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Sundberg and Adams lead in race for Langley Council Seat 3, Waters trails behind | UPDATE
The planning board volunteer who pressed for approval of Langley Passage and the frontman who led the fight against the controversial housing project will square off in the General Election for Position 3 on the Langley City Council.
Jim Sundberg and Robin Adams were leading in the three-way race for the council seat in early vote returns on Election Night.
Kathleen Waters, a longtime government watchdog and Langley business owner, was trailing in third.
The initial vote count gave Adams 31 percent of the vote, while Sundberg collected 45 percent. Waters had pulled in 23 percent.
Adams and Sundberg will now advance to the November election.
"I think this is a good indication that people are interested in the issues," Sundberg said Tuesday night, extending gratitude to his wife Rebecca, those who have helped and advised him in his campaign and, of course, the citizens of Langley.
"What I've heard as I've gone door to door is people are interested in positive economic development for the city," he said. "I'm also very interested in sustainable long-term prospects for the city to improve local transportation and access to Langley."
With potential ballots still to be counted later this week, Adams said it was too soon to make any kind of claim of success.
"I'm very much appreciate of those people who voted for me," he said.
"I'm looking forward to discussing the issues in more detail with Jim if this holds up," Adams added.
Waters said the vote appeared as if Langley voters wanted to keep the status quo.
"I am not surprised," Waters said.
"Jim Sundberg made a tremendous effort to get elected. And I think he has succeeded," she said.
Waters vowed to continue her scrutiny of Langley's elected officials, something she has become known for in the past four years.
"I will not go away," she said Tuesday night.
All three candidates vying for Fran Abel's seat ran on platforms promoting economic development for the Village by the Sea, which many believe has a no-growth reputation.
Adams and Sundberg were at opposite sides of the controversy surrounding the Langley Passage housing project in the Edgecliff neighborhood, with Sundberg as the chairman of the Planning Advisory Board that reviewed the project and Adams leading the Langley Critical Area Alliance in staunch opposition. Sundberg was the only member of the PAB to support the 20-lot development.
On other campaign issues, Adams and Sundberg also part views when it comes to the formation of a city finance committee, although both think government transparency is in good shape, unlike Waters. Sundberg favors the ad-hoc committee system currently in place, while Adams and Waters both advocate for a change.
Sundberg, who has the most experience with city hall from his position as chairman of the Planning Advisory Board, has said he will work to bring electric car plug-in stations, recycling containers and more walking paths and biking lanes to Langley if elected.
Adams ran on three main issues: aligning Langley's zoning and development rules with its comprehensive plan, reforming the city's public utilities and diversifying the city's economy.
In the initial vote tally, 433 ballots were counted in the race. Sundberg received 195 votes; Adams, 135; Waters, 103.