Allderdice is city’s pick to fill empty council seat

Doug Allderdice takes the oath of office at Monday’s Langley council meeting. - Brian Kelly / The Record
Doug Allderdice takes the oath of office at Monday’s Langley council meeting.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / The Record

LANGLEY — Experience may have been the edge.

The Langley City Council unanimously picked Doug Allderdice as the city’s newest councilman at the council meeting Monday evening.

What’s old is new again, however. Allderdice isn’t a stranger to city hall, having served on the council from 2000 to 2006. Council members chose the retired physician over Bruce Allen, an Army retiree, after a 20-minute question-and-answer session that toggled between the two candidates.

Allderdice and Allen were asked the same eight questions, which ranged from what they thought were the top issues facing the city, to their experience working with groups such as the council, and how to allow for growth while keeping the city’s vistas and rural character.

The pair kept their answers short and relatively vague, and both said the city needed to improve the economy by building on the town’s tourist base. Allderdice and Allen both said the city needs to grow in a way that retains Langley’s charm.

Allderdice said Langley needed “a stable, steady, dependable, predictable city government, where development can occur and it happens in a rational manner.”

Allen, a political newcomer in the Village by the Sea, stressed for unity among city officials, and said Langley must work to attract new businesses.

“We need to play that up in a big-time way, and make it a center for providing something to do for tourists,” he said.

Both candidates were remarkably straightforward when council members asked to detail their strengths and weaknesses.

Allderdice said he was too quick to agree when he previously served on the council, citing “an eagerness to please when there really isn’t a good reason to cave.”

He also said he was apt “to lead from the rear.”

Allen, a retired Army sergeant major who once commanded 17,000 troops, noted he was a team player but someone who also wanted results.

“I’m an extremely hard worker. And I like to work together and get things done,” Allen said.

“Sometimes I charge too hard,” he added.

After the interviews, council members retreated to talk in private, upstairs at city hall, about the qualifications of the candidates.

After a 15-minute, closed-door executive session, council members returned to council chambers for the vote.

Allderdice was sworn in after the 4-0 vote. He will serve in Position 5, the post left vacant by the resignation of Robert Gilman in August. Allderdice took a seat with the council for the rest of the meeting, but abstained from voting on proposals to establish a hearing examiner system, the approval of a hearing examiner contract and increases in stormwater and sewer rates and permit fees.

At the end of Monday’s council meeting, several council members thanked Allen for throwing his hat in the ring.

But Allen reminded them that his future with the city was still undecided.

“I’m not done yet,” Allen said with a laugh.

Allen is a candidate on the November ballot for Langley City Council Position 4, and is challenging Thomas Gill for the seat on the council.

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