Langley City residents have elected one-term council member Val van Den Broek to replace retiring mayor Ted Schaffer.
Van den Broek, who won with 50 per cent of the ballots, is a federal public servant with the RCMP. She first ran for council in 2014 and won. The 18-year resident of Langley obtained 2,446 votes in preliminary results.
Peter Fassbender, a former education minister under the B.C. Liberals, failed in his attempt to return as mayor to the City of Langley, where he had been mayor from 2005 to 2013. He received 46 per cent of the votes.
In the 2013 provincial election Fassbender was elected as a B.C. Liberal in the riding of Surrey-Fleetwood. In addition to serving as education minister he was minister responsible for TransLink. He lost the riding in 2017 to the NDP’s Jagrup Brar, after being targeted for his failure to come through on transportation improvements.
The voters of the sprawling Township of Langley handed a third term to Mayor Jack Froese, after two high-profile critics, Kim Richter and Eric Woodward, opted against running against him and instead pursued council seats. Froese took 14,855 votes, compared to only 8,407 for second place mayoral candidate Anna Remenik.
The strategy to not oppose the mayor worked for Richter and Woodward, who were both elected to council. Woodward came in second and Richter third. The councillor who took the most ballots was David Davis, with preliminary results showing he had more than 12,029 votes.
The pace of change and development has been a key source of political tension. The population of the Township of Langley grew by 13 per cent between 2006 and 2011, with expanding housing projects abutting expanses of farmland. However, Froese has said he’s proud of the way his council has responded to growth concerns.
Froese, who grew up in a farming family and has lived in Langley for 40 years, believes adequate effort is being made to protect the township’s farmland. He denies that Langley is growing too fast, welcomes residential towers being constructed and supports the expansion of the controversial Trans-Mountain pipeline, which runs through the district.