As I am running for Langley City Council, the Langley Times sent a list of questions for me to answer. I’ve shared my answers to their questions in this post.
1- What is the most important issue facing the City, and how would you propose to deal with it?
The most important issue facing the City of Langley is revitalizing the community. I will work to revitalize and renew our streets; keeping them in a state of good repair. I will support investing in our sidewalks, ensuring they are safe and meet modern standards. I will work to make cycling safer for people who live in our community. Being heavily involved in promoting better transit for the region, on council I will tirelessly advocate for our community to receive its fair share of transit service. As a long-serving member of the City of Langley’s Parks and Environment Advisory Committee, I will continue to work to make our parks more inviting spaces.
In Downtown Langley, I will support improving the quality of the public realm. This means improving lighting, sidewalks, and the street. Simple things like installing more benches will make Downtown more accessible.
I will work to change sections of our zoning bylaws which make it expensive to redevelop in Downtown Langley. Our current zoning is limiting the economic potential and walkability of Downtown Langley.
I believe in the power of partnerships. I will work with the Downtown Langley Business Association, supporting cost-sharing initiatives that will help grow small business, which in turn will create a vibrant community and support a strong local economy.
The City has spent 4 to 10 million dollars annually in recent memory on overpasses and bridges. With these projects complete, I will work to shift this funding to help revitalize our community.
2- What is the best way to deal with the crime issues in the City?
Policing is the single largest expense for the City. In 2013, the City collected $21.8 million in property tax and spent $10.1 million on policing. Langley City has the highest ratio of police to residents in Metro Vancouver. Throwing more money at policing is not the solution and will only raise people’s tax bills.
Addressing the root cause of crime is key. Social programs are the responsibility of the provincial government. That being said, I believe in partnerships. I will work with the province and local non-profits to ensure that as a community we are addressing these complex issues.
Revitalizing our community is a key way to address crime. My plan to revitalize Downtown Langley and the surrounding areas will create safe and inviting spaces during the day and during the evening attracting more people to shop and enjoy Downtown Langley; crime likes to be hidden. More people choosing to shop and explore downtown Langley will improve safety in the area.
Growing a strong local economy creates opportunity in the community, as well. Giving people opportunities to succeed is what will help reduce crime.
3- Should the city apply most if not all of its annual take from the casino to upgrading its aging infrastructure, such as water and sewer lines?
There are various projects that the City must invest in. Dedicating most of the casino revenue to replacing aging water and sewer infrastructure will mean that little money will be available to improve our parks, streets, and Downtown.
Revitalizing Downtown Langley is key; developers pay money to the City whenever a new project is built. The City can do more to leverage current and future money received from developers to support replacing aging water and sewer infrastructure. I will work to make sure that developer dollars go further to keep our underground infrastructure in a state of good repair.
4- Do you support term limits for members of council?
Only the province can impose term limits on council; this would require a change to provincial law. As the province just completed a review of local government in BC, I don’t see term limits happening any time soon for councillors in BC.