Less than a quarter of people who were eligible to vote in the City of Langley turned out last month to elect the municipal council that will represent the community for the next four years.
However, voter turnout in the City on Saturday, Nov. 15, was still up by slightly more than three per cent over the previous election, in 2011.
Of 17,362 eligible voters, 4,187 — or 24.1 per cent — cast ballots in the recent election.
In 2011, that figure was 20.9 per cent and in 2008, it was 21.1 per cent.
The numbers were released by the City’s chief election officer, Carolyn Mushata, and presented at the final meeting of the 2011-14 City council, in accordance with provincial regulations.
Numbers provided by Mushata showed the breakdown of actual votes for each candidate, as well as the percentage of votes cast that each received.
With 2,781 votes, acting mayor Ted Schaffer was given a resounding mandate to carry on in the role in an official capacity, receiving almost exactly two-thirds (66.4 per cent) of the votes for mayor.
Randy Caine placed second with 767 or 18.3 per cent and Ray Lewis third, with 558 or 13.3 per cent.
Among those seeking election to council, incumbent Dave Hall topped the polls with 2,172 or 51.9 per cent of the vote, while Jack Arnold, who was first elected to City council in 1990, narrowly defeated challenger Nathan Pachal for the final seat, with 1,599 or 38.2 per cent of votes.
Longtime councillor Gayle Martin retained her seat with 1,851 or 44.2 per cent of votes.
The two council members who did not seek re-election — Rosemary Wallace, who has been elected to serve as a school trustee for the Township, and Teri James, who is stepping away from politics after nine years on council — spent the final few minutes of their last council meeting saying thank you to friends, family, City staff and council colleagues.
“I’d like to offer congratulations to the council and mayor-elects,” said James. “I look forward to working with you in a different capacity.”
Wallace said she regards her two terms on council as years of growth.
The departing councillors were, in turn, thanked for their dedication and passion by Schaffer. He was officially sworn into the role of mayor on Monday afternoon (see page 1).
The three council seats left vacant by Schaffer, Wallace and James were claimed by newcomers Val van den Broek (1,864 votes, 44.5 per cent) and Paul Albrecht (1,738 votes, 41.5 per cent) along with former City councillor Rudy Storteboom (1,856 votes, 44.3 per cent) who returns after losing his seat to Schaffer three years ago.
They took their seats Monday at the inagural meeting of the new council.
Representing the City on the Langley Board of Education are incumbent Rob McFarlane (2,182 votes, 52.1 per cent) and newcomer Shelley Coburn (2,144 votes, 51.2 per cent).
Incumbent Candy Ashdown failed in her bid for re-election, earning 1,728 or 41.3 per cent of votes.
Nathan Pachal received the greatest amount of support among council candidates who were not elected, with 1,528 votes (36.5 per cent). Sharon Newbery was next, with 1,493 or 35.7 per cent of votes, followed by Miriam Marshall (1,463, 34.9 per cent); Carla Robin (1,403, 33.5 per cent); Christine MacIntosh (1,164, 27.8 per cent) and Ron Abgrall (590, 14.1 per cent).