Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows should not amalgamate, although school board chair and former parks general manager Mike Murray thinks they should.
Surely, good reasons exist to do so, although studies have shown that amalgamations, such as in Ontario, don’t always reduce redundancies, in services or staff, or save money.
But Abbotsford did experience significant growth after merging with Matsqui, and doing so could open doors for grant opportunities.
Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows already share many services, all of which could be preserved under amalgamation.
As could history. Neighbourhoods such as Whonnock and Hammond in Maple Ridge have done well in that regard, and Pitt Meadows could do the same.
But it wouldn’t be the same.
Pitt Meadows is its own place, and gives care to its needs and wants as they arise.
Would its streets and sidewalks and ditches get the same attention if it shared a roof with Maple Ridge?
How would priorities be determined? By population? By age of infrastructure? Who would determine that? Who would be mayor?
Maybe Mr. Murray would like that job.
Regardless, the list of budget items for Pitt Meadows could be blended with those in Maple Ridge and possibly some wouldn’t get completed as soon as if the former remained on its own. And if improvements took place in Pitt Meadows before any in Hammond, their would be screaming.
With the good comes the bad, and Pitt Meadows wants no part in the mess that downtown Maple Ridge is still trying to clean up.
Pitt Meadows does its own economic development, and has done quite well for itself in the past 20 years – the growth and changes, from Harris Road to South Boson, are evident. And if the residents of Pitt Meadows don’t mind paying for the benefits of independence, they should remain on their own.
Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows should not amalgamate. But they should find ways to share services to reduce costs, as they have for decades.
Mr. Murray seems to think the joint parks agreement, which he helped write, was good for Maple Ridge, as it was Pitt Meadows.
It should be renewed.
The two councils, with two new mayors, should find a way to get along, and resolve the airport issue.
– The News