Rick Green, one of the most controversial mayors of Langley Townshipâ€™s recent history, announced at the last minute that he is running for the top job again.
â€œItâ€™s going to be a real grassroots campaign,â€ Green told the Langley Advance shortly after he filed campaign papers on Friday afternoon.
The former mayor said he came back because a large number of people have encouraged him to try again. He met with his family before making the decision to enter his name again.
â€œOf course the issues are the driving force,â€ Green said.
He said the biggest issues this time will be a lack of transparency by the Township government.
He slammed the current mayor and council for what he called a flawed community planning process, out of control spending, and for building townhouses in prime farmland.
He promised if elected that he will resume his practice of holding monthly mayors forums at which he would meet residents in different parts of the community to answer questions and keep them up to date on the issues.
The late entry means a three-way race for mayor, with Green, incubment Mayor Jack Froese who defeated Green in 2011, and newcomer Serena Oh.
Green was elected mayor in 2008, defeating Kurt Alberts in an upset. Green ran a campaign that focused attention on taxes, and in the wake of several years in which property tax increases had hovered near five per cent, his message hit home with enough voters to win him the job.
However, he almost immediately ran into conflicts with the council, mostly composed of incumbents.
Green had his budget suggestions shot down by the majority on the council.
In 2010, council determined that Green had misled them, and he was officially censured by the rest of the council. He was stripped of his post as a director of Metro Vancouver.
Green called the attacks politically motivated, but he admitted to misleading.
An internal report suggested Green had lied to council more than once, and an RCMP investigation was launched, overseen by a special prosecutor. No charges were ever laid.
Green ran with a slate called Vote Langley Now in the 2011 campaign and came third, with just under 24 per cent of the vote. Mel Kositsky, a longtime councillor, came second.
Green is running alone this time as a full independent.
â€œThis is going to be a very defining election,â€ Green said.
The voters of the Langleys go to the polls on Nov. 15.