Langley councilman to step down

Langley City Councilman Jim Recupero announced his immediate resignation at the close of a special council workshop with the Planning Advisory Board on Monday night.

The announcement came as a surprise. Recupero has not talked publicly about stepping down from his Position 3 seat, and his term was not set to expire until the end of 2011.

“He will be greatly missed. He’s been a solid and strong community contributor,” said Langley Mayor Paul Samuelson.

“He was a real strong, steady supporter of the city,” Samuelson added. “He was a person that the community could talk to, and he would listen.”

Samuelson said Recupero, 80, was stepping down to spend more time with family and pursue other endeavors.

“He felt like the workload at the council was more than he could do at this point,” Samuelson said.

Recupero could not be reached for comment early Tuesday.

A Langley resident since 1993, Recupero has been the city’s longest serving council member in recent years. He was appointed to the council in 2002 and was re-elected twice in contested elections; first against a candidate who pulled out of the race in 2003 and asked Langley voters to keep Recupero on the council, and again in 2007 in a spirited campaign that centered on development.

Semi-retired after an executive career with Lucky food stores in California, Recupero still works part-time at Sebo’s in Bayview.

During his time on the council, Recupero served alongside three mayors; Samuelson, Neil Colburn and Lloyd Furman. He has also seen his share of turmoil in the Village by the Sea, from ongoing budget woes to controversy over proposed developments on Coles Road, the Highlands and the waterfront.

“We went through a lot,” Colburn recalled. “He was always unflappable, and didn’t take things personally and didn’t offer things personally.”

“He was the real pragmatist,” Colburn added. “What he brought to the council was a boatload of common sense. He was just a really good listener and a nice guy; he was just a delight to work with.”

The city is expected to announce the process for replacing Recupero after a resignation letter has been received.

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