Pitt Meadows council offers Taxation 101

Sets city's agenda for implementing campaign promises

  • Dec. 18, 2014 4:00 p.m.

At their first meeting of the new mandate, Pitt Meadows council started work on the Four Ts that Mayor John Becker’s team used as an election platform: taxation, transportation, transparency and teamwork.

Council set Feb. 21, 2015 for Taxation 101 town hall meeting at  Heritage Hall.

He said staff will go over a sample property tax notice, assessment methods and other basic elements of municipal taxation.

Becker said topics should include an explanation of budgeting reserves, as well as borrowing for projects.

“They need to appreciate that we are watching over their money as though it was our own,” Becker added.

But at the same time he wants the public to be educated about what drives budget increases and why a tax freeze “is not a sustainable budgeting model.”

The team promised a zero tax increase during the election campaign, and members were critical of former mayor Deb Walters for not responding to the 1,400-name petition calling for no tax increase for 2014.

The petition was organized by the late Tom Murray.

On May 21, there will be a transportation town hall meeting at Heritage Hall, scheduled as an opportunity for the public to discuss issues including the Lougheed Highway and Harris Road intersection, the CPR track crossing and traffic snarls it causes on Harris, and local neighbourhood traffic calming.

The city will invite CPR, TransLink and Transportation Ministry officials to the forum.

To address “transparency,” council will begin recording video of its council in committee meetings, as well as regular meetings, and posting them online. At present, the city is provided video of regular council meetings only, supplied by Shaw.

But Becker said the council in committee meetings are where much of the debate occurs. Motions must be passed again at the regular meeting, but generally the decisions have already been made.

He would also like to give opportunities for public comment to council during meetings, rather than at the end – after decisions have been rendered.

The city will also establish a Citizen’s Committee on Open Government, to provide recommendations to city council on ways that city council and city hall can be more responsive and transparent to residents and other stakeholders. Once it starts to work, it will have a three-month time limit to bring recommendations.

The fourth T the team promised was teamwork. Becker has arranged some team-building exercises for council, but they have generally expressed optimism about there being a lot of cooperation in the group. His team included Elkerton, Bruce Bell, David Murray and Mike Stark, all elected.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Something needs to be done’, collision kills cyclist in Pitt Meadows Tuesday night

39-year-old man from Maple Ridge was pronounced dead at the scene

Maple Ridge council looking at 4.25 per cent tax increase

‘Pick list’ could increase or reduce spending during November’s budgeting

Maple Ridge firefighting camp empowers young women

Camp Ignite to take place at Justice Institute on Sunday, Aug. 9

Dirty toilets greet visitors to Whonnock Lake during BC Day long weekend

Three out of four portable toilets ‘unusable’

BREAKING: Reported stabbing in Harrison Hot Springs

Police chase ran through Agassiz, witnesses say

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch first round bye with win

Bandits defeat Guelph 84-70, advance to the CEBL semifinals on Saturday

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Most Read