Burt Beusch is Langley’s newest city council member.
Beusch was appointed to position 1 at the council’s regular monthly meeting on Monday night at city hall. Council members Bruce Allen and Ursula Shoudy nominated Beusch for the seat vacated by former Councilwoman Rene Neff on May 15. He was one of three candidates vying for the position, the others being Frank Rose and Christy Korrow. Councilwoman Dominique Emerson nominated Korrow. Councilman Thomas Gill was not present due to health reasons.
“I appreciate everyone’s confidence in my capabilities and I’m willing to work very hard to fulfill the responsibilities of this position,” Beusch said. “I’m glad to be here.”
The council took turns asking the candidates questions during a 30-minute interview at the start of the meeting. The council asked them a variety of questions such as what they thought the ideal relationship between the council and city staff should be, their strengths and weaknesses and what the most pressing issue is for the city.
Beusch, who has lived in Langley for four years and held management roles at several Seattle-based companies, felt economic development of Langley should be a primary focus. He also wanted to find more ways to encourage tourists to visit by way of events and venues. Rose, chairman of the Langley Arts Commission, agreed that economic development was a pressing issue. He and Korrow, a member of the Langley Planning and Advisory Board, also said that improving affordable housing was also of importance.
Beusch also believes Langley’s future over the next 10 to 20 years is “bright” and that he anticipates there will eventually be pressure to expand and build more homes on lots as they become available.
Councilwoman Dominique Emerson asked the candidates how they would approach growth while keeping the city’s vistas and rural character intact. Beusch thought it would depend on building codes and other similar governmental actions that would protect certain areas of the city. He also felt the city should continue to encourage affordable housing and additional dwelling units and ensure the city’s comprehensive sewer plan accommodates the outskirts of the town to “allow for hook-ups so that we can accommodate growth in a smart and safe way.”
The council members deliberated in secret session for 20 minutes to discuss the qualifications of the candidates, then returned to public session to cast their votes.