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Langley mayor to announce Planning Advisory Board chairman July 2

LANGLEY — The city of Langley seems to be in no rush to appoint a new chairman for the Planning Advisory Board.

Mayor Paul Samuelson said at the regular city council meeting Wednesday that he won’t announce a new chairman until the next city council meeting July 2.

He will conduct interviews with the candidates, Jim Sundberg and Fred Geisler, in the upcoming weeks.

“I am continuing to be real thorough in this process,” he said. “The Planning Advisory Board is a pretty important piece in what we are doing this year.”

The board has a critical role over the next year in city rulemaking; it’s charged with reviewing changes resulting from the rewrite of the city’s growth plan. But it’s been off to a slow start.

Langley’s Planning Advisory Board narrowed its choices for chairman down to two last week.

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

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’ll 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 one.

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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