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Ex-alderman revives Pitt Meadows ratepayers group

Ken Joyner reads through archives from the former taxpayers’ association. - Monisha Martins/THE NEWS
Ken Joyner reads through archives from the former taxpayers’ association.
— image credit: Monisha Martins/THE NEWS

A former Pitt Meadows alderman has resurrected an association to advocate for taxpayers and tenants in the city.

Ken Joyner believes it’s time the city had an organization to ensure residents are getting the “maximum return” for every tax dollar they pay.

“I think it’s time for people to get involved,” said Joyner, who served on municipal council from around 1970 to 1982.

Pitt Meadows used to have a “ratepayers and tenants association,” which had a membership as high as 166 members. But that dwindled to 13 by the time it disbanded in 1986.

Joyner and his wife Thelma were on the executive and he remembers the group has clout at city hall. They lobbied for a rural mailing route, a stop light at Harris Road and Lougheed Highway, kept taxpayers informed about sewer hookups, diking and drainage. The association’s minutes list moving a phone booth from inside old municipal hall to the front of the post office as another accomplishment.

The group also lobbied against the expansion of a runway at the airport.

“We got two petitions,” said Joyner. “The people here that’s who put a stop to it.”

Joyner says another association is needed to keep rising taxes, salaries and unnecessary projects in check.

He believes there’s an appetite for such an association, given the response to two petitions in the past two years, each calling for no residential tax increase. More than a 1,000 people signed the petition each time, prompting city hall to prepare two budget scenarios last year – one with no tax increase and a second with an increase of 1.9 per cent.

“It helps to speak with one voice,” said Joyner, who stressed he won’t be seeking a seat on Pitt Meadows council.

Politicians won’t be able to sign up as members of the association.

Joyner has already registered the association and is in the process of recruiting members.

• Information: Contact Ken Joyner at 604-465-3044.

 

 

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