Langley City Mayor Nathan Pachal began his term of office on Monday, Nov. 7, by obtaining unanimous approval for a return to in-person meetings.
Pachal said the switch from virtual meetings would be delayed until January 1, because the council chambers will be used by the Langley Christmas Bureau.
“It’s really important that we collaborate face to face,” Pachal commented.
Senior Provincial Court Judge Gary Cohen conducted the swearing-in of the 40th Langley City council, administering the oath of office to Pachal, three returning councillors, Paul Albrecht, Rosemary Wallace, and Teri James, and three first-time councillors, Leith White, Mike Solyom and Delaney Mack.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Pachal told the meeting.
“It’s exciting, but it’s also intimidating.”
In a post-ceremony interview, the mayor cited community safety, housing, preparing for Skytrain, and homelessness among top issues for the incoming council.
“I think the team of people that we have are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work,” Pachal commented.
The ceremony was live-streamed to the Langley City video channel.
Councillors sounded similar notes about working together in their remarks after they took their seats at the council table.
Leith White said he was “humbled and empowered by the expression of trust” from voters.
White, a pastor, concluded with a prayer to help the council be people “who help and make peace.”
Paul Albrecht viewed the future as “very exciting,” adding “I’m committed to making this team work.”
Rosemary Wallace called her election “an honour,” and referred to the challenges lying ahead, saying “there is yet so much to be done.”
Delaney Mack promised to “work hard for my community, saying “I look forward to working with you all.”
Teri James was “encouraged by what I’m hearing [from other councillors tonight]. Clearly, we’re all on the same page,”adding “my phone is always on and my door is always open.”
Mike Solyom said it was an “honour to be here tonight,” and thanked Pachal for encouraging him to run.
Nathan Pachal’s spouse, Dr. Rob Bittner, presented the new mayor with his chain of office.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to walk alongside Nathan in this new political journey,” Bittner said.
Council unanimously voted to appoint Councillor Paul Albrecht as the City representative on the Metro Vancouver Board of directors, a position that is usually held by mayors.
Pachal, who recommended the Albrecht appointment, said the councillor’s experience as a staffer with the Township of Largely made him a good choice. Coun. Rosemary Wallace was named alternate.
Former City mayors Ted Schaffer, Peter Fassbender and Joe Lopushinsky attended the swearing in ceremony, as did former councillor Rudy Storteboom, who lost his re-election bid.
Defeated incumbent mayor Val van den Broek could be seen speaking to some guests before the ceremony, but did not stay.
More photos from the day can be viewed on the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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