Teri James wants back on Langley City council.
The 53-year-old executive director of the Downtown Langley Business Association picked up her nomination papers Thursday, having spent the better part of the past year pondering if she should, in fact, run again.
James was on council for three terms, from 2005 to 2014. But in the last municipal election, she opted not to run.
“The only reason I stepped back was to spend more time with family,” she said. “But being away from it for the last four years has also made me realize that this is where my heart is at. I love this community and want to be part of the decision making.”
Social issues are an “increasing concern” in Langley City, said James. That includes homelessness, crime, traffic and transportation, plus there’s what she described as “fragile infrastructure” in need “TLC,” a growing need for more family-oriented affordable housing options, and the execution of a newly released long-term community vision that ensures quality of life for City residents.
These are among the primary motivators behind her choosing to run again, James told the Langley Advance.
“Some people are just cut out to do this, and I believe I’m one of those people,” she added.
“My reasons for doing so are vast… I love this community, and I know the next four years are pivotal – extremely important – and I want to be a part of it,” James said, anxious to “be transparent” that she’s not currently a Langley City resident.
Two years ago, when she and her husband Bob sold their single-family home, and downsizing they started hunting for a large townhouse in the City.
They couldn’t find one, and settled, instead, just across the border in Cloverdale. But James said, the hunt in Langley City continues daily.
“The instant we find it, we’re back,” she said of a townhouse big enough for their “rather large” family.
James is not the only former council member seeking to return in the October municipal election.
Former mayor Peter Fassbender has thrown his hat in the ring, too. Again, he’s seeking the mayor’s chair.
Asked if his decision to run had anything to do with the timing of her proclamation, James said “no.”
“Matter of fact, my decision was made long time before Peter announced,” she said.
But asked if she had been thinking about running for the mayor’s chair, James said “yes,” but not yet.
“At some point I will consider running for mayor – in the future. That is actually a long-term goal for me,” she said.
“Four years from now, there’s definitely potential, for sure. It’s definitely on my horizon. I would very much like to enter that role,” James added.
But, she figured having been away from City council for the past four years, she “owed myself and this community the opportunity to get back on Langley City council, and make sure I’m completely caught up to speed, because there’s no question things have changed.”
In addition to her duties with the DLBA and the Discover Langley City tourism entity, she’s also a volunteer with a number of community organizations and events, plus she has sat on a variety of City committees and task forces.
“I’ve never stopped being passionate about the future of this community,” she said. “What I will bring to the table is a voice, an ear, I’m trustworthy, I don’t make any promises that I can’t keep, and I’m also extremely level headed, so I think I would be a valuable asset on Langley City council.”