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Island City Of Langley Langley Councilmember Position 2

The City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. The Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city.
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    Dominique Emerson (NP) Landscape Designer

  • Bill Nesbeitt (NP)

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastucture?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

Phone (360) 321-7704
Town where you live Langley, WA 98260
Experience (300 characters max) City Council 2016 - present Council liaison to Port of South Whidbey Chair of City Planning Advisory Board Council liaison of Fairgrounds Advisory committee Shoreline Master Plan committee Master Degrees: Computer Science & mathematics WAIF, president WIGT president WICA board member NHS board
Langley is doing a good job on its street maintenance, water main upkeep and sidewalk improvements. Unfortunately, Langley’s aging and neglected sewer plant and pipelines need repairs. Langley has a very good plan in place and is working on finding the funds to help support the work. Besides funding from state and federal sources, Langley may need to look to its small population of 1100 people for support. We have been raising our rates and exploring expansion of our utilities to the 1/3 of the population not currently covered. This area needs storm water management as well as sewer service. It is critical that the city develop a plan that does not overburden the unserved population yet extends service to them. This will improve the overall system performance, provide financial support for the existing system, and allow residents in these areas to develop their lots.
We are fortunate to be a part of a community that supports the homeless through its church and philanthropic efforts. Homeless teens have a new facility in Greenbank, Ryan’s House. Langley supports the House of Hospitality which is used for transitional housing. The city is getting a generator for a warming center in the public library. These services along with Whidbey Island Nourishes, Good Cheer Food Bank, and the Hub provide food and shelter to the youth and homeless of Langley. Modifications to current zoning would allow for group homes which could be utilized for housing the homeless.
Langley is ideally configured with its focus on a core downtown to be accessible to seniors. At this time, Langley has the Brookhaven facility downtown, managed by the county. Besides providing senior discounts on utilities, the city contributes to Senior Services which supplies meals and support to seniors. A new non-profit has been established by local citizens to help seniors age in place called South Whidbey At Home. Zoning again should be modified to allow small homes on small lots which is another method of supporting seniors. I am a proponent of the expansion of sidewalks to provide safe walking access to the core, helping seniors stay active and connected with the town and each other.
Langley has looked long and hard into the illegal immigration issues being faced by its citizens. After months of debate, the city passed a resolution directing all employees to refrain from asking for proof of citizenship. We all hope that this assures any person that they are safe in Langley and should report any crimes. Since Langley does not have a jail, it has no ability to hold people. ICE has never contacted Langley, but the Mayor and the Police chief were supported by the city lawyer in concluding that their oath of office would be in direct conflict if they were directed to not respond to ICE. Although I support an ordinance for guaranteeing the rights and safety of all citizens under any circumstance where no law has been broken, I had to agree that we would have to change the oaths of office before passing any ordinance. I support our current decision as it is based on a democratic process and reflects the opinion of many in the city and the majority of the council.
Three major issues facing Langley at this time: the aging sewer system, lack of affordable housing, and a diverse economic base. The aging sewer system is address above. Although Langley has many successesful affordable developments, there is still high demand. I am committed to looking at new zoning regulations to make affordable housing more possible such as regulations for smaller lot sizes, increased auxiliary housing units(ADU’s), and multi-plexes in residential neighborhoods. Even more could be done by allowing apartment complexes on appropriate lots throughout the city. Simplifying our development process and making it predictable would be helpful. At the same time we need to be aware of possible impacts on neighborhood parking. Langley’s thriving economic base is focused on tourism, but this model could be more robust if Langley focused on developing other businesses. Having year around businesses helps Langley build on its successful tourist industry.
I believe that affordable housing is the most critical need in Langley. Changing zoning is not enough, but it can help. Being more creative about inducements for landowners to make their ADU’s long term rentals rather than VRBO’s or Airbnbs is key finding space in the short term. In the long run, we need to make building housing a win/win situation for the renters who work in Langley and the developers building the units.
I communicate with our mayor primarily by emails, especially with specific requests for council meetings. I do stop by his office to chat and see what is going on in the city. He is usually available and approachable.
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