Langley City officially has a mayoral race with the entry of local store owner and medical marijuana advocate Randy Caine.
Caine said his decision was based on the last six years of his involvement in the community, including the issues he had getting his Hempyz Gifts and Novelties store up and running, and stories shared by other City residents.
â€œI would say itâ€™s sort of an old boys club,â€ Caine said of the way the City council has operated.
Caine ran for council in 2011, but now is motivated to run for the top spot.
His 2011 run was done while he was facing criminal drug trafficking charges over his operation of a medical marijuana dispensary.
The B.C. Crown later recommended an absolute discharge of the trafficking charges. Instead he agreed that he had committed two violations of the Medical Marijuana Act.
Caine said he wants to see Langley City grow sustainably.
At 20 blocks by 22 blocks, the City does need to develop and change to keep its tax base healthy, he said. But different kinds of growth have different consequences, and he wants those understood.
Caine said heâ€™s concerned about rising rents for seniors and other low-income residents.
He worried that the diversity of the Cityâ€™s residents and the diversity of its housing could be threatened.
If the community grows in certain ways, would events like the Langley Good Times Cruise-In or Arts Alive still fit downtown, he wondered.
He wants to see people more involved in the City.
â€œItâ€™s really about community involvement and voter turnout,â€ said Caine.
Low turnout is caused by the highly predictable outcomes from local elected officials, he believes.
Caine hopes that his presence in the race can drive turnout, whether from people who agree with him, or from those who donâ€™t.
â€œI hope that the people that donâ€™t like me will go out and vote,â€ Caine said.
Rosemary Wallace is stepping down from her position as a Langley City councillor after two terms to jump into a new arena, running for a Township school board seat.
â€œI feel that my time spent on the committees as a City councillor has helped me to grow even more as an advocate for children, youth and families, and to bear witness of how important it is for communities to work together,â€ Wallace said.
Wallace is a past PAC president at the elementary and high school levels and has been a coach for youth sports. She was involved in the theatre, art, and social programs at Langley Secondary and H.D. Stafford when it was a secondary school.
She wants to push for more support staff in classrooms, and to support the construction of new schools.
â€œIt is important that development of the future in the Township have schools placed in the plan ready to be operated before, not after,â€ Wallace said.
Rudy Storteboom narrowly lost a race for a Langley City council seat three years ago, but now wants to return to try for his second term.
Storteboom, a local realtor, talked about maintaining a good economy and low crime in his announcement that he is seeking a seat.
Among issues he identified for the upcoming election are more and longer freight trains running through the community. He supports electronic alerts for drivers to help divert traffic.
Portecting community assets should be one of councilâ€™s ongoing roles, Storteboom said.
Openness and accountability are also important, he said.
Langley Township councillor Bob Long is seeking re-election, aiming for another term.
Long has been on the council for over a decade.
â€œI still have a lot to offer the community and I look forward to serving the citizens of Langely on council where my voice and my vote can make a difference,â€ said Long.
He has served as president of the Lower Mainland Local Government Association and has represented B.C. on the national board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Transportation is one of his main concerns going forward, he said, including connecting the Townshipâ€™s communities, getting more public transit, and making urban areas more pedestrian friendly.
The fact that Langley Township is a â€œcommunity of communitiesâ€ is both what makes Langley a wonderful place and a challenge to plan for local government, Long said.
Kevin Mitchell last ran for office as an independent during last yearâ€™s provincial election, but now heâ€™s set his sights on a Langley Township council seat.
Mitchell, an engineer and hobby farmer from South Langley, has a number of criticisms of the way the current council has been run over the last three years.
Mitchell cites rising legal bills for the Township, the highly controversial Official Community Plan for Brookswood/Fernridge, and the Wall property development near Trinity Western University.
He also criticized the amount of money spent on the Langley Events Centre, and the trapid development in Willoughby, pointing to consequences such as school overcrowding and traffic congestion.
â€œI will hold staff accountable and vote based on facts, not out of personal bias or to reward corporate campaign donors,â€ said Mitchell.