Two candidates in the running to lead Langley Planning Advisory Board

LANGLEY - Langley's Planning Advisory Board has narrowed its choice for chairman down to two.

The board picked its newest member, Jim Sundberg, who was appointed earlier this year, and Fred Geisler, who is also a Whidbey Environmental Action Network board member.

The names will be forwarded to Langley Mayor Paul Samuelson, who will pick one for the chairman position. The other will be vice chairman by default.

Although the topic is listed on tonight's council agenda, Samuelson isn't expected to make his pick until next month.

Sundberg received four votes from his peers during last week's Planning Advisory Board meeting.

Roger Gage, who has filled in as chairman since Russell Sparkman left in January to join the Langley City Council, came in second with three votes.

Geisler received two votes.

However, Gage took himself out of the running.

"I make it simple," Gage said. "I don't want to do it. The other two gentlemen are more than capable."

Their fellow board members acknowledged Sundberg's experience in the planning profession and also said that Geisler had stood out through his extensive research and analyses of planning documents.

The board has had some regrouping issues since Sparkman left.

Between February and March, three meetings were canceled and the board also decided against meeting on June 25. In recent months, the board was only complete once. In turn, alternate member Craig Moore has been called up often to serve on the board.

Geisler has only been at two meetings since January; Sundberg missed only one.

The board has a critical role this year in city rulemaking; it’s charged with reviewing changes resulting from the rewrite of the city's growth plan.

The Planning Advisory Board is a five-member volunteer body that functions as the city council's primary resource for initiating, researching, reviewing and recommending action on land-use related activities.

The Planning Advisory Board meets in city hall twice a month, at 4 p.m. on the second Wednesday and at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday.

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