Nicole MacDonald, council.
Notary Public, business owner/operator.
• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:
I am a first-time political candidate.
However, I believe I have the skills, qualification, experience and fresh perspective necessary to be an effective councillor for Pitt Meadows. I am a longtime resident of Pitt Meadows, business owner, notary public, and former Vancouver police officer. I have a master’s degree in legal studies and am an active volunteer and sponsor in this community.
A councillor is in a position of trust and leadership. I believe the ultimate mandate of the job is to represent the community and not push a personal agenda or think one has all the answers. I believe one of my greatest strengths is my ability to ask the right questions and gather the facts and information to make an informed and thoughtful decision. I also work very effectively with others, I am open and able to hear other people’s opinions and perspectives, but am also able to confidentially voice my opinions and ideas.
• Reason for running:
I am a mother to two school-age daughters and my aging parents live who with me. I am running for them and their future. I love Pitt Meadows, but have been concerned with the style of leadership by the current mayor and council. I feel citizens have not been respected or heard. The handling of David Murray after being charged and convicted of sexual assault of a child was a catalyst for me to run.
• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?
• Relationships: A new council needs to re-establish trust and a healthy working relationship with the community, as well as staff, the city of Maple Ridge and other levels of government and agencies. Mayor and council need to have an open and honest dialogue where citizens feel heard regarding important issues, such as community safety and development.
We have a great resource in our city staff, but attrition has been an issue and we need to ensure the workplace is healthy and there is a standard of conduct for elected officials and staff.
Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge share more than a border and we need to re-establish our working relationship so we can collectively move forward for our residents, businesses and community and sports groups.
• Community focused development: This is complex time moving forward with so many factors that could potentially impact our community, such as CP Rail, potential crossings at Harris Road and Kennedy Road, the Golden Ears Business Park, the North Lougheed corridor, legalization of cannabis and the YPK airport. We need an effective and diverse council team to balance these issues with residential, business, environmental, farming, fiscal and general community needs and wants.
We need to ensure development and transportation improves our residents’ quality of life and preserves what makes Pitt Meadows Special.