They’ve taken their solemn pledges, affirmed they didn’t buy any votes or scare anyone into voting for them, and promised to do their best for the District of Maple Ridge.
Now council can begin planning its projects over the next year, reviewing its rolling five-year budget plan and getting to know the various portfolios they’ve been assigned by the mayor.
First on the list is Coun. Al Hogarth, who will represent Maple Ridge on the Fraser Basin Council, the multi-agency group that watches the Fraser River and the land that surrounds it. Hogarth also will be on the Lower Mainland Treaty Advisory Committee.
Newcomer Coun. Corisa Bell represents Maple Ridge on the Fraser Valley Regional Library, while Coun. Cheryl Ashlie takes on the Metro Vancouver labour relations bureau.
Because he’s the mayor, Ernie Daykin sits on the board of directors for Metro Vancouver, in addition to the mayor’s committee for that group.
Other councillors were appointed to the following Maple Ridge committees:
• advisory community on accessibility issues – Al Hogarth;
• agricultural advisory committee – Bob Masse, Cheryl Ashlie;
• bicycle advisory committee –Mike Morden;
• community heritage commission – Mike Morden, Bob Masse;
• economic advisory commission – Ernie Daykin, Al Hogarth, Judy Dueck;
• parks and leisure services commission – Ernie Daykin, Corisa Bell, Al Hogarth;
• public art steering committee – Judy Dueck
• social planning advisory committee – Cheryl Ashlie, Bob Masse;
• Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows policing task force – Ernie Daykin, Judy Dueck.
In his inaugural speech last week, Daykin welcomed neighbouring mayors from Pitt Meadows and Mission, Deb Walters and Ted Adlem.
He appreciated the Kwantlen and Katzie First Nations, “sharing this beautiful corner of creation with us.
“Each one of our communities has our own unique challenges and possibilities … And yet we have many things in common … Not the least is our common love and appreciation for this place we share and we call home.”
Daykin also thanked the families that support councillors so they could do their jobs, and warned newcomers Bell and Masse, “there will be missed meals, late evening or early morning meetings or phone calls in the evening, or shopping trips that used to take 30 minutes, will now take 90 minutes.”
The mayor also wished departing councillors Craig Speirs and Linda King well. He listed the opening of the Golden Ears and Pitt River bridges, the new SPCA building and the fixing of the intersection at 224th Street and Abernethy Way and the downtown fix-up as highlights of the previous three years.
He said voters now want to see more shopping options, good financial management, better transit, local jobs, a vibrant town centre and protection of natural surroundings.
Daykin cited several authors in his speech quoting U.S. president John F. Kennedy: “All of this will not be finished in the first 100 days, nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor perhaps in our lifetime, but let us begin. The good news is we have begun.”
Daykin added, “one of the most important things council can do is keep our focus on the long term – focus on what is we are trying to achieve for our community. We must make our decisions based on the long term – not the tyranny of the urgent.”
Different councillors also serve on nine community groups, such as the chamber of commerce and seniors society and recycling society.