UPDATED: Froese wins second term

 

Mayor Jack Froese secured his second term with a convincing victory Saturday in Langley Township.

Froese beat Rick Green, who had served as mayor from 2008 to 2011.

Froese won with 13,186 votes, almost 60 per cent of the total votes cast for mayor. Green took 7,595 for 34.4 per cent, while Serena Oh, a newcomer to Langley politics, took 1,255, or 5.7 per cent.

With a new term secured, Froese said he will focus on the challenges that lay ahead in the rapidly growing, and developing Township.

“Our last three years, our last 20 years, has been [about] the growth of Langley,” Froese said, just after learning he had been elected for a second term. “With the Brookswood [Fernridge Official Community] plan, it depends on what council wants to do with it, but what we have to do is engage the public in a better way, and I think that’s important.”

With that in mind, Froese said he’s looking at forming a task force to examine “what we’re doing as far as public engagement, and how we can improve on that. Then, if council wants to move ahead with those [Brookswood/Fernridge] plans, then at least we’ll have a better road map.”

The campaign was a difficult one, but made candidates, especially incumbents, “accountable to the people,” Froese said.

“This allowed me to say what I want to do, but proud of what we’ve done in the last three years, but we certainly have more to do,” Froese said.

“We’ve got a lot of infrastructure that needs to be fixed, we’ve got roads that need to be done. Willoughby is growing and there are a lot of concerns there, and it’s going to take some good management and a good, sound council to move that forward.”

With future development, particularly in Willoughby, public dialogue and strong planning will be paramount, Froese said.

“We’ve got to make sure it’s done right, at a good pace, and especially make sure that everyone has had an opportunity to have a say,” Froese said. “At the end of the day, council has to make those decisions on how we go forward, but we have to have good public engagement.”

Rick Green was not immediately available for comment after the election. He had earlier told the Langley Advance he would be watching the results from his home.

Green had entered the election almost literally at the last minute – turning in signed nomination papers about 15 minutes before the deadline.

His last-minute entry meant he ran as an independent, rather than with a slate of council candidates as he did in 2011.

While debates between Green and Froese were largely civil, the two sparred over the Brookswood OCP.

The $500,000 funding from local landowners to start the process was approved during Green’s term in 2011, though he was absent from the vote that actually finalized the agreement. Green had accused Froese of starting the process, and Froese went so far as to hold a press conference and show voting records to refute the claim. 

Froese also took a few opportunities during debates to bring up the turmoil that marked Green’s three years as mayor. Green was ultimately censured by council for misleading them.

The Fort Langley Golf Course’s banquet hall had a festive atmosphere with Langley MP Mark Warawa, and former Township mayor Kurt Alberts there to celebrate the victory with Froese.

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