Mike Solyom

ELECTION: Langley City council candidate Mike Solyom

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

Mike Solyom

Running for a seat on council in the City of Langley

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Adjunct professor of economics, 34

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• Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No.

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Candidate provided bio: I am running to make Langley a better, more prosperous community with a more efficient, more effective government.

I have lived in Langley for most of my life and teach Economics nearby at the University of the Fraser Valley.

I hold a master’s degree from the University of Toronto and have worked in market research, education technology, and the construction industry.

My wife and I have put down roots in the City to raise our growing family.

I am running to ensure that, in 10 years, we live in a place where my kids will be able to safely ride their bikes to downtown Langley and where, 20 years from now, my kids will be able to get to good jobs or a local campus without inefficient gridlock. Then, in 30 years, they will be able to start their own families in their own homes right here in Langley.

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Facebook: Mike For Langley City Council

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Twitter: Mike Solyom For Langley City Council

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Website: solyom.ca

Other internet/social media platforms where voters can learn about you: Instagram

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Phone: 778-389-4005

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• Who is your favourite superhero, and why? I would have to say Superman or Optimus Prime. These are characters that represent an ideal to aspire to, where you know they’ll unflinchingly do the right thing if given an easier way out, especially given the power they have. Real life is more complicated than a children’s comic or cartoon, with shades of grey in the choices available to us, not to mention the unintended consequences of actions we make even with the best intentions. That said, doing good with the power you do have feels great, and that’s basically where my mind goes when thinking of a superhero.

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There are 16 candidates running for six councillor seats with the City of Langley. The following arequestions asked of each candidate hopeful. They were directed to provide a minimum of a Yes, No, or Don’t Know answer, and given an option to expand on one answer in print (to a maximum of 100 words per question). They could expand on all questions online, if they wished to do so. The following are their replies.

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Questions and Answers:

1. What neighbourhood of Langley do you live in?

Answer: Uplands

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2. How many years have you lived in Langley?

Answer: 18 years with some gaps when I lived in Vancouver and Toronto for undergrad/grad school.

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3. How many Langley City council meetings have you attended in the past year?

Answer: One. I used it to introduce myself to several councillors to take them out for coffee to discuss their visions for the future of Langley City.

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4: Should the City be directly funding social housing to reduce homelessness?

Answer: Yes. We essentially already do this with cleanup costs at our parks. Taking a more proactive and preventative approach can yield us better results.

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5. Do you support elevated rail over light rapid transit from Surrey to Langley?

Answer: Yes. More transit is better than no transit at all, but I feel the case for Light Rapid Transit along Fraser Highway is weak. LRT needing to stop for lights will keep the commute time much lower than a Skytrain expansion, which would be elevated above this. I do think LRT from Langley City down to Brookswood or up to Walnut Grove in the far future would be great as an offshoot from a Skytrain hub in Downtown Langley, but the priority needs to be efficiently moving people from Langley to Surrey and Vancouver.

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6. Should the City’s industrial area be phased out in favour of residential and commercial development?

Answer: No. One of the causes of inefficient gridlock is just the amount of people need to leave Langley City to get to work somewhere else. Reducing the amount of employers would only make this even worse.

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7. Would you vote to raise taxes to hire more police?

Answer: No.

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8. Do you agree with the growth estimates for Langley City in its new Nexus of Community strategic plan?

Answer: Yes.

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9. Should Langley have its own municipal police force, replacing the RCMP?

Answer: No.

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10. Should the City fund an arts centre?

Answer: Yes. Langley City residents need more options for entertainment, especially something like an arts centre that would get people into the downtown core past 7 p.m. People leaving a show might be inclined to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee, increasing Demand for our restaurants and other businesses along the one-way on Fraser Highway.

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11. Does Langley City need an indoor swimming pool?

Answer: No.

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12. Should Langley City lobby for its own urgent care centre?

Answer: No.

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13. Do you think residential property taxes are too high?

Answer: No.

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14. Should the City amalgamate with the Township?

Answer: No.

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15. Should the municipality offer tax breaks, incentives, or rebates to companies looking to set up shop here?

Answer: Yes.

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16. Is Langley City being pushed to grow too fast?

Answer: No.

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17. Should Langley City take more direct action to combat the opioid crisis locally?

Answer: Yes.

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18. Should the City encourage the creation of more rental and low-income housing?

Answer: Yes. Some low-income seniors in our City live in housing that recently opened itself up to at-risk young adults, and the results have left some of these seniors feeling more helpless than ever before. A main cause of this is the “missing middle” in housing in Langley – what BC Housing calls a continuum of housing: not just emergency shelters like the Gateway of Hope on one end and the subsidized housing of the Langley Lions on the other, but transitional and independent social housing in between.

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19. Should the City taxes be cut by cutting services?

Answer: No.

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20. Should there be a limit to the number of consecutive terms a member of council can serve?

Answer: No.

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