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OUR VIEW: Welcome to Langley’s new leaders!

Now the hard work begins for civic officials elected on Oct. 15
Langley Township’s new mayor, Eric Woodward, and Langley City’s new mayor, Nathan Pachal, along with their councils will be sworn in on Monday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

This Nov. 7 and Nov. 8, Langley Township and City, and our school board, will swear in a crop of new civic leaders.

We’ve got new mayors in both City and Township, multiple new members on the councils, and several new trustees. It’s the most thorough changing of the guard in Langley in well over a decade.

We want to wish our new leaders well.

They come with a certain amount of experience. In the mayor’s chairs, both Eric Woodward in the Township, and Nathan Pachal in the City served as councillors, they are not naive outsiders. Many of the new council members and trustees have the kinds of community ties, work experience, and education that can serve them well.

So far as we have advice to offer, it would be to try and chart a course between bold action and empathy.

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On the action side, remember that while our municipal politicians may not have the powers that their provincial or federal counterparts do, they are the closest to the ground. They can effect meaningful change and see the effects of that change quickly, whether that’s adding safer crosswalks and bike lanes, or building new playgrounds for kids in a growing community. When there’s a real need, it’s better to move swiftly than to get bogged down in endless consultations.

The other side of the coin, empathy, is about understanding that there are many voices in Langley. There is no one true path forward, there are many. Sometimes, choices have to be made, final decisions handed down. Councillors can only amend so often, before they have to vote, yes or no.

But those votes should be tempered with the knowledge that every decision will affect many lives in the community.

The next four years will doubtless have their frustrations. But hopefully, there will be more triumphs and successes along the way.

– M.C.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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