At least four candidates will contest the Langley City council seat left vacant by the resignation of the late Dave Hall.
Nathan Pachal, a local transit advocate, has already announced his candidacy, and said he wants to invest in public safety projects, enhance local health by improving the park system, and work to build the downtown business community and local economy.
Pachal has long been an advocate for better transit and for modern urban design in the Langley area.
Joining him as nominations officially opened on Jan. 12 are former Township councillor Mel Kositsky, City business owner Sharon Newbery, and former Langley-area MLA Carol Gran.
Newbery runs a bookkeeping firm and volunteers with organizations such as the Langley Care Society and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
She ran during the last civic elections in 2014, and along with Pachal, came close to gaining a council seat.
“I feel we still have lots of work to do in Langley City, particularly in public safety,” she said.
Newbery said she wants to be part of the future of her home community.
The candidate is currently part of the City’s Public Safety Committee, which has been working on reports on crime and homelessness.
The other candidate is well known for his long political career in Langley Township.
Kositsky finished his Township conuncil career by running for mayor in 2011, coming in second in a three-way contest behind incumbent Mayor Jack Froese.
Kositsky said he’s been on the sidelines for five years, but has been keeping up to date on what’s going on.
The major issues he sees in Langley City are getting the downtown redeveloped, homelessness, and the perception of crime.
Kositsky isn’t worried about the fact that he lives in the Township.
“I’m not going to play any games,” Kositsky said. He noted that he’s been working in the City or covering it for newspapers on and off since the late 1970s.
Gran was a major political figure in Langley in the 1980s, serving as an alderman starting in 1980 and as a Social Credit MLA from 1987 to 1991. She also served on Kelowna’s city council from 2005 to 2008.
Back in Langley, she said she was surprised at the visible changes in Langley City and the increase in homelessness since she last lived in the area.
Nominations for the vacant Langley City council seat opened on Jan. 12 and close at 4 p.m. on Jan. 22.