Ridge, Pitt mayors skip mayors meeting

Both staying home for Rick Hansen events, Wednesday and Thursday.

Rick Hansen and his 25th anniversary tour roll into Maple Ridge on Wednesday

Rick Hansen and his 25th anniversary tour roll into Maple Ridge on Wednesday

Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters and her Maple Ridge counterpart will both skip the first B.C. Mayors Caucus, which goes Wednesday to Friday in Penticton.

The new mayor is staying behind because she has an important guest to greet – when Rick Hansen rolls into Spirit Square, Thursday, sometime between 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on his 25th Anniversary Relay. The event commemorates Hansen’s 1987 Man in Motion World Tour, during which he wheeled around the world to raise awareness for the physically challenged.

“We have a Rick Hansen event on Thursday. I think it’s important for the mayor to be there. It doesn’t make sense for me to go up and spend the money to attend,” Walters said.

It’s the inaugural year for the Mayors Caucus and Walters doesn’t see much on the agenda. She may go next year if there is something relevant to Pitt Meadows.

“I only attend conferences if I see something on the agenda that would be of value to our community.”

She also questioned the need for the Mayor’s Caucus, adding that she also had a Metro Vancouver mayors meeting on Wednesday.

“Personally, I don’t think we need another one.”

Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin is also skipping the event because of Rick Hansen’s arrival in Maple Ridge. The celebration in Maple Ridge takes place today, Wednesday in Memorial Peace Park from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

But he sees value in the meetings as a lead up to Union of B.C. Municipalities conventions and noted the fee was only $200. Only about half of B.C.’s mayors were going, he added.

Metro Vancouver mayors meet regularly at the Mayors Council with TransLink, while mayors in the northeast part of Metro Vancouver also meet separately from time to time.

Municipal politicians also meet within the Lower Mainland Local Government Association, which recently held its convention in Whistler.

Provincially, mayors also meet annually when the Union of B.C. Municipalities gathers, as well as nationally when the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meet.

The goals of the B.C. Mayors Caucus includes information sharing on common issues, forging policy agreements, exploring mutual support in delivery of municipal services, seeking economic benefits through shared resources and joint economic development.