Jack Froese has been re-elected as Langley Township mayor for his third term.
In a three-person mayoral race between incumbent Froese and candidates Alex Joehl and Anna Remenik, voters chose to go with the most familiar face.
On Oct. 20, Froese topped the polls with 14,855 votes. Next was Remenik with 8,407, followed by Joehl who received 1,809 votes.
“There’s a few things the old council put over to the new council that we will have to get to right away,” said Froese on Monday, following his win.
A few immediate goals include looking at whether the Township wants a tree bylaw, deciding on retail cannabis policies, and continuing the Brookswood-Fernridge neighbourhood plan.
As for marijuana regulations, Froese said he wants to ‘proceed slowly and cautiously.’
“It’s more important that we listen to the residents to find out what they want. This is new, and I want to have a made-in-Langley policy on it.”
Froese also plans to review how permits are processed in the Township.
“We want to do business in Langley and we want to make sure we’re competitive in the rest of the region.”
Froese’s long-term focus includes the Fort Langley museum project, creating more public spaces, and working with the Kwantlen First Nation on a new cultural centre.
Regionally, Froese said there’s a lot of work to be done with transportation, specifically, the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council’s 10-year transportation vision, which includes a Surrey-Langley Light Rail Transit line along Fraser Highway.
“We still need to plan for the rail coming up Fraser Highway into the Langleys. That hasn’t been funded yet. The new mayor elected in Surrey has talked about SkyTrain and I’ve been talking about LRT. We need to take a serious look at the business case for both and the funding.”
Froese said he prefers the LRT concept, but added he’s ‘open-minded’ about a potential SkyTrain expansion.
Beginning Nov. 5, Froese will be joined at the table by councillors David Davis, Eric Woodward, Kim Richter, Bob Long, Blair Whitmarsh, Steve Ferguson, Petrina Arnason and Margaret Kunst.
“I always said my job is to work with council, support council and carry out the will of council. That’s the job of the mayor. I certainly know that there’s a lot of good people, and we lost some good people with the last election, but that’s politics.”
Froese said during all three of his council terms, approximately one-third of council has turned over.
“On one hand, it’s always good to get new ideas and fresh faces and on the other hand, it’s good to have the stability of experience.”
Of the 75,278 eligible voters this year, 22,654 cast a ballot.