Peter Fassbender

ELECTION: Langley City mayoralty candidate Peter Fassbender

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

Peter Fassbender

Running for mayor in the City of Langley

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Communications and marketing consultant, 71

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• Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: School trustee for two terms, one term as councillor, three terms as mayor all in City of Langley. One term as MLA and minister in provincial government.

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Candidate provided bio:

I have lived in Langley City for over 42 years with my wife Charlene and we have always been very involved in the community.

I served two terms as a school trustee, one term as a City councillor, and three terms as mayor.

I then became a provincial MLA and senior minister in the provincial government. Prior to my years in public service, I had a very strong business career in the communications field with one of Canada’s largest communications firms.

I have always been passionate about Langley City’s future and was part of the team that developed a vision for the City that was recently updated and renewed.

I believe that City residents deserve to see their community thrive and prosper. Issues such as re-development, public safety, transportation, housing affordability, homelessness, and the opioid crisis are high on my agenda should City voters elect me as their mayor.

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Website: PeterFassbender.ca

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Facebook: @FassbenderLangleyCity

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Email: info@PeterFassbender.ca

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Phone: 604-816-9720

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• Who is your favourite superhero, and why? While not traditional labeled as a Superhero I would say Mother Teresa. She was a person who gave unselfishly to so many others without any expectations of any return or fame.

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There are three candidates running for the City of Langley’s mayor’s chair. The following are questions asked of each candidate hopeful. They were directed to provide a minimum of a Yes, No, or Don’t Know answer, and given an option to expand on one answer in print (to a maximum of 100 words per question). They could expand on all questions online, if they wished to do so. The following are their replies.

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Questions and Answers:

1. What neighbourhood of Langley do you live in?

Answer: Uplands

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2. How many years have you lived in Langley?

Answer: 42 years

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3. How many Langley City council meetings have you attended in the past year?

Answer: None

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4: Should the City be directly funding social housing to reduce homelessness?

Answer: No. It is very difficult for a local government to directly fund social housing. However, local governments can provide municipals lands, as the City did for the Gateway of Hope, or other incentives that would help to see social housing options being provided. The City should also work with our neighbouring communities to encourage them to provide options and incentives.

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5. Do you support elevated rail over light rapid transit from Surrey to Langley?

Answer: Yes. We need to see the full business cases for at-grade-rail and SkyTrain. The extension to Langley should be integrated into the regional network as more and more people will be travelling here for the jobs we are creating South of the Fraser.

While years ago people left our community for jobs, we are now a net importer of labour.

Whatever is done it should not only look at the cost to build it, but also how efficient it will be over the next 20 to 30 years. This may include expansion further east.

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6. Should the City’s industrial area be phased out in favour of residential and commercial development?

Answer: No. A well balanced community has a mix of land use including Industrial. Proving job opportunities should not be overlooked when planning our future. However, some of the older industrial areas can be repurposed to cleaner job creating opportunities such as in the tech sector or services for the Langley airport.

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7. Would you vote to raise taxes to hire more police?

Answer: Yes. Policing is the single largest expenditure on our municipal budget. Adding more police, thereby increasing that budget line needs to be done thoughtfully and actually have a positive impact on the community.

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8. Do you agree with the growth estimates for Langley City in its new Nexus of Community strategic plan?

Answer: Yes. There is no doubt that the City of Langley and the surrounding local communities will grow. Our challenge will be to manage that growth in a well planned fashion. We need to preserve our community feel and benefits and not growth for growth sake.

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9. Should Langley have its own municipal police force, replacing the RCMP?

Answer: No. Langley City on its own is too small to have our own police force. That said we should continually work with our neighbours to ensure we are getting the best services for the significant investment we make in policing.

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10. Should the City fund an arts centre?

Answer: Yes. We need to work with other partners, such as Kwantlen Polytechnic University to determine the overall scope etc. Most arts centres do not make a profit on operations so as a City we need to determine the cost/benefit of such a facility. It definitely would help draw people to the community depending on the programming etc.

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11. Does Langley City need an indoor swimming pool?

Answer: No. Langley City has an amazing jewel in Al Anderson outdoor pool that continues to serve our community well. Our citizens have access to other indoor facilities in the Township and Surrey.

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12. Should Langley City lobby for its own urgent care centre?

Answer: No. Health care is a critical issue for all our citizens. Our current Langley Memorial Hospital does a great job and with the planned expansion of the emergency ward we will have more and better access. The will be another need for an urgent care facility in the region and we should work with our neighbours to determine the best location. That said we should be pushing for more non-urgent services located closer to where people live. This would include services for seniors closer to the downtown core.

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13. Do you think residential property taxes are too high?

Answer: No. Taxpayers in Langley City are well served through their taxes. Again to reduce services for the sake of saving dollars would not be well received. That said we should always be looking for efficiencies to maximize the dollars spent.

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14. Should the City amalgamate with the Township?

Answer: No. This issue comes up every election cycle and every time the majority of citizens have rejected this notion.

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15. Should the municipality offer tax breaks, incentives, or rebates to companies looking to set up shop here?

Answer: Yes. If we want attract more businesses and companies to locate here we need to be able to look at every option to attract and keep them.

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16. Is Langley City being pushed to grow too fast?

Answer: No. There will be more than a million new people coming to the region over the next 20 to 25 years. We need to plan for that growth and what share we will absorb. It is the planning for growth that will be critical.

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17. Should Langley City take more direct action to combat the opioid crisis locally?

Answer: Yes. Langley City needs to work with all the other agencies and levels of government to find creative approaches to deal with this complex issue. While the major burden should rest with the senior levels of Government we need to partner and do what we can. Most of direct effects are felt by local communities through health care, policing etc. If we are not willing to be part of the solution we will be part of the problem.

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18. Should the City encourage the creation of more rental and low-income housing?

Answer: Yes. There is a significant role the City can play in zoning, relief of DDC’s, tax incentives etc. We also need to protect our supply which per capita is one of the highest in the Metro region.

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19. Should the City taxes be cut by cutting services?

Answer: No. See question 13.

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20. Should there be a limit to the number of consecutive terms a member of council can serve?

Answer: No. As imperfect as our system is it is a democracy and individuals should be able to make that decision. That said a time away from council may be beneficial to broaden someone’s experience and vision. Ultimately it is the decision of the voters how long a person serves. On a personal note, my time away from council and involvement provincially has given me more contacts and experience that I can bring to benefit of the community in seeking the mayors chair again.

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