Pitt Meadows mayor promises ‘council for the people’

Deb Walters says city will hold communication workshop to reach residents of Pitt Meadows

Deb Walters is the first female mayor of Pitt Meadows.

Deb Walters is the first female mayor of Pitt Meadows.



Pitt Meadows’ new mayor promised a more open, accessible council tuned into the concerns of its citizens in her inaugural speech on Tuesday.

In the new year, the city will hold a communication workshop to figure out how its message can reach residents, most of whom failed to show up at the polls in last month.

Although turnout for the election was up, just 30 per cent or 3,684 of 12,200 registered voters cast their ballots, compared to 23 per cent in 2008.

“We will welcome your input and listen to your concerns, but we will also encourage you to be part of the community and participate in the decision-making process,” Deb Walters told a packed council chamber at city hall after the new team of seven was sworn in.

Walters thanked former mayor Don MacLean and councillor John Becker, who ran against her in the Nov. 19 election.

Walters, the city’s first female mayor, led the polls with 2,025 votes.

Also elected to council were incumbents Doug Bing (2,341 votes), Gwen O’Connell (1,975), Tracy Miyashita (1,971) and Bruce Bell (1,543). Janis Elkerton, a former city councillor, was elected with 1,943 votes.

The city also has a new face on councillor – Dave Murray, a CUPE-backed candidate, who got 1,214 votes.

“I know that our community has made a good choice. As I look around the table, I see a council eager to roll up their sleeves,” Walters said.

She added the city would continue to take advantage of grant and partnership opportunities, which have allowed it to renovate and build several facilities in the past three years, including a new turf field, library, seniors centre and renovated ice arena.

“I have had the good fortune of speaking with many of you on the campaign trail and I have heard your concerns loud and clear,” said Walters.

“In these uncertain economic times, we have our work cut out for us. We will need to be fiscally conservative. Using our resources wisely, we will be responsible and sustainable.”

Preliminary estimates predict a general tax rate increase of more than four per cent in the City of Pitt Meadows, which means homeowners could see a spike of around $134 on their tax bills next year.

The city will also continue to lobby senior-levels of government for funds and ways to improve transportation and work with TransLink to ensure a “reliable transit system” that residents can depend on.

Walters also pointed out that drainage was “top of mind” for residents and stressed that “staff have been working hard to find sustainable solutions to this ongoing issue.”

She thanked the friends and family who supported and choked back tears when she spoke about her husband Len.

“Anyone who knows us, knows we are a team. I could not and would not have done this without him,” she said.

“To me, there is no better person in the world. I love you, thanks hun.”

 

 

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s Ivy Threatful defeated SIDES’ Zena Shew in the female 51kg division at the 2020 BC Secondary School Wrestling Association Championships at Langley Events Centre on Feb. 18. (Gary Ahuja/Langley Events Centre photo)
Maple Ridge wrestler heads to Mexico

Ivy Threatful will grapple for Team Canada at Junior Pan Am Championships in June

Chief Grace George said the Katzie have written Maple Ridge council expressing concerns about a subdivision along the South Alouette River. (The News files)
Katzie oppose controversial Maple Ridge riverfront subdivision

Approval of development on South Alouette River suddenly taken off Tuesday’s agenda

Sherlene Morley enjoyed every last minute with her mom, Gail Jurick. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge woman celebrates last Mother’s Day with mom

Sharlene Morely had a final Mother’s Day celeration with Gail Jurisk on May 1

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
BC family whose move was stopped by COVID border closure back on the road

Maple Ridge’s Kaplan family will arrive at their new home in Nova Scotia on Wednesday

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read