Pitt Meadows incumbent councillors Mike Stark and Bruce Bell will not be running for re-election. (Contributed)

Veteran city councillors bow out in Pitt Meadows

Stark and Bell announce they will not seek re-election

Councillors Bruce Bell and Mike Stark have announced they will not be seeking re-election in Pitt Meadows in the Oct. 20 municipal election.

Both men were elected as part of a team that included Mayor John Becker, Coun. Janis Elkerton and former Coun. David Murray. They issued press releases on Friday, just minutes apart, as the deadline for nominations closed.

With the deadline now passed, the races are set.

The contest for mayor is between incumbent John Becker and Coun. Bill Dingwall, who was the top vote-getter in Pitt Meadows in 2014.

There are 10 people running for the six council positions. These include incumbents Janis Elkerton and Tracy Miyashita, former councillor Gwen O’Connell, and newcomers Brad Dinwoodie, Mike Hayes, Ariane Jaschke, Nicole MacDonald, Bob Meachen, Susan Miller and Anena Simpson.

Bell has served 10 years at city hall, and said the last four years on council have been “the best of the bunch.”

“So much was accomplished this term. Here are some of the more significant ones. Property Tax increases were kept low every year including no increase to the property taxes in 2015. We opened up city hall to a weekly public Q&A session in an effort to be transparent with city business. We brought the Pitt Meadows parks and recreation department in house, which gives it a made in Pitt Meadows feel. We approved the Onni business park, which will provide tax relief, local jobs and a large sports field amenity,” he said.

“I am supporting Mayor John Becker and Coun. Janis Elkerton in their re-election,” he added. “There are at least four open positions on council this election. The knowledge, experience and dedication of Becker and Elkerton will be a tremendous asset for the next council.”

He called it an honour and a privilege to serve on council.

Stark, who did one four-year term on council, after scarcely missing a meeting as a council watcher for the previous six, is also endorsing his former teammates Becker and Elkerton, ton ensure a smooth transition.

“I feel strongly that they possess the experience, skills and commitment necessary to continue to build a strong vibrant Pitt Meadows,” he said.

“After spending almost every Tuesday night for the last 10 years at Council meetings, I have decided to spend more time with my family.”

“We have had many challenges over the last four years, but our successes far outweigh them,” said Stark, adding that he is most proud of the degree of transparency at City Hall and the implementation of a world class civic engagement policy.

“Also, our taxes are the lowest in Metro Vancouver while delivering top-notch services. The development of the Onni Business Park as well as the North Lougheed land will provide jobs and a solid tax base well into the future!”

Asked whether the departure of two elected members of Becker’s team would hurt the mayor and Elkerton’s chances of re-election, he said their experience should be valued.

“He (Becker) is a dedicated guy, a smart guy, does his homework and he cares about the city,” said Bell.

“I really feel that council should be a team.”

Bell said he would not close the door on running in the future, but added that after nine years as a firefighter, 10 years on council and more time as a volunteer coach, he wants to put more time into family life and grandchildren.

Just Posted

Vibrant alco-inks one of many mediums for sale at club’s annual show

Garibaldi Art Club’s fall show and sale to feature 220 works of art

UPDATE: Arrest made in Maple Ridge purse-snatching incidents, another for fraud

Man and woman, both 34 and from Maple Ridge, facing charges.

Maple Ridge women’s shelter society gets a $2.1-million boost

Cythera Transition House Society gets money for 21 homes

Maple Ridge councillors named to local groups

Division of labour for new council

Clear skies for Fraser Blues Remembrance Day flyby

It was the first time the formation team flew over the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Remembrance Day ceremonies

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read