News Views: Order of priority

An editorial by The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News on Pitt Meadows coun. Doug Bing and his priorities as MLA-elect

Doug Bing was elected MLA in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows last week.

The Liberal candidate and Pitt Meadows councillor defeated Elizabeth Rosenau of the NDP by close to 700 votes.

Those in the riding west of 200th Street who cast a ballot for Bing did so expecting another vote in short order, a byeletion to elect a replacement for him on Pitt Meadows council.

But the third-term councillor has yet to decide if he will resign from his municipal responsibilities, which is odd.

Surely there are others in the city capable and willing to take on the part-time job.

There is no reason for Bing to remain on council other than other members don’t want to risk losing another Liberal hand in the air.

Members of both Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge councils were visible Liberals during the provincial election.

Maple Ridge Coun. Cheryl Ashlie was Bing’s campaign manager.

Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters visited Bing’s campaign office on election night, as did Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin and other members of both councils.

Bing served Pitt Meadows well on council, and no doubt will continue to do so for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows as MLA.

But that is his job now. Voters didn’t elect a part-time MLA. It pays a full-time salary – more than $100,000 a year – and a pension.

The job of councillor pays a bit as well, although Bing has said he’d forgo that salary if he stays on council.

That’s seems honourable, but it’s not the point.

The learning curve of a new MLA is steep, as former NDP representative Michael Sather said when first elected.

Bing will have to adjust, and serve his constituents in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows on provincial matters – not municipal ones.

Such issues could come into conflict, no?

If Bing had informed voters of his intention to remain on council, would they have elected him?

If he wanted to stay on Pitt Meadows council, he shouldn’t have run for a seat in Victoria.

Bing needs to get his priorities straight.

– The News

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