Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek (left) and Coun. Teri James were at odds over the mayor’s recent gala fundraiser. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley City mayor and council clash over gala

Staff to investigate if winter wonderland-themed event breached City policy

A motion directing Langley City staff to review a weekend fundraising gala by Mayor Val van den Broek passed unanimously Monday, with the mayor calling it petty, while Coun. Teri James –the one who raised the matter – describing it as an issue of accountability.

James said the winter wonderland-themed event, held on Saturday, Jan. 25, was not endorsed by the City, as required under a “branding” policy adopted by the municipality.

“The use of the term, Langley City mayor’s gala, the City coat of arms, and the RCMP coat of arms was used in advertising, which suggests the event was an official City event,” James told council.

James’ motion called on staff to report on liability to Langley City in using the identifiers on advertising materials for a non-City event. She also asked for a financial report outlining all materials and in-kind costs to Langley City associated with the mayor’s gala – including RCMP costs.

Coun. Rudy Storteboom, who attended the gala, seconded the motion.

“It was a fun party, but council didn’t even really know about it until it was in the bag,” Storteboom explained.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley City Mayor’s gala raises thousands for LMH

READ MORE: Langley City Mayor’s inaugural Winter Wonderland Charity Gala is sold out

“I am the mayor and I had a mayor’s gala,” van den Broek commented.

“So I apologize if I offended anyone.”

Council was informed in advance about the event, van den Broek insisted.

“I offered them the opportunity to volunteer and come on board,” van den Broek recounted.

“I find this absolutely petty,” the mayor added during Monday’s meeting.

“I’m sorry that it has come to this.”

Coun. Rosemary Wallace suggested the mayor could hold another gala, without using the City crest.

“I hope in going forward, we can just do everything how it should be done,” Wallace said.

Van den Broek then called the vote and raised her hand with the rest of council.

“I’m in favour of it as well,” van den Broek said.

After the meeting, James said the motion wasn’t personal, and was written by a majority of council.

“All but two,” James said, but declined to give names.

James said she raised the question of using the City coat of arms several weeks before the gala, in an email to the mayor.

“You can’t just do anything you want because you have a title,” James told the Langley Advance Times.

“This is about accountability.”

Following the vote, van den Broek said she did, in error, use a city crest in an ad thanking people for making the gala happen.

She said she found out it wasn’t allowed too late, so she is planning to run an apology advertisement.

“I get their point,” van den Broek commented.

As for concerns about costs, “I didn’t use any staff resources,” the mayor declared.

“It was all volunteer.”



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langley Citypolitics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Nine dogs killed after mobile home in Langley used as animal shelter catches fire

Animal shelter did not have a license or permit for a kennel

Gallery 7 hopes to solve the mystery of who will play Sherlock Holmes

Auditions for theatre production of Baskerville will be held Tuesday, Feb. 25 in Abbotsford

Langley Senior Resources Society loses member to retirement after 25 years of service

‘I hope they’ll remember me as kind and funny,” says Janice McTaggart

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Budget 2020: B.C. unveils new grant for students, phases out debt-relief program

For the first time, diploma, certificate students qualify for yearly post-secondary grant

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

2020 Budget: ICBC shortfall continues ahead of new rate-reduction plan

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

Budget 2020: B.C. NDP taps top tax bracket for more revenue

Minimum wage set to pass $15 an hour by 2021

Budget 2020: Not much new for B.C.’s struggling forest industry

Focus on wood waste utilization, efficiency, ministry budget cut

Skull reconstruction gives new insight into unknown man found in B.C. cemetery

RCMP released a 3-D skull reconstruction of a man who was found dead on July 2, 1998

66% of parents think unaffordability will push their kids out of Metro Vancouver: poll

Survey sees uptick in parents feeling the financial stressors of living in the Lower Mainland

Most Read