Rene Neff to resign from Langley City Council

Langley City Councilwoman Rene Neff confirmed this week that she will resign sometime before the end of her term.

Neff, who has been on the council for 12 years and worked with five different mayors, said she would like to dedicate more time to her family and fulfill her obligations as Island Shakespeare Festival’s president. She has not determined when she will resign, but expects that it will occur by summertime at the latest. Neff said she has discussed her resignation with Mayor Tim Callison but will not submit an official notice until a date is solidified.

Neff’s term on Seat 1 will expire Dec. 31.

“It’s already been 12 years and I felt like that’s probably been plenty, and I have a tremendous amount on my plate,” Neff said. “I feel like it’s probably a good time for me to step off.”

Contrary to rumors, Neff said her decision to resign has nothing to do with the city council opting not to declare Langley a sanctuary city. At a Feb. 21 meeting, Neff championed an ordinance that would prohibit the use of city funds, personnel or equipment for the enforcement of federal immigration law, but it was not supported by city council members Bruce Allen, Thomas Gill and Ursula Shoudy. The council ultimately decided to pass the first reading of a resolution that reinforces Langley’s inclusiveness without being liable for debated legal risks associated with being a sanctuary city.

“I feel good about what we’re doing,” Neff said. “It may not be what the entire community wants, but it’s a step and I believe it’s a step in the right direction.”

Neff said she will continue to uphold her duties as a city councilwoman up until the time when she resigns.

“I am continuing to do my job and I will take it very seriously,” Neff said.

Neff said she was proud of her accomplishments while serving as Langley’s most tenured city council member, from helping to boost the city’s attractiveness as a tourist destination to improving Langley’s economic viability. She was also proud of her efforts to listen to her constituents and represent their views at city council meetings.

The first reading of the inclusive city resolution is currently being examined by the city’s attorney, Mike Kenyon of Issaquah-based Kenyon Disend. A second reading of the resolution will occur at the city council’s 5:30 p.m. meeting on March 20 at City Hall; City Councilwoman Dominique Emerson will not be present at the council’s March 6 meeting, so the second reading was delayed at her request.