Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 7th, 2016 Council Meeting Notes: Service Awards, McBurney Plaza Summer Series, and Tourism Langley

There were no development related items on last night’s City of Langley council meeting agenda, but it was still a full agenda due to the number of departmental updates heard and information items received.

The meeting started off with the presentation of long-service awards to City staff. Francis Cheung received a 10-year service award for being the City’s CAO for 10 years. Many other staff members also received service awards.

Jim Smith is retiring from Langley Youth and Family Services. He received recognition last night for his decades of service to the community.

Mayor Ted Schaffer recognizing Jim Smith for his decades of service.

Teri James who is the executive director of the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA) gave a presentation on this year’s McBurney Plaza Summer Series. The series programmed McBurney Plaza with family-friendly events for five Saturdays this summer from June to the beginning of September. Combined with other public events during that same time period, there was always something going on in Downtown Langley on Saturday this summer.

The City contributed $20,000 to the series, the DLBA contributed $23,000 plus $7,000 in in-kind donations. There is good value for the money that the City invested into these series of events. I would like to see more free, family-friendly public events in our Downtown, as do residents of Langley City.

The McBurney Plaza Summer Series brings positive active to our Downtown, reduces negative activity, supports local business, and creates a since of pride and ownership in our community.

James noted that planning for the 2017 Summer Series is already underway and some events could include: Sports in the Plaza, Jedi’s in the Plaza, Aquarium in the Plaza, Science in the Plaza, and World Music in the Plaza.

Councillor Storteboom gave an update on what’s happening at Metro Vancouver including the most recent Council of Councils meeting which I posted about earlier.

Councillor Martin provided an update on the situation with Tourism Langley. According to Martin, Tourism Langley has been successfully providing tourism market services to both the City and Township of Langley for close to a decade. The Township has never reported any issues with Tourism Langley up to this point, and it has strong support for the tourism industry. Their work has helped increase tourism in both communities.

The Township of Langley recently decided to explore leaving Tourism Langley, and create its own tourism market program. While the Township is certainly free to do whatever it chooses, leaving Tourism Langley, an independent destination marking organization, may not result in a net benefit to that community.

Regardless of the path that the Township chooses to take, City of Langley Council moved forward with giving first, second, and third reading to Bylaws 3004 which renews the 2% hotel tax within our municipality that currently goes to Tourism Langley for an additional five years starting August, 2017. This money currently supports Tourism Langley, but it could be used for other tourism marketing purposes.

Tomorrow, I will be posting about the city departmental updates and other information reports received.

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