Recount raises Langley census

If Langley's city officials were partial to childish gestures over what they said was a botched 2000 Census count, they might have waggled their hands in their ears, stuck out their tongues and said, "We told you so."

A recount of Langley's residents taken over the last month by volunteers and Langley Clerk-Treasurer Debbie Mahler shows that the Census count two years ago was probably off. At Wednesday's city council meeting, Mahler announced that she and her team of enumerators found there are at least 1,025 people living in the city, not the 927 counted by the Census or the 970 estimated by the state's office of financial management.

The recount came after Langley Mayor Lloyd Furman complained publicly last year about what he believed to be a Census undercount. He said by getting a population count of less than 1,000 people, Langley lost out on $5,000 in state planning money. Cities under that population mark receive $5,000 a year from the state, while those over it receive at least $10,000.

Mahler said the city's recount might have produced an even higher number but for a number of people who never seemed to be home when enumerators came calling. She said she could not be certain how many people were missed.

"There's a few, I'm sure," she said.

The city's count is not the final say on the population number. The Office of Financial Management will send its own enumerators to the city to do a random survey of addresses listed in the city's count. If they find discrepancies between the information they collect and that put together by the city, the agency will not certify the city's count.

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