Langford Mayor Stew Young, pictured with one of his classic cars, has cut way back on his business responsibilities to be able to focus on the mayor’s job and his family. He won’t say yet whether he’ll run for re-election in 2022. (Black Press Media file photo)

Langford Mayor Stew Young, pictured with one of his classic cars, has cut way back on his business responsibilities to be able to focus on the mayor’s job and his family. He won’t say yet whether he’ll run for re-election in 2022. (Black Press Media file photo)

Stew Young keeps Langford guessing about his political future

After 30 years in politics, 62-year-old mayor has begun scaling back his responsibilities

Will he or won’t he run again?

For Langford Mayor Stew Young, after 30 years in municipal politics, the question comes up as regularly as an election cycle, and it’s one he’ll continue to answer the same way he always has.

“I got involved to help make Langford a municipality and thought I’d run for two terms,” he said in a wide-ranging interview with the Goldstream Gazette. “I’ve said after every term I’ll do another one, and I’ve always told council I’ll give them my decision three months before the next election.”

The next municipal election is set for the fall of 2022.

Although he originally wanted to retire when he turned 60, Young, now 62, has managed to do that to some degree after selling 90 per cent of his business holdings in the past couple of years.

“I’ve retired from the day-to-day business operations. I don’t even have an office now. I still get calls to help people out, but now I focus strictly on the mayor’s duties.”

ALSO READ: Langford earns another nod for economic development

Between running a business and being a politician, he spent many a 16-hour day, with meetings, speeches and events on weekends, he said. “I’m now able to spend more time with my kids and my two grandchildren, and that’s become more of a focus.”

Compared to 30 years ago, when Langford had little in the way of sidewalks, streetlights and sewers, much has changed in the work of mayor and council, Young noted.

“Langford’s getting busier, which means politicians are getting busier and learning new stuff all the time. There’s police, fire, housing, recreation, density – so many issues to deal with compared to then.”

He added with a laugh: “I know that everyone with a computer has an opinion and thinks they’re a councillor and that certainly wasn’t the case 30 years ago. At least in Langford, you’re guaranteed that we’re going to make a decision and move on to the next problem. Nothing gets dragged out here for three years.”

Although Young is proud of what council has accomplished during his tenure, he believes there’s still more to do.

“The next five years will be very important,” he stressed. “Now we can focus on getting a theatre because of the importance of supporting the arts, and work on bringing a university to Langford. I think people who have lived in Langford for a long time are happy with what we’ve done. Most of the complaints I hear are from people who moved here six months ago.”

ALSO READ: Maclean’s Magazine ranks Langford best community in B.C.

He pointed to such feathers in the city’s cap as having the lowest taxes in the region and being ranked number 1 community to live in B.C. by McLean’s Magazine. “You can buy a house here and find a job, and we’ve added a lot of amenities and recreation options, especially for young families.”

While Young was reluctant to share anything negative, he said the pandemic has posed its share of problems for everyone.

“I’m a people person. I like to talk to people to resolve situations and COVID’s made that hard to do.”

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

City of LangfordLangford councilmunicipal politicsWest Shore

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read