For Immediate Release
Langley, BC – Langley City Council met with executives of the Langley Good Times Cruise-In Society (“Society”) on November 23, 2016 to congratulate them on hosting another successful Langley Good Times Cruise-In event (“event”) in the City, and to address how both organizations can move forward together for years to come.
“We value the civic pride the Cruise-In generates in our community and City Council had a very productive meeting with the executives of the Society to ensure a successful and cooperative relationship going forward,” Mayor Schaffer noted. As the event has grown, the City has undertaken significant steps to accommodate and support the Langley Good Times Cruise-In Society but has recognized that the expectations from year to year have resulted in an unsustainable strain on resources, staff involvement, and financial expenditures.
Based on last year’s experience with the Langley Good Times Cruise-In, City staff conducted an analysis of the event to objectively and critically evaluate every facet of the City’s involvement. A list of requirements was identified as a result of the analysis in an effort to provide clear and specific provisions for the Society to follow, as per the application process. These standard requirements, as used for any similar event in the City, include but are not limited to obtaining highway-use and special event permits, as well as applying for community grants if requesting financial support. The requirements are intended to ensure public safety and prevent potential liability for the event host and the City.
The City was surprised to learn from the article that appeared in the March 23, 2017 online edition of the Langley Advance that the Society has decided to move the Cruise-In event to Aldergrove in 2017. The City has been working with the Society since November 2016 to plan for this year’s event. Mayor Schaffer met with Mr. Wayne Patterson, President of the Society, on February 28, 2017, at which time Mr. Patterson gave no indication that they were considering moving the event to Aldergrove, nor that there were any challenges with the planning of the 2017 event in the City.
Mayor Schaffer noted, “The City is disappointed that the Society has decided to move the Cruise-In event to Aldergrove as we have gone beyond the call of duty to provide financial and in-kind support to the Society every year for the past 20 years. While we would like to see the Cruise-In event remain in the City, we recognize that the Society has made a business decision to relocate their event, and we wish them much success.”
Francis Cheung, P. Eng.
Chief Administrative Officer
Key Concerns - Public Safety & Policing Costs
• The City and the RCMP have had on-going concerns with the Friday night activities related to public safety. Although the Society does not officially plan or endorse the Friday night activities in the downtown core, these activities are inherently related to Saturday’s event and have created serious traffic and public safety concerns such as drag racing, tire burn outs, crowd gathering, liquor and drug consumption, loitering on public and private properties, inappropriate and criminal activities on public spaces, with no safety or protective measures in place.
• The costs for policing to support the ‘unofficial’ Friday night activities and Saturday’s main event have been significant and increasing each year. Although the RCMP has reallocated resources from other units (i.e. road safety, prolific offenders, property crime, drug, etc.) to supplement the number of officers required to manage the activities for the event, the reallocation of resources, in dollar terms, is in the range of $55,330 to police the event each year.
• As Auxiliary Officers are no longer permitted to assist the RCMP with the event due to a directive from Ottawa, additional regular RCMP members were required to support the event, and at a higher rate than the Auxiliary Officers. The City was required to absorb an additional $15,000 in 2016 as a result of this Auxiliary Officers directive.
• The City recommended at the November 2016 meeting that the Society, the RCMP and the City meet to determine a mutually agreeable level of service required in order to manage the Friday night activities and the main event on Saturday. The City has requested that the Society pay 25% of the agreed level of RCMP service costs for the Friday night activities and the main event on Saturday. For comparison purposes, the City of Surrey charges the applicant for the actual costs incurred by the RCMP to support their events where as the City of Langley is requesting only 25% of the RCMP costs.
City’s Community Grant Contribution
• The City has provided a Community Grant to the Society for a number of years to support the event. The Community Grant covers the City’s costs (i.e. labour, materials and contracted services) to support the event. The 2016 grant amount was $12,175.00, but the actual expenditure was $17,192.60 as the City was required to retain professional traffic controllers at several key intersections due to lack of volunteers provided by the Society.
History in the City
• The City has gone beyond the call of duty and supported the Society through financial contributions, in-kind contributions and staff support since its inaugural year, to an extent that no other organization or event has received; however, this has created an increasing strain on City resources and the City’s involvement with the planning and approval processes for the event every year. There have also been other challenges and issues encountered by City staff over the years in working with the society with respect to application processes, permits, grants, vendors, communication, traffic management, crowd management, liability, and impact to the community. These issues and concerns have been repeatedly raised with the Society over the years.
• City staff conducted a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis of the event. The recommendations from the analysis provided clear and specific requirements for the Society to follow so that the City will be able to continue to support the event in future years. These recommendations, which are part of all special event application, were presented to the Society Executive at the November 23, 2016, meeting. View Letter to Langley Good Times Cruise-In
Downtown Business Merchants’ Perspective
• The Downtown Langley Business Association conducted a survey of its members on their perspective of the event and many of the responses did cite that the event does have a negative impact on their businesses with respect to parking, access, sales, customer disruption and frustration, and storefront closures for the day. However, they recognize that the Langley Good Time Cruise-In is a good event for the community and the responses were mixed on their willingness to continue to support the event.