Former Langley City mayor Peter Fassbender has announced he will once again seek the office.
“For me, it has been a lot of reflection,” said Fassbender of his decision to run for mayor.
“After serious discussions with my family and others, we have determined that I still have the energy and commitment to make a solid contribution in the next four years.”
The former councillor and three-term mayor, who left municipal politics to become a provincial Liberal cabinet minister, said he is not taking victory for granted.
“I strongly believe my previous years on council, as well as my time in the provincial government have given me the tools I need to continue to contribute into the future” Fassbender said.
“I’m in it to win it.”
His campaign announcement said that part of his platform is to ensure that the City of Langley continues to be a strong voice in the region.
“With the number of new mayors and councillors in Metro Vancouver, it will be important to have strong and visionary leadership at the many regional tables, including the mayors council for TransLink.”
“We are at a critical time in the province and region when it comes to issues of transportation; housing supply and affordability; homelessness and the opioid crisis to name only a few,” Fassbender said.
Two current council members have already said they intend to run for mayor: Val van den Broek and Paul Albrecht.
Another candidate who announced he would be seeking election as a councillor, Randy Caine, had said if Fassbender ran for mayor, he would, too.
Following the Fassbender announcement, Caine said he has reconsidered and will campaign for a council seat, not the mayor’s chair.
“I don’t think Peter has much of a chance,” Caine told the Times.
“I don’t think that running against him (for mayor) would serve any purpose.”
Fassbender was on the Langley School Board from 1975 to 1979.
He was first elected to Langley City as a councillor in 2002, and then as mayor in the 2005, 2008 and 2011 elections.
Fassbender was serving as mayor when he was elected MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood in the 2013 provincial election.
He was appointed Minister of Education during a bitter labour dispute with the B.C. Teachers Federation that ended with a settlement after five days of round-the-clock talks.
He then served minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and minister responsible for TransLink.
When Fassbender stepped down from the mayor’s job, current City mayor Ted Schaffer named acting Langley City mayor after council decided against holding a byelection.
Schaffer filled the acting role for 16 months until the municipal election, then removed the “acting” title by running and winning the election as mayor in the 2014 municipal mayoralty race, defeating his nearest opponent by more than 2,000 votes.
The Langley City mayor’s chair opened up once again with Schaffer’s announcement that he will retire in October at the end of the term.