Although much of its council remains the same, Pitt Meadows officially has a new mayor, with Nicole MacDonald taking up the reins at the Nov. 1 swearing-in ceremony at the Pitt Meadows Council Chamber.
The event saw MacDonald take an oath to the public office and then receive the chain of office from outgoing mayor Bill Dingwall and CAO Mark Roberts.
After MacDonald had officially been sworn in, it was time for the six councillors to be sworn in, including political newcomers Mike Manion and Alison Evans.
When asked about how she felt going forward with her new council members, MacDonald said she was “thrilled.”
“I’m really excited that in the past council, we created a really respectful and collaborative council that was effective,” she said. “We had great results in many projects that we had to work together on.”
“To have four experienced members of council return, I’m just ecstatic. And the two new council members elected by the public bring a variety of different skills and backgrounds, and both have been actively involved in the community on our active transportation committee, our economic development, as well as our agricultural advisory committee.”
In her first speech as mayor, MacDonald praised the work of previous mayor Bill Dingwall.
“The last four years under the leadership of mayor Bill Dingwall, stability, respect, and incredible and effective leadership and government was brought to city hall and Pitt Meadows,” she said. “I owe you [Dingwall] a debt of gratitude and appreciation. Thank you to Bill, my colleague, my mentor, my encourager, and my friend.”
MacDonald also took the time to reiterate that she believes the City is headed in a good direction and just needs to continue much of the progress started in the last four years.
“We must keep building on the strong foundation,” she said. “The complex, intricate, and admittedly difficult dance of honouring and respecting our past and continuing to build for our future. If our history is our foundation, our future is our possibilities. And it is bright and full.”
When asked about what issues are on the top of her to-do list, MacDonald listed several things she has been very vocal about during the previous term.
“We have big projects to carry on with,” said MacDonald.
“One of them is the Harris Road underpass, as well as the autonomous RCMP detachment. We have very significant opposition and issues with the CP logistics park in our agricultural lands, so maintaining our strategies and opposition to that. As well, we have some exciting things with parks, rec, and culture, and fire and rescue services. We are a community built around the dike system, so we really need to ensure that we are advocating other levels of government and maintaining and improving our dike pumping system.”
The evening wrapped up with official appointments to committees and boards.
This saw Coun. Tracy Elke appointed as the alternate municipal director to the Metro Vancouver Regional District Board, and Coun. Mike Hayes as director to the Fraser Valley Regional Library Board with Coun. Alison Evans as the alternate director.
The next council meeting is set to take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
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