Miyashita will run for Pitt Meadows council

10-year politician wants to see a more respectful council

Pitt Meadows city councillor Tracy Miyashita has announced this week that she will seek a fourth term in the upcoming October local elections.

Miyashita said she considered not running, citing a frustrating term on council and having already served 10 years. She considered the dynamics on council, where she and Coun. Bill Dingwall were often outvoted by the team of Mayor John Becker and councillors Jannis Elkerton, Mike Stark, Bruce Bell and David Murray. She also considered both her personal work/life balance, as she has a full-time career as a consultant in health care.

Eventually, she decided to put her name forward again.

“But I think I still have some fuel left in the tank, and there are some issues that have to be deal with,” said Miyashita.

One key issue is changing the tone from council, and she wanted to be part of “creating a positive change.”

“People want a respectful council that’s going to listen and represent them,” she said.

Miyashita said she endorses Coun. Bill Dingwall in his run for mayor against incumbent John Becker.

“Bill is respectful, he listens, he’s fair. He’s a positive leader for Pitt Meadows,” she said.

“People were kicked out of council meetings and humiliated, and that’s got to stop.”

Two years ago, Miyashita walked out of a council meeting to protest Becker’s treatment of audience members.

Miyashita said the work of council is not the issue, because “things got done.” For her, the issue is style and respect.

Early in her mandate, Miyashita said the council’s leadership style was causing staff to leave city hall. She said that still appears to be a problem, with director of engineering Forrest Smith leaving at the end of August.

Miyashita also believes the city is at a important juncture, with transportation issues including CP Rail overpass and under pass projects, the Golden Ears Business Park development by Onni, how the city should deal with residential infill, and the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport offers “a big opportunity” for economic development.

“It’s a critical four years coming up,” said Miyashita.

While much of the business park has already been approved, Miyashita said council should still give consideration to the many people who voiced their opposition to phases three and four of the warehouse development.

“It always makes sense to listen to the people who have elected you.”

While she has been on council, the city has built the South Bonson Community Centre, restored of the Pitt Meadows Arena, made renovations for the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre, developed parks and taxes have been kept low.

“There has been a lot accomplished in the last 10 years, and a lot of changes.”