Val van den Broek wasn’t certain she would be mayor of Langley City until the votes were counted.
“It was always back and forth,” the new mayor-elect said Monday.
She and former mayor Peter Fassbender were neck and neck during the weeks before the election. Van den Broek noted that she was out until 7:30 p.m. Saturday, half an hour before the polls closed, urging people to get out and vote.
“I have been working non-stop since April, when I announced,” van den Broek said.
Van den Broek took 50 per cent of the vote, with 2,446 votes to Fassbender’s 45.8 per cent and 2,240 votes.
Serena Oh trailed with 146 votes and just three per cent of the vote.
Now that she is about to settle in to the mayor’s chair, replacing retiring Mayor Ted Schaffer, van den Broek will get down to work with a slightly altered City council.
The council has added Rosemary Wallace and Teri James, both of whom have previously served on the council.
“It’s a strong council, it’s a good council,” said van den Broek.
In the first few weeks following the vote, van den Broek said she will get orientation and speak to senior City staff about her new duties as a mayor.
She’ll also talk to her council about their ideas for the future, and sit down to work with them as a team, she said.
Homelessness and crime, transportation, and future development of the City are all issues that will be tackled soon, the incoming mayor said.
One of the key issues on transit will be the future of the passenger rail link from Surrey to downtown Langley City. New Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum wants to make major changes to the projects.
“All we can do is start talking,” van den Broek said.
Langley City has been building its plans around the eventual arrival of light rail in the downtown core, but that phase of the project has yet to be fully funded.
On homelessness, van den Broek hopes to address the issue regionally, working with other mayors to have a more powerful voice in the province. A homelessness task force may be re-formed, as well.
One of the ongoing projects that doesn’t get big headlines but came up a lot with voters is the continued revitalizationf of the City’s parks, playgrounds, and trails, van den Broek said. Those projects will still be priorities, she said.
A longtime civilian RCMP employee, she’s set to meet soon with Langley RCMP detachment head Supt. Murray Power.
The relationship between the City and Township over RCMP funding has sometimes been rocky, but right now “everything seems to be running smoothly,” said van den Broek.