‘Only progressive’ faces incumbent for Langley City Council

One man is touting his experience and another his progressive stances in the race for a spot on the Langley City Council.

Bruce Allen has been a councilman for the past eight years. He said he’s done good things for the city and would like to follow through on projects in the works. He was first elected in 2011 and said his experience will be valuable because the other members of the council are still in their first terms.

“I think I’m doing a pretty good job,” Allen said. “I’ve been a part of everything we’ve done.”

His challenger, community activist Craig Cyr, delineates himself as “the only progressive voice in this race.” He cited his support of the original proposed ordinance that designated Langley as sanctuary city in 2017, his commitment to running a zero-fossil fuel campaign and his support for a free press among his credentials.

Cyr is critical of Allen for his stance on a sanctuary city proposal. Allen had been a vocal opponent of the original proposal until after it had been amended to remove penalties for going against the ordinance, which stated city funds couldn’t be used to “stop, question, interrogate, investigate, or arrest persons based on civil or immigration status.” He maintained that there’s not much of a role the city would play in enforcing immigration.

Cyr said he would be willing to bring the issue back if the council agreed.

Cyr also noted a 2017 incident in which the city attempted to charge a South Whidbey Record reporter for speaking to the city attorney, and Allen justified the billing because the reporter was not a Langley resident.

“Does a progressive charge reporters to do reporting? No,” Cyr said.

The two men agree on some key issues.

One thing he’s likely to focus on, Allen said, is the proposed development on Coles Road. The 40-acre property had been annexed into the city years ago under plans that never came to fruition, and now the city is in the process of creating a memorandum of understanding for a proposed community that could include multi-family and single-family housing, “makers’ spaces” and tiny houses.

He said the project will help address the city’s need for affordable housing, which he cited as a primary issue facing the Village by the Sea.

“There’s not anything reasonable in the town,” Allen said. “… It’s pretty cramped right now.”

Cyr is also in favor of the proposed development and would like to see language in the agreement that would require a certain portion of the housing to be affordable. Both men agree that the city’s going to have to grow, whether or not people like it.

They also agree on the need for the bond to pass in November to pay for expansive improvements to the city’s stormwater, sewer and water infrastructure.

Cyr said he’s been involved in a number of local issues and in groups such as the Langley Emergency Response District and the Democratic precinct committee.

Allen is a supporter of such organizations such as The HUB After School, which is he is board president for.

Cyr said he’s knocked on every door in Langley and a common request is to ban fireworks within city limits. He said his first priority would be to enact the ban to keep the city quiet during the Fourth of July.