Bob Meachen is seeking re-election as a councillor in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)

Bob Meachen is seeking re-election as a councillor in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)

MEET THE CANDIDATES

IN THE PITT MEADOWS COUNCILLOR RACE: Bob Meachen

Ahead of Oct. 15, The News offers a profile and Q&A opportunity to each candidate

Bob Meachen

Retired corporate executive, age 71

Bonson resident who’s lived in Pitt Meadows 10 years

Married, three children, two grandchildren.

Retired from 40-year career in 2013 and became interested in community volunteerism and local government.

Emigrated to Canada 1988 with family. Canadian citizen in 1992.

Elected to city council in 2018.

Serve on eight external boards and committees, plus several more external community organizations.

I believe working with others requires respect, consideration, and an open mind for all opinions.

I’m an avid musician and enjoy the company of close friends for social occasions and musical evenings.

I attended every council and committee meeting for four years with only two exceptions due to medical needs.

I’m standing again to complete the great work this council has started, and to ensure our council remains respectful and community minded.

Continuity and experience will be essential.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BobMeachen

Phone: 604-329-1658 or 778-889-3131 or 604-457-0500

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Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: Yes. City Councillor 2018 to current.

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CLICK TO CHECK OUT OUR FULL ELECTION GUIDE ONLINE

Questions:

(These answers are presented as the candidates submitted them)

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1. Should the City switch from a volunteer-based (paid-on-call) fire department to a full-time model?

No.

Pitt Meadows Fire & Rescue Services (PMFRS) is a hybriod model.

I support additional FTE Firefighters (boots) as part of a new plan for our fire service. When current council was elected in 2018, we had 3 FT firefighetrs (boots) , we increased that over 4 years to 8. It’s my opinion, based on everything I know about the status of the PM Fire Service, we need to increase our FT compliment as we cannot continue to rely on the POC model due to constant attrition to other larger fire halls.

2. Should Pitt Meadows take more direct action to combat the local opioid crisis?

No. The Province is spending millions on measures to try and provide support to those needing it and I’m not convinced the city can play a role apart from working with our RCMP detachment to help stem the flow of opiates and to ensure the response is balanced with care as well as enforcement of the law.

3. Do you support the construction of the Harris Road underpass?

Yes. I have supported the underpass from day one of being on council.

Train movements are increasing and with a planned third line, it will make Harris Road a no-go area as businesses will choose to relocate due to delays at the crossing.

The current at-grade-crossing is not sustainable in terms of accessibility and safety for our community.

4. Should the City set targets for the creation of more low-income and seniors rental spaces, social housing units, and/or co-op development to improve home security?

Yes. We have recently added affordable rental units (with new childcare spaces) to be built in 2023.

5. Do you support the proposal for the new CP Rail logistics yard?

No. I have voted no on every aspect of this proposed expansion to the CP Rail yard. It is simply not safe and removes 50 acres from the ALR of prime farmland.

The Federal Govt. has the ultimate say in this, although our city has clearly come out in opposition to the proposed project.

6. Should the City be offering more tax breaks, rebates, and other incentives to entice new businesses to town?

No. Businesses are lining up to move here due to proximity to major rail and road networks.

7. Do you think residential property taxes are too high in Pitt Meadows?

No. Our taxes are amongst the lowest in Metro-Vancouver. Tax cuts will require service cuts and during a period of high inflation there is already pressure on our tax base and budget.

8. Does Pitt Meadows need an indoor swimming pool?

No. Aquatics are a want, but not a need. The option for a pool is now in the new P&R Master Plan and will be on the agenda for next council. The question is more about operational costs than capital costs. Essential services such as fire must come first.

9. Do you support the City creating a separate RCMP detachment, exclusively serving Pitt Meadows?

Yes. We are paying $6M/annum already and this will not lead to a tax increase. I have continually voted yes at every step of the process.

10. Should Pitt Meadows parks and nature areas be protected at the cost of future development opportunities?

Yes. I would qualify that there may be exceptions to the general rule if small parcels need to be used for development, (that benefits the community), as long as the area can be replaced elsewhere in the city.

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CLICK ON OUR ELECTIONS 2022 TAB TO FIND A WIDE VARIETY OF RELEVANT STORIES

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

How the questions were presented to each candidate

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows news readers have told us how much they value this important, straight-forward reference guide that helps orient them with the range of choices on the ballots – both at the council and school board levels.

Towards that end, we have attempted to make this package available (along with the following instructions) to each of the candidates in a timely fashion ahead of the Oct. 15 election.

Please read carefully before you start to fill this out.

To help voters in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows make their choices on election day, The News is asking local candidates 10 issue-based questions.

You must provide a ‘yes,’ a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y, N, D) response to EACH of these questions.

Each question MUST be answered with yes (Y), no (N), or Don’t Know (D). This will be published in a grid in the Oct. 6 edition. Any questions not answered will be LEFT BLANK.

Candidates may also expand on ANY OR ALL of these questions (to a maximum of 200 words each). Please note any responses longer than that will be cut off at the 201-word mark.

Due to space limitations, we can only guarantee to run one of these answers in The News print edition ahead of the election. You must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you do not specify, we will choose. Any and all expanded answers provided will be published online at www.mapleridgenews.com.

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Have a story tip? Email: editor@mapleridgenews.com

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