Charlie Fox, one of the longer serving members of the Township council, has announced he will retire rather than contest the upcoming civic elections.
“Thirteen years, four terms, time to move on,” said Fox, who was a longtime principal in Langley elementary and secondary schools.
Fox has been thinking about it for a while – he noted that if he won another term he’d be 72 when it concluded – but a recent trip to Europe solidified his decision.
He wants to spend more time traveling, and with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
“It does give an opportunity for some change in the dynamic that exists on council,” Fox noted.
With his retirement, and Coun. Kim Richter’s decision to run for mayor, at least two seats will go to newcomers in October.
Fox said there were several achievements of his four terms that he’s pleased to see concluded.
Just this year, the new Langley Youth Hub opened, a project Fox had lobbied for and supported.
“This is a hub that’s a model for other communities,” Fox said.
He’s also happy that this year the new Aldergrove recreation facility will open its doors.
“One of the reasons for running was always to get a recreation facility in Aldergrove,” he said.
The new facility will include an expanded pool, an ice arena, and a variety of other community amenities.
Supporting Aldergrove, from moving the Langley Good Times Cruise-In there to building new sports fields, has been a priority. Much of Fox’s career was spent as a principal at Aldergrove schools.
Fox said he expects to continue with volunteer and community efforts, including through Rotary and the Co-op board.
Another Langley Township councillor has announced he will seek a second term.
Blair Whitmarsh was first elected four years ago.
Although he’s pleased with the finalization of the Brookswood Official Community Plan and improvements in some parking rules at new developments, Whitmarsh said there are other issues that will continue to take up council’s time.
Sustainable and walkable communities will continue, and affordable housing is coming up more frequently.
“I think that’s actually going to become even more important,” Whitmarsh said.
Whimarsh also said he would like to see the council move forward on building some kind of fine arts facility.
Most of the Township’s sitting councillors have now announced their intentions, including Whitmarsh, Petrina Arnason, and Bob Long, all of whom plan to run again. Coun. Kim Richter will challenge incumbent Mayor Jack Froese for his seat.
Activist Stacey Wakelin has also announced she will run for a seat.
In Langley City, councillors Paul Albrecht and Val van den Broek will run for mayor while most others have said they will seek re-election.