Several more Langley politicians have announced they are running, or considering running, for council this year.
“Yes, in all likelihood I will be seeking re-election,” said Langley City Councillor Gayle Martin. She expects homelessness and taxes to be top issues this year.
Martin joins the list of incumbent councillors who have confirmed they are running again.
Some longtime councillors haven’t made up their minds, but may make decisions soon.
Councillor Charlie Fox will be taking some time off in the next month, and will talk to his wife before he decides, he said.
“I am back in early May, at which time I expect to make a public statement on my future in local politics,” Fox told the Advance.
In Langley Township’s mayoral race, both sitting mayor Jack Froese and longtime councillor Kim Richter are planning to run for the mayor’s seat.
Councillors Petrina Arnason and Bob Long have also said they plan to again throw their hats into the ring.
In Langley City, Councillors Paul Albrecht and Val van den Broek both said last year that they will run again.
“I am keeping all of my options open, at this time,” said Coun. Rudy Storteboom.
Issues around rejuvenating the downtown core, crime and policing, and the need to update residential and commercial infrastructure will come up in the campaign, Storteboom believes.
Councillor Nathan Pachal, the newest member of the City council, told the Advance he has decided to announce his intentions in May.
However, the City will have a new mayor, as Ted Schaffer has indicated he is stepping down at the end of his current term.
Some former councillors and candidates from years past are also mulling over whether or not to run again this year.
Former longtime Township councillor Steve Ferguson said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run again this year or not.
“It’s very difficult this early on,” said Ferguson.
He identified a number of issues he expects will be key in the coming municipal elections, including getting a new hospital for Langley, transit and widening 208th Street to four lanes, and housing for both seniors and young people in the community.
Local volunteer and past Township council candidate Dave Stark says he is likewise undecided.
Some candidates who have run in Langley in the past, such as former MLA and City candidate Carol Gran, have now moved away.
“I now live in Victoria and politics is very much behind me,” Gran said. “I do hope however there is a slate of new candidates willing to make some hard decisions to rescue Langley City,” she added, putting amalgamation of the Langleys at the top of the list of local issues.
Willoughby’s Clint Lee, a former Township candidate, said his family has also moved out of town in the last four years.