Langley: One community, two governments.
To the Langley Reunification Association, that means only one thing: taxpayers from both the Township and the City are paying unnecessarily double for council members, staff and resources.
For six months last year, the LRA set out to gauge interest in reunifying the two Langleys, which separated in 1955.
They asked residents to sign a petition if they agreed to a request asking both councils to agree to an independent study that would explore the feasibility of reunification.
The organizers were pleasantly surprised: 3,176 people who live in the City signed the petition, while 3,547 Township residents signed it.
City council dismissed the petition before it had been completed, and decided to ignore it when it was formally presented in January.
But on Feb. 9, only days after Township council expressed support for uniting the two jurisdictions, Langley Reunification Association president Rian Martin said that the City cannot ignore an issue that is gaining momentum in other areas of the Lower Mainland.
There are rumblings to make the City and District of North Vancouver one municipality, and merging the municipalities of Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody is also sparking some discussion.
The Township’s official position was given by Mayor Jack Froese on Feb. 6: “We respect that the City of Langley does not see the need to pursue a study on the issue at this time, therefore no action will be taken on our part.”
ledged that the Township is not opposed to a study.
He stressed the need for the two Langleys to “continue working together in unity, to build on our relationship, and to share our strengths. By working with the City and other neighbouring municipalities, we can reduce redundancies, provide cost-effective services, and offer the best possible quality of life for all our residents.”
He added: “We are one community in spirit.”
Martin was pleased with Froese’s words.
“This is showing vision and courage in a very sensitive area between these two municipalities, and we are very pleased with the direction the Township has taken,” Martin said.
The Langley Reunification Association’s board of directors is to meet in the next few weeks to work on a strategy, he said.