elect Jack Froese and his wife Debbie greet supporters at the Fort Langley Golf Course on Saturday night after Froese learned of his victory at the polls. The Otter-area turkey farmer defeated incumbent mayor Rick Green and challenger Mel Kositsky. More coverage

Langley Township mayor-elect Jack Froese and his wife Debbie greet supporters at the Fort Langley Golf Course on Saturday night after Froese learned of his victory at the polls. The Otter-area turkey farmer defeated incumbent mayor Rick Green and challenger Mel Kositsky. More coverage

Turkey farmer gobbles up votes in Township

Newcomer Jack Froese is mayor; incumbent councillor Mel Kositsky loses gamble, finishes second

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

 

Complete results:

Mayor:

Jack Froese        7706

Mel Kositsky        6522

Rick Green        4466

 

Township Council:

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

 

Not Elected:

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

 

School Trustees:

Wendy Johnson    8925 (inc)

Alison McVeigh    7346 (inc)

Cecelia Reekie    7096 (inc)

Rod Ross        6587 (inc)

Megan Dykeman    6264

 

Not Elected:

John McKendry     6160

Kari Medos        4733

Kirsten Schaffer-Charlesworth    4479

Brian Leonard    3399

Pamala-Rose Combs     2941

Douglas Smuland    2319