Thursday, September 22, 2016

September 19, 2016 Council Meeting Notes: Supporting positive activity in Downtown Langley and upcoming neighbourhood meetings

Today will be my last post about the City of Langley council meeting which was held on Monday. On Tuesday, I posted about homelessness matters addressed. Yesterday, I posted about development matters that were heard at council. Today, I will be posting on the rest of the matters dealt with at that council meeting.

Council heard presentations from two organizations. Roslyn Henderson from Big Brothers, Big Sisters noted that September is the month which celebrates their organization. She thanked the City for allowing their flag to be raised outside of City Hall this month. Henderson stated that 400 children are being mentored with the support of 250 volunteers in Langley. She said that the amount of children being mentored is growing due to increased need in the community. Their mentoring system results in children have greater success in school, participating in less risky behaviour, leading to future achievements. Henderson also noted that long term mentor Rob Ross, who has volunteered with the organization for 40 year, received the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal.

Next Carly Stromsten from the Langley Environmental Partners Society presented on their Summer Eco Crew program which the City of Langley helps finance. This program employs both secondary and post-secondary students, giving them work experience and job skills training while enhancing the environment of Langley City.

This summer, they removed 800 square meters of invasive blackberry, installed tree guards, monitored Japanese knotweed sites that were removed last year, and cleaned up 600 square meters of garbage from natural areas. The Summer Eco Crew also attended eight community events and workshops, promoting environmental conservation.

During the Mayor’s Report, Mayor Schaffer stated that council will be meeting with the Good Times Cruise-In Society to discuss the miscommunication that occurred this August and other matters around the annual event.

The mayor also thanked Teri James and the Downtown Langley Merchants Association for another year of the successful McBurney Plaza Summer Series.

By having events that promote positive active in our public spaces, negative activity is reduced. In fact, these types of events dollar for dollar do more to reduce negative active in our Downtown than increasing policing.

The City of Langley will also be hosting three neighbourhood meetings in the coming month. They will be for the Uplands & Alice Brown neighbourhoods, Simonds & Blacklock neighbourhoods, and Douglas & Nicomekl neighbourhoods. As stated on the City’s website, “at the meetings you will have the opportunity to learn about City programs and services, give your input on new and current initiatives including the City’s rebranding efforts, and gain understanding on how the City is improving the livability of your community.”

Council gave final reading to Bylaw 2991 and Bylaw 3001 which relate to solid waste. I posted about these bylaws last week.

Council also gave first, second, and third reading to update our 2015-2019 Capital Improvement Plan. This was mostly a housekeeping item, but it will allow the City to move forward with the procurement of a new fire pumper truck which was also approved on Monday by council.

Council also approved the staff recommended permissive tax exemptions for 2017. These exemptions relieve the following non-profit organizations from paying property tax:

  • Langley Seniors Resource Society
  • Langley Stepping Stones
  • Langley Community Music School
  • Langley Lawn Bowling
  • Langley Community Services
  • Salvation Army Gateway of Hope
  • Ishtar Transition Housing
  • Global School Society
  • Southgate Christian Fellowship
  • Langley Care Society
  • Langley Hospice Society
  • Langley Association for Community Living

Councillor Storteboom made a motion to add the Langley Food Bank to the list of organizations that receive permissive tax exemptions. I supported this motion, but the remainder of council did not. This motion was not successful.

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