Maple Ridge council considers growing again

Task force wants to talk about adding two more.

Expanding Maple Ridge city council to nine members received a lot of questions Monday from the current slate of politicians, many of whom wanted it to remain at seven.

Nevertheless, staff were told to write up a report on the costs of expanding council beyond its current members.

Under the Community Charter, a city the size of Maple Ridge, with more than 50,000 people, is supposed to have nine councillors.

However, a bylaw passed by a previous council in 2005 kept the size of council at seven, following an alternative approval process.

Maple Ridge’s open government task force recommends that council expand to nine, an idea supported by Coun. Corisa Bell, who said that duties have expanded for politicians.

Coun. Kiersten Duncan said she initially supported expanding council when she was first elected in November 2014, but now favours keeping it at its current size

Having eight councillors and a mayor would make it more difficult to coordinate schedules and could add to staff workload, Duncan said.

Coun. Craig Speirs, who’s on his fifth term as council, disagreed that workload on councillors has increased, adding that it’s the same as it was decades ago.

Demands on staff time could grow, though, he said, if council expanded.

Coun. Gordy Robson wanted to know why the open government task force recommends expansion. No one has given an explanation, he said.

Downloading from the province has increased pressure on cities, said Coun. Bob Masse.

“They’re dumping way more work on us … through the province,”

Councillors currently make about $43,000 a year, plus expenses.

“I think as we grow as a city, the pressure grows,” said Mayor Nicole Read, who favours expanding council size.

Staff told council that it could expand to nine by rescinding its bylaw, which sets it at seven councillors.

 

Just Posted

Money in to finish Lougheed Highway twinning

Feds announce $29 million to complete four laning of four-kilometre stretch in Maple Ridge

Campers expect 100 per cent online reservations at Golden Ears next season

Maple Ridge group has been fighting to keep drive in bookings

Maple Ridge council will be asked to declare climate emergency

Vancouver, London and Los Angeles have already done so

Pitt Meadows seeks partners in flood protection

$100 million in work needed to improve dike system

Maple Ridge senior facing homelessness at the end of the month

Jean Ticehurst can’t find affordable housing

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Injured fawn at B.C. vet will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Most Read