Teri James

ELECTION: Langley City council candidate Teri James

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

Teri James

Running for a seat on council in the City of Langley

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Executive director for the Downtown Langley Business Association and Discover Langley City, 54

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• Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: Three terms on Langley City council from 2005 to 2014

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Candidate provided bio:

Teri, her husband Bob, and their family moved to Langley City in early 2001 and in October 2001, she became the executive director of the Downtown Langley Business Association. In 2005 became the newest member of Langley City council.

In her role as the DLBA executive director she has sat on numerous committees and advisory boards over the years. Working in the downtown for 17 years and serving three terms on City council has provided her with much insight regarding the needs and challenges facing Langley City.

Due to her vast experience, she has gained a genuine understanding of the issues around homelessness, affordable housing, the opioid crisis, transportation, and the pressures on our infrastructure.

James brings to the table her passion for the community and it is important to her that we keep this community vibrant and maintain the quality of life for everyone for years to come.

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Facebook: Teri James Langley City Council

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

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Phone: 604-626-3844

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• Who is your favourite superhero, and why? Elastigirl from the Incredibles because she has three children, looks after her husband, family and home, and even though she was told that she couldn’t be a superhero because the community wouldn’t allow it, she did it anyway because she wanted to help people and make a difference.

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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: Blacklock for 16 years

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2. How many years have you lived in Langley?

Answer: A year ago my husband and I downsized from our single family dwelling in the City and were unable to find a suitable townhouse in Langley City. We now reside in Cloverdale, but Langley City is my home and the search for a suitable housing option in the City is ongoing so we can move back. So, although I may not reside in Langley City at the moment, I work in the City every day, continue to volunteer and sit on numerous City committees, and am no less passionate about the quality of life for its citizens then I was during the 16 years we lived there.

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

Answer: 7+

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

Answer: No – However, similar to the Gateway of Hope development when the City donated the land, I believe local governments can look at the potential of providing land and working with other neighbouring communities to explore options for the region as well.

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

Answer: Yes – I do not believe we have seen the business plans for Skytrain versus at grade rail, which we must do before a final decision is made. This will include overall cost and what is most efficient for the future of this community and the region as a whole.

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

Answer: No – The industrial area in the City provides numerous jobs in our community, but I do think we need to look at the redevelopment of certain run-down locations in the industrial area.

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

Answer: Yes – But this must be a decision made by the majority of this community, not just mayor and council. Policing is a very important component of our community, and I know we currently have a high police to citizen ratio. Times and social issues continue to change however, so we must be prepared in the future to provide the necessary services to ensure the safety of our citizens.

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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 – I was part of the initial NEXUS session with other industry professionals and I believe that the very clear growth estimates are realistic.

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

Answer: No – This was looked at several years ago and it is far too cost prohibitive for a community of our size.

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10. Should the City fund an arts centre?

Answer: Yes – I believe this would enhance our community greatly, and I have been a supporter of this for many years. We have yet to develop a cost/benefit analysis which needs to be the first step. We also need to explore the possibility of working with community partners as these types of undertaking are extremely costly and don’t usually generate an income that covers costs, so the operation of this would become another operational cost in the budget every year.

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11. Does Langley City need an indoor swimming pool?

Answer: No – Al Anderson Memorial Pool is a jewel in our community and most of our neighbouring communities have indoor facilities.

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

Answer: No – We need more community-based care space as currently some of the urgent care cases are taking up space in the community care facilities. This needs to be looked at regionally as well. What we could do is lobby for the expansion of our current hospital facility.

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

Answer: No – The services and quality are provided in the City, and I believe our citizens appreciate this. However, fiscal responsibility needs to be a priority in the future.

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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 – We need to explore every possible option and opportunity to create economic growth. This should not be a cost born by the taxpayers, but business contributes to a large part of our tax base in the City, and a healthy business community is an essential part of a healthy community as a whole.

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

Answer: No – The entire region is under pressure, and we need to work with other communities to ensure the quality of life for everyone going forward.

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

Answer: Yes – This crisis has created a serious drain on our first responders, police and our health care system. We need to work with other agencies and levels of government to explore every option and find creative solutions to this complex crisis.

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

Answer: Yes – although we currently have one of the highest number of low-income housing units in Metro Vancouver, I do believe that there is still a shortage of affordable housing options in our community.

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

Answer: No – the City provides excellent services to its citizens and I believe they are appreciated.

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

Answer: No – People should be able to vote for who they want to vote for, that’s what democracy is all about.

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