Councillor Nathan Pachal will run for the mayor’s seat in Langley City this fall, competing with sitting Mayor Val van den Broek.
Pachal announced his run for mayor on Twitter this week.
He said he’s been thinking about whether to run for mayor for a few years, and that he decided to throw his hat in the ring after talking to people in the community.
“We are really at a crossroads,” Pachal said.
He identified public safety issues, affordable housing, and preparing for the arrival of SkyTrain as among the key issues facing Langley City.
On public safety and policing, the City has invested in more officers, as well as in other safety measures such as bylaw officers, Pachal said.
But the City needs to work with other levels of government and create a coordinated plan rather than just put resources out there, he said.
“It really does require collaboration,” said Pachal.
Affordable housing requires everything from market rental to below-market rentals to home ownership, he said. Pachal is hoping council will support a plan for including affordable below-market rental in future developments.
He also noted the opportunity to work with other levels of government on creating more co-operative housing projects. Pachal said he first lived in a co-op when he moved to Langley City.
Although a lot of planning work has already been done to prepare for SkyTrain, expected to reach Langley in 2028, Pachal said the ground-level work is still to come.
“I think there’s a lot of change that needs to happen in the zoning bylaw,” he said.
Major zoning bylaws in the City haven’t been updated since the 1990s, he noted. It will require talking to the business community and residents to finish the updates.
Van den Broek has already confirmed that she plans to run for a second term as mayor. She was recently censured by the rest of council, although the City only released a limited amount of information about the circumstances that led to the censure vote.
Pachal said he expects the major part of the campaign will begin as summer holidays wind down.
The councillor was first elected in 2016 in a bylelection to replace the late Coun. Dave Hall. Pachal then retained his seat in the following municipal election in 2018. He had previously run in 2014.
Before his election, he was a prominent advocate for public transit and cycling and downtown revitalization.
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