Pitt Meadows mayor will not seek re-election
Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters announced Thursday that she will not seek re-election.
After almost nine years on council, Deb Walters will be leaving city hall in November to spend more time with her husband Len, her children, Cayley and Scott, and her grandkids, Lennon and Sawyer, who are five months old.
Walters has been thinking about stepping aside for several weeks.
“It’s just the right time,” she said. “I made the decision a couple of weeks ago, but decided to share it now to see if other people wanted to put their hat in the race.”
A two-term councillor before she was elected as the city’s first female mayor in 2011, Walters won with 2,025 votes – 823 more than John Becker, who is running again this year.
Walters' grassroots connections and army of volunteers were credited for her win over her opponent Becker, who used a professional public relations firm, a telephone marketing service based in Toronto, and advertising to boost his profile.
In her term, she’s seen more than 450 new jobs come to the city and “more are coming everyday.”
This year, the city had its lowest tax increase in 12 years.
Walters said the city is on the right track.
“I’m a little fearful that the brakes are being put on by some people on council, but that’s certainly not the reason I’m not running,” she added.
“I’m proud of all the jobs we have created close to home. I’ve made great connection with the provincial government. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done.”
Walters was a "full-time mayor", a promise she campaigned on.
“I was always accessible and I heard people. I may have not agreed with everyone, but I heard them.”
She hopes the next council continues with her push for more economic development, continue to work with the province on a solution for the intersection of Lougheed and Harris Road, as well as a rapid bus service that connects to the Evergreen Line.