Mike Morden gave his inaugural address Tuesday as the new mayor of Maple Ridge.
“I am truly humbled by the electorate who not only delivered a strong message, who also gave us a very diverse group of councillors to represent the people,” Morden said during his address.
“The election is now over. The voters have clearly spoken and with that comes tremendous responsibility. It is now time to get to work for the people,” he added.
“We aren’t a small city anymore and with that comes urban problems.
“The truth is, we have a serious drug problem. We have a tent city that must come to an end. But we must be mindful of the fact that people are dealing with physical and mental problems, as well as persons who find themselves at risk or without a home,” said Morden, committing to work with senior governments to get people the help that they need.
“Everything from transportation to seniors and affordable housing, to health care and particularly detox treatment and long-term recovery programs. Locally, we have a lot of work to do,” Morden said.
He also pledged to make the community safe by working with police and bylaws, the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association and private security, along with programs that can be initiated in tandem.
The inaugural council meeting included the Oath of Office by councillors Judy Dueck, Chelsa Meadus, Ryan Svendsen, Kiersten Duncan, Gordy Robson and Ahmed Yousef.
Madison Oleschak sang the Canadian national anthem and there was a First Nation blessing of council.