Opinion

News Views: Loss of trust

Just when you thought Doug Bing was going to step away from Pitt Meadows council, the local Liberal MLA has decided to stick around to help make a few more decisions, such as passing the 2014 budget and deciding whether or not to pursue developing the North Lougheed corridor.

Neither has much to do with avoiding a by-election, which was the retired dentist’s original explanation as to why he was staying on council.

Both the budget and North Lougheed corridor are contentious issues on which the seven-member council is divided.

Some want a lesser municipal tax increase than the 1.9 per cent that has been proposed.

Council is also split on whether to develop the highway corridor or preserve it as farmland.

Bing, by remaining on council, holds the swing vote.

Mayor Deb Mayor Walters asked Bing to stay on.

Prior to last year’s provincial election, Bing said he would resign from council if he became MLA.

His exact words, from May 30:  “I’ll definitely be stepping down from council. It’s just a question of when.”

It was going to be in January, only to avoid a by-election, which would have cost the city about $15,000. In the meantime, Bing agreed to forgo his council salary.

Bing then asked council for a leave of absence in early June, but was unanimously turned down.

Bing has always maintained that his two jobs would not conflict with one another, and he is allowed to hold both positions under B.C.’s Community Charter.

But should he? And why would he still want to?

As we’ve said before, if Bing wanted to retain his  seat on council, he shouldn’t have run for MLA, which is a full-time job with such pay and expectations. He said he was going to resign from council at the start of 2014, but now wants to stick around to vote on a few more important items.

The city could have held a by-election by now to replace him, at the cost of his salary.

So is he acting in the best interests of the public or his party?

Regardless, Bing has misled the public.

Had he been honest about his intentions to hang around on council, would he have been elected MLA?

Remaining on council now looks calculated and manipulative. Council votes on the budget every year, and the North Lougheed issue is not new.

To string constituents along as he has is insulting and unacceptable.

The good doctor has lost our trust.

– The News

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