Mayor Jack Froese
Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese took the time to answer my 2019 New Year inquiries in some detail so I wanted to dedicated a standalone post to the Mayor’s priorities for this year.
The Mayor quotes his top priority as working together as Council and planning strategically through a professional facilitator. Mayor Froese suggests that through this process he will better focus on the specific issues that are most important to Council. However, there were some projects and topics that have already come up that he says council is definitely interested in.
“I look forward to completing the Strategic Planning process, hearing from all Council members about what they’d like to see in Langley Township’s future, and working together with Council, staff, and the community to make it happen.”
-Mayor Jack Froese
The first projects that he mentioned were the Fort Langley community projects which includes the new museums, library, conference centre, work-live artist space, an Aborginal-themed lodge, new homes and shops, the Haida House restoration project and many other area improvements. The partnership with Kwantlen First Nation has proven to be mutually beneficial with these, as well as other projects that enhance the culture and history of the neighbourhood.
Mayor Froese also highlighted the Brookswood NCP planning process and development opportunities in Aldergrove as key items that will play a large role in 2019. Roads and infrastructure continue to be a priority, especially in Willoughby, but he also states that we need to look at improving how people get around in all modes, including walking and cycling. He brought up that the 216th Street Highway #1 interchange will be completed in 2019 and there will be further monitoring of the impact of this junction, with a special emphasis on safety.
Social issues and health care will also be at the forefront of the Mayor’s objectives for the year. He suggested that he would like to continue to find more positive partnerships similar to the supportive housing project passed late last year. Mayor Froese looks forward to supporting enchanced health care, such as the new Langley Hospice house.
Brad’s Conclusion: Let’s get ‘er done!
As I’ve mentioned, I was greatly appreciative to the Mayor and all of Council members for taking the time, some during their holidays, to write me or meet with me over the past few weeks to help me understand what their goals are for 2019 and what they expect to tackle.
This is especially a privilege for me because council members themselves may not discuss these items in this format with each other, so these response may provide some great early (and exclusive!) insight to the direction of council. While council may disagree on the specifics of the issues, what I saw through the 9 responses were a handful of common goals. Based on what I heard, we should expect to see some serious progress on:
- A strategy for completing 208th Street in Willoughby
- Brookswood/Fernridge NCP planning teams should be well underway
- A Township-wide tree bylaw adopted
- Township-specific cannabis regulation, especially in reference to production
- A major Aldergrove medium or high density project
- Some progress on a significant cultural centre, theatre and/or library (likely in Willoughby)
While I’m sure more issues will come up through the year, my expectation is that we as a voters can come back in January 2020 and either cross some of these off the list or at least have a sense of accomplishment behind them. Good luck to Mayor and Council!