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Langley has new chairman for city’s Planning Advisory Board

Langley Mayor Paul Samuelson has picked Jim Sundberg to be the new chairman of the Planning Advisory Board.

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

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.

Samuelson announced his choice Wednesday night at the regular city council meeting.

Samuelson said it wasn’t his decision alone.

He interviewed Sundberg and then spoke to all Planning Advisory Board members who agreed that Sundberg would be the best man for the job.

“The consensus was that he was the right choice,” Samuelson said. “He is qualified, eager to do the job and he loves Langley.”

Last month, the board nominated Sundberg and fellow board member Fred Geisler for the post. When the Planning Advisory Board nominated the candidates, Geisler had gotten two votes, while Sundberg received four.

With Samuelson picking Sundberg, Geisler became vice chairman by default.

Sundberg holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning and has work experience in environmental impact studies and regional planning in California and New Zealand. He has also been active in community planning, Samuelson said.

Sundberg works as a computer systems analyst and programmer for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

According to information on file with the city of Langley, Geisler is a board member for the Whidbey Environmental Action Network and president of Island Asset Organization, a long distance telephone company that supports local nonprofits, and a regional kayak sales representative.

Michaela Marx Wheatley can be reached at 221-5300 or mmarxwheatley@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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