Langley City mayor-elect Nathan Pachal plans to take a team approach to tackling the issues the community faces over the next four years.
“I don’t have all the answers,” Pachal told the Langley Advance Times following his Oct. 15 victory.
“That why you have a council, and staff, and people [in the community]. You need a team. You need to be listening to that team.”
He expects crime and homelessness will be top priorities for the new council, “closely followed by affordable housing” as the City prepares for the arrival of SkyTrain, something he views as an “opportunity,” though not without a downside in terms of its potential impact on affordable housing.
“We don’t want to delude ourselves and say nobody is displaced in this process,” Pachal remarked.
“We want to make sure they are treated with dignity.”
As a councillor, Pachal proposed establishing a “citizen’s assembly” on public safety issues, to create a comprehensive community safety plan for Langley City. It was adopted by council shortly before the election.
Under now-Mayor Pachal, the assembly will aim to bring together people from the community, “representing diverse viewpoints and lived experiences” to develop measures “to improve safety in a meaningful way,” looking at ideas that could include having bylaw officers work with health care and housing professionals to assist homeless people, or setting up a City ranger service to help keep parks safe and clean,
He wants to “have a lot of different voices at the table.”
Pachal feels there is a general consensus on council about the important issues, though not necessarily the approach to take.
“I fully expect there will be a diversity of opinion,” Pachal predicted.
“We do want to have those voices heard.”
— Nathan Pachal (@npachal) October 16, 2022
Online, Pachal has identified several categories of issues in his “Langley City solution tracker” including homelessness and affordable housing; public safety; building a walkable community with safer crosswalks and traffic calming; creating a “vibrant downtown Langley that could include a performing arts centre; improvements to parks and green space including better lighting and washroom facilities; better maintenance of streets, sidewalks and street lights; and updating the community plan.
In an update to his online blog, posted after he won the mayoralty , Pachal talked about supporting “safe, sustainable and accessible communities.”
“Sustainability to me means building a community that will meet the needs of all who choose to live, work, or establish a business in their community today and into the future,” Pachal said.
“It means building a community where small businesses can succeed, which provides services for all members of the community, and that protects the environment. It means investing in community safety. It also means working hard to ensure that the services which a city provides remain affordable.”
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