Thursday, February 8, 2024

From the Mayor’s Office: An Important Open Letter to Langley City

Langley City Council

Dear Residents of Langley City,

I wanted to take a moment to update you on some important developments within our community as we consider the 2024 Budget.

Our primary focus for this plan is to enhance community safety and invest in essential infrastructure. To that end, we have proposed several key initiatives:

Community Safety Enhancement: We aim to bolster the safety of our city by hiring three new RCMP members, three additional firefighters, an Emergency Management Program Advisor, and a Bylaw Enforcement Officer.

Investing in the Basics: We recognize the importance of maintaining our vital infrastructure. Therefore, we plan to allocate funds for crucial projects such as sanitary sewer repairs, replacing asbestos cement, drainage culvert replacement, and the pedestrian bridge replacement over the Nicomekl River. Additionally, we aim to enhance community events like Community Day, Remembrance Day, and the Magic of Christmas to bring our community together in celebration and remembrance.

You can find detailed information about the financial plan on our website here: https://www.langleycity.ca/FinancialPlans

I want to emphasize Langley City’s residential property taxes are one of the lowest in Metro Vancouver. I encourage residents to consider the Property Tax Prepayment Program, which allows you to make 11 monthly installments toward next year’s property tax while earning interest on your prepayment balance. Additionally, the Province of BC offers a Property Deferment Program for eligible residents.

It is with regret that we must address the recent decision by Langley Township Council to deintegrate the joint Langley RCMP Detachment, a shared police force that has served both communities successfully for decades. I want to clarify that Langley City was not consulted nor provided with any detailed financial analysis supporting the claim that we are not paying our fair share of policing costs. As determined with the Township in 2007, the City is responsible for one-third of the costs and as agreed we have and do pay for one-third of the RCMP.

Read more information about the deintegration of the joint Langley RCMP Detachment:
https://www.langleycity.ca/TownshipConsidersRCMPDeintegration
https://www.langleycity.ca/TownshipDeintegratesRCMP

In our commitment to transparency and community engagement, we have started several new initiatives:

Through meaningful collaboration, the City and the community can come together to deliver solutions and actionable items to address issues like health and social needs, homelessness, housing, inclusion, diversity, community safety, and well-being.

Given the urgent need to take action in our community, Council has endorsed the City taking on the role of facilitating coordinated access and support for vulnerable individuals. This is done by engaging senior government partners and agencies, such as BC Housing, Fraser Health, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and local nonprofit agencies to provide direct service to our vulnerable community members. This initiative aims to provide streamlined referrals, housing, and access to support services across Metro Vancouver. This system will be fully activated by Spring of this year.

The Citizens’ Assembly on Community Safety Reform, is a participatory democracy initiative to engage a diverse cross-section of our community, such as residents, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and advocates in meaningful dialogue for meaningful change. Together the City and the community will explore innovative solutions to make strides in enhancing community safety and determine the most effective ways to address calls for service in a timely and resource-effective manner.

We will be selecting the Assembly Members in early 2024, so stay tuned for more information in the upcoming months.

This is indeed an exciting and transformative time for Langley City as we continue to work together to make our community safer and more resilient.

On behalf of Langley City Council.

Sincerely,
Nathan Pachal
Mayor of Langley City

This is a repost of the letter which appears in today's Langley Advance Times as official City communication. This blog is not official City communication.

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