Council sworn in for Langley Township

Mayor Jack Froese and eight councillors took their oaths of office Monday to start their new terms as representatives of Langley Township.

Three new councillors took the oaths for the first time: Councillors Petrina Arnason, Blair Whitmarsh, and Angie Quaale.

Arnason noted that she was being sworn in on Dec. 1, the anniversary of the death of her mother Muriel Arnason, who was the first woman ever elected to the Township council and served for over two decades without being defeated.

“I would like to honour and remember my mother,” said Arnason.

She said she also hoped to reach out not not only to supporters, but to those who didn’t vote for her.

Similar sentiments were heard from the other two newcomers.

Whitmarsh noted the many ideas that had been brought up during the campaign and said he was committed to listening.

“This council is not always going to agree,” said Quaale.

She pledged to hold quarterly round tables to meet with the public, extensions of her meet-and-greets during the campaign.

Coun. Bob Long thanked everyone who voted last month, as well as the three “recovering politicians” defeated in the election: Bev Dornan, Steve Ferguson, and Grant Ward. Ward was in the audience to watch the inauguration.

Several councillors referenced hoped-for accomplishments in the coming term.

Coun. Kim Richter mentioned lobbying for better transit and schools, while Coun. David Davis mentioned the Aldergrove Pool, traffic, and farmland.

Re-elected Mayor Jack Froese noted that the new councillors will have quite a learning curve with all the new information to take in.

“It’s like drinking from a firehose,” Froese said.

He mentioned some of his promises from the campaign trail as priorities, including easing congestion on the 208th Street corridor, support for bringing light rail to Langley, and creating new ways for people to have meaningful input in Township decisions.

After the last several decades of three-year terms, this will be the first four-year term for local politicians in B.C.

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