Pitt Meadows newest councillor won’t be stepping aside when the city begins negotiating a new contract with its workers.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees contract with the city ends next year.
Dave Murray, secretary-treasurer of the CUPE Fraser Valley District Labour Council, believes he won’t have to excuse himself from negotiations since local 622, which represents workers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, did not contribute to his election campaign.
He received $16,500 from 12 other union groups, including CUPE National, CUPE British Columbia, as well as CUPE locals from Port Coquitlam, UBC, Abbotsford, Surrey, Langley Township and the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District.
“The local  has a bylaw that prohibits members from getting politically involved,” Murray explained.
“They weren’t involved in process at all. So I can feel very, very comfortable there is no conflict of interest.”
Murray earned the last spot on council with 1,214 votes and was home with his family when he received the notice that he’d been elected.
He admits he has a lot to learn, but feels assured he’s familiar with the most pressing issues because he’s been attending council meetings for the past six months.
Murray will still be editing an online blog about Pitt Meadows and intends to use it to promote local businesses and highlight federal issues, which are his passion.
“There’s probably not going to be a lot of municipal things on it. I am not going to be pushing out the rhetoric and try to be really careful and not putting stuff out which looks like I am pushing my own agenda. I really do try hard not to do that.”
Murray believes the recent election was an important one for the city because of the dismal economic forecast being predicted.
“There are going to be a lot of the challenges, given the fact that with a Conservative majority government, we are looking at even more downloading on the municipalities,” Murray said.
“We have to be ready for them and on task and be able to lobby these senior levels of government.”