Monday, October 24, 2011

Langley Municipal Election - Peter Fassbender

As part of our 2011 municipal election coverage, we sent out a questionnaire to all the mayoral candidates running in the City and Township of Langley. We will post the responses in the order they are received. Today we will be posting the reply for City of Langley mayoral candidate and incumbent Peter Fassbender.

Tell me a little bit about yourself
My wife and I have lived in Langley City for over 35 years now and raised our two sons here and now have three Grandsons who all live in the City of Langley. Prior to running for Council 9 years ago I had a successful business career in the Advertising/Communications field. I was one of the partners in one of Canada’s most successful Advertising/Communications firms. Aside from my role on Council over the years I served as a Trustee on the Board of Education for two terms and have served on a number of other committees and volunteer groups. In the past I have served on Parks and recreation, Advisory Planning, Board of variance to name only a few. I also have been active on a number of other committees Provincially, Nationally and Internationally.

What got you interested in politics and local government?
Ever since we moved to Langley over 38 years ago I have always volunteered and served the community in many ways. Additionally I served in a number of other capacities such as a director and then President of Sport BC, the Canadian Sport federation and the COA. As such I was fortunate to be able to contribute in a variety of ways and in a number of positions. As a result people in the Community saw that I was willing to step up and be a contributor. These opportunities also helped me understand “public Service” and what that really meant. People noticed my commitment and then approached me to consider running for elected office starting as a School Trustee and then eventually City Council. I also ran for Municipal Council in the 70's but was not successful at that time. I have always been interested in the political process and worked to help make it work!

Why did you decided to run for mayor this election?
Having served for nine years on Council, six as Mayor, I believe I have demonstrated my desire to contribute to the community. I have shown a strong work ethic and have been actively engaged in every aspect of our community and the Region.

What are your priorities for the next council if you are elected?
To continue to build upon our Community Master Plan, work on Crime Reduction Strategies. Transportation for our community and our Region.

What are your unique skills that would be valuable on Council?
I think I have clearly demonstrated that I have a strong work ethic, management skills, consensus building to name only a few. I have an will continue to have an “Open Door” policy. Most importantly I believe I have proven that I have the best interests of all our Taxpayers and citizens in mind. I am not afraid to make decisions that I truly believe are based on the needs of the whole community.

What is do you think is/would be the most challenging aspect for you sitting on Council?
There is no one challenge that sticks out more than others. The role of Mayor is to work with Council and staff to make well thought out decisions that balance all the needs of the community.

Why should somebody vote for you over the other candidates?
I think they should look at my record and determine for themselves if I not only talk the talk but walk the walk.

What do you love about Langley?
There are many things, not the least of which is the great community spirit that we have and the sense of belonging to a community that cares. It is one of those intangible items that has tangible benefits for everyone.

What are some of the challenges that Langley faces and what do you plan to do to address those challenges?
Redevelopment, Transportation, Public Safety and Fiscal Management are the key challenges. I would continue to put both my skills and dedication to work to ensure that we continue to move forward in a positive and productive fashion.

How do you think that Langley can meet its Sustainability goals?
If we work hard, be willing to manage change and be proactive, we can find ways to be sustainable while balancing the needs and desires of our community in a fiscally responsible manner.

How do you plan on striking a balance between keeping taxes low and improving service?
We need to make sure we hear from our citizens and various special interest groups and determine what are the essential services they need and then balance those with our ability to pay for them. We need to work hard with our staff to always look for ways to tighten our belt. How we work with our Unions to negotiate our collective agreements will also be very important as wages are our single largest recurring costs.

With TransLink now looking for long-term funding, what are some of the option that you think should be explored?
I do not think there is one option that will meet our long term needs. We need to finds ways to raise the capital we need to expand infrastructure and then we need to find ways to fund the ongoing operations. I believe that they will be different sources. Using Carbon tax revenue, Road Pricing, and other more user pay sources are high on my priority for the future. I do not see Property Tax as the sustainable source of operating funds and as such I would eventually like to see the reduced if not eliminated as a funding source. We also need to find sources that will ensure Regional equity so no one region carries the major burden on such things as tolling bridges etc. For that reason we should explore such things as putting tolls back on all other existing structures and thereby lower the toll on all of them to a more reasonable rate.

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