News View: Going out on top

Pitt Meadows Mayor Don MacLean has decided not to seek re-election in November because, after 21 years on council, he wants more leisure time, and because he said he’s got nothing more to prove, nothing left to accomplish.

No one’s disputing his reasons.

Under MacLean’s watch, Pitt Meadows has grown from a small, sleepy farming community to a proud rural city, a self-sufficient one with a rich, preserved heritage, and getting closer to a balanced tax base. It’s not all houses. It’s a walkable community.

Several issues remain unresolved, though, as MacLean steps aside, such as the debate about an overpass on Harris Road, and commercial development around the proposed North Lougheed Connector.

But those will be for the next mayor and council to deal with.

One of the main reasons Pitt Meadows has been able to accomplish so much in the past 12 years is that council, under MacLean’s leadership, has been a cohesive unit, sticking to a single, clear vision – to build a better community.

But that could be compromised now with two current councillors declaring their intentions to seek the mayor’s seat and a third contemplating it, potentially opening up two new spots on council.

One only has to look down the highway at Maple Ridge to see what happens when you have a revolving door of mayors and councillors, divided, eternally, it seems, over the wording in documents about whether or not to preserve every speckle of farmland and, if so, where to grow some jobs.

That is how you get left behind.

Pitt Meadows hasn’t done that, to MacLean’s credit. He’s been a strong and loyal leader, and for that deserves our thanks.

What Pitt Meadows needs going forward is another one like him – not three, all thumb-wrestling to see who gets to sit in the tall chair.

MacLean never saw a serious challenger for mayor, and now he is going out on top.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News