“I guess experience can’t be a bad thing,” said former Township Councillor Steve Ferguson.
“After serving 7 terms on council (not continuously), you tend to pick up some knowledge about what works best for the community.”
Anyone even thinking of running this term for Township council needs the time. I retired early from teaching and I believe that a committed councillor needs to put in 40-60 hours per week.
I have attended 90% of council meetings, spending many hours researching the Township’s yearly budget and policy directions.
I have following the Brookswood/Fernridge Community planning process, sitting in on the community workshops, public hearings, and Council decisions.
The same is true for the new Smith and Williams neighbourhood plans.
I have met with Senior planning staff, the Fire Department regarding the audit being conducted, Engineering staff, and recreation staff regarding projects in the community.
Ferguson believes that the next Langley Township Council needs to create opportunities and open new doors for Langley residents.
Housing: Affordable Mixed use Market housing for families and Seniors, Co-Op housing, Co-housing, rental inventory, and much NEEDED subsidized housing. We also need to support those that are homeless and less fortunate. Partnering with B.C. housing, Metro Vancouver, the Federal government, and other stakeholders. Ferguson also is working with Langley residents regarding a proposed Neighbourhood house that would focus around Food Security for residents of ALL ages.
Transit, Roads, and Transportation: 208 street needs to be 4 lanes from 64 to the Freeway. We have to get our fair share of transit for the Langley’s. Even though the future Translink plan calls for Light Rail to the Langley, with Millions of dollars of infrastructure for Surrey and Vancouver. Will they have any money left for the Langley’s?
Ferguson is totally opposed to the Mobility Pricing model proposed by Translink? Langley voted that down once already!
Safety: Police and Fire. Violent crime throughout the region, property crime, Full time firefighters for Brookswood, and by-law challenges for illegal property uses.
The new Marijuana legislation: taking food production out of Langley farms and putting in Cannabis crops has caused odour and noise concerns in Aldergrove. With over 70% of the Township in the ALR, we can’t let Cannabis operations replace our valuable food crops.
Taxes: Keep taxes down: We must find new revenue sources, Attract clean businesses to Langley in Manufacturing and Industry that can not only contribute to our tax base but create opportunities for Good JOBS Close to Home! (Jobs that can support families and purchase housing)
My campaign will be focused on what the residents want. I am conducting a poll on my website, (SteveFerguson.ca), and running the results regularly.
Ferguson is a Rotarian, Board member at the Seniors Center, a former Salvation Army Community Board member, a member of the Aldergrove Legion, and a former Chairman of the Friends of the Environment. He supports the Langley Rivermen, Fibromyalgia organization, Cancer Society, Young Life, Brookswood church, and many other local groups.
Ferguson is married and has raised his three children in Langley.
He can be contacted on Facebook and SteveFerguson.ca
Thank you to the Editor of Langley Times for posting this letter I wrote. I wrote this in reference to their article “Road Pricing is Reprehensible”
The idea of a suggested mobility road pricing will put an $8 per day fee (approx $3,000/year) on vehicles travelling throughout the region. Besides — as stated in your editorial — being a “punitive measure (heinous) beyond anyone’s wildest imagination” it also attacks residents who are struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis: Seniors, students, and families on lower incomes.
I guess this mobility road pricing idea is based on the concept of fairness.
OK let’s turn this around slightly and look at a Langley model, or perhaps a model that includes areas like Delta or White Rock that don’t have rapid transit (SkyTrain and West Coast Express).
Make it a discounted mobility road pricing concept, a rollback in gas taxes and other fees and charges for the folks that have to drive their vehicles on the very roads that were already paid for by past tax dollars.
Imagine that, a fair system for folks who don’t have billion dollar rapid transit systems running through their communities.
The Following is a start to an affordable housing plan that I can stand behind.
If business folks and developers ( including Churches and other organizations) can see a genuine VALUE in providing the necessary MIX of housing types, the process (perhaps) can come to fruition. BUT it won’t be easy!
The Provincial government has announced a National Housing strategy, the Province has done the same, Metro Vancouver already has housing projects, and now local governments are getting involved.
The key thing is to get the necessary land parcels identified early on to actually achieve the money made available from governments. Other communities will be competing for that money as well, and Langley doesn’t want to be left behind.
There are indeed government parcels spread out through the community that could be made available for housing needs, particularly Subsidized housing for young families and seniors. (The Canadian Forces base in Aldergrove is over 1000 acres)
Local governments can help out by reducing the costs of fees, Development Charges, and taxes. (the Township is already exploring this measure)
Other steps involve the general Real Estate market, where Land Owner’s can provide Lower housing costs for families that qualify.
Langley actually has a mix of housing types already in existence.
1. Housing Co-ops
2. Kinsmen and other service group housing
3. Co-Housing projects
4. Other housing accommodations through not for profit organizations
5. Church projects including one in the works at The Shepard of the Valley church in Willoughby
Now is the time to draw in the necessary partners and begin the process of providing the much needed Affordable Housing projects to the families and Seniors who really need it!
I am speaking out about what I value in our community. Thank you Michael Clogs for this opportunity.
Thank you Lynda Steele for having on your radio show to talk about the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors pay raise.