Businessman wins bid to be 'mayor for a day'
On Thursday, Sept. 1, the City of Langley had two mayors, and they were both riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles to their various civic appointments.
The bikes were provided by Greg Barnes of Barnes Harley-Davidson, who bid $2,000 to be mayor-for-a-day at last year’s charity auction for the Langley Lodge senior care facility.
With Mayor Peter Fassbender at his side, Barnes began his day with a visit to the local fire hall, followed by a trip to city hall for a flag-raising, then a tour of the Langley RCMP detachment and finally a ride to Burnaby to view the TransLink operations centre.
“It was fun,” Barnes said.
“We went through the whole behind-the-scenes.”
“I enjoyed hanging with Greg,” said Fassbender, a motorcycle aficionado who normally rides a Yamaha.
Barnes let the mayor keep the borrowed Harley an extra day.
It’s the first time an adult has served as mayor-for-a-day in the City of Langley as far as anyone can recall.
The only other mayor for a day that Fassbender remembers was a Grade 5 student who had to be talked out of declaring a school holiday.
“It’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek thing,” Fassbender said.
Last year’s charity auction raised $75,000 for the Langley Lodge, helping to pay for the recent renovation and expansion of the facility at 5451 204 Street as well as programs and services for the lodge’s 139 residents.
Another auction is planned this year for Oct. 1.
The Lodge’s director of fundraising, Patrick Matiowski, said the mayor has agreed to go on the auction block again.
“He’s been a wonderful friend and supporter of the Lodge,” Matioski said.
The 39-year-old facility was overhauled to convert double occupancy rooms into single occupancy, to widen hallways and add a new tower.
The work was paid with temporary financing organized by BC Housing, but the interim financing has been replaced with a $28 million mortgage.
The charity is fully responsible for servicing the mortgage.
A lodge fact sheet notes that it “serves the frailest and most dependent seniors in our society [many] confined to wheelchairs, unable to walk, bathe or use toilet facilities without assistance.”
For more information about the Langley Care Foundation, the non-profit agency that operates the lodge, visit http://www.langleylodge.org/donate/