City Politics: Mayor John Becker On 2016 Council Achievements

By on February 10, 2017

Mayor John Becker sat down recently to discuss some of Council’s and the City’s achievements over 2016, and what priorities are coming up in 2017 for Pitt Meadows.

http://www.pittmeadows.bc.ca/EN/topnav/whatsnew/video-a-review-of-2016-and-a-look-ahead-at-2017-with-mayor-john-becker.html

By Mayor John Becker: This past winter has been a challenging one for everyone in Pitt Meadows and across the Lower Mainland. Residents have been frustrated with snow and ice causing challenges to getting around, and our crews have struggled with keeping roadways clear and safe for travel. To make matters worse, the freezing temperatures not only kept the snow on the ground but froze it solid, making it difficult to remove from sidewalks and roads,and salt became a hot commodity (no pun intended).

The City has been following our Snow and Ice Response procedures as set out in our policy. The response sets out the priority areas and standards of response, including staffing and standards of our roads at each priority level before the next level can be addressed. This means that main roads are taken care of first, and no other roads receive attention until the main roads are clear to black top. If the snow continues to fall, we continue to address only main roads. Once main roads are consistently clear, we move on to secondary routes, and maintain those until clear. Only then are we able to address residential and side streets, so your street may not be cleared until days after an initial snowfall, and in that time it may freeze into ice and be difficult to clear.

Pitt Meadows has a staff of 12 who must rotate in shifts to clear roads of snow and ice, sometimes into the wee hours. Our parks crew consists of two staff who clear walkways in city parks and properties. During snow season they are on call and work around the clock to ensure the safety of our roadways and city owned paths and walkways. It is for this reason we, like other municipalities, rely on residents for sidewalk clearing.We know it is frustrating when the snow plow comes by and pushes snow across your driveway or sidewalk, and we are working on finding solutions to these problems, and we also offer tips on our website to combat some of these issues. To those residents who have banded together to clear their neighbourhood sidewalks or other community areas, or have helped their elderly or infirm neighbours, thank you. You are the heart of what Pitt Meadows is all about, and we appreciate you coming together when you were needed most.

In a few weeks, the snow will be a memory yet again and we will put away our snowblowers and snowplows until they are needed again. Thank you to our staff for their hard work during an extraordinary snow season, to our amazing citizens for their help clearing sidewalks and paths, and most of all, for your patience and community spirit during a challenging time.
Bring on spring!

By Councillor David Murray
The last three years has seen the City of Pitt Meadows record the lowest taxes in Metro Vancouver with an average increase of 1.66 %. This year the rate is set at 0.64 , which will again put Pitt Meadows at the lowest or among the lowest tax increases for 2017.
What makes this special is that in 2016 Pitt Meadows hired a $90,000 Environmental officer, created between 40-45 jobs, many jobs are now being done in house rather than being contracted out.
In 2016 the City brought the Parks and Rec and Arts and Culture departments in house. This was done on budget and without a disruption in services. A living wage policy was voted on and with council direction will move forward. Council also approved an additional RCMP officer at a price of $166,000. Also included is $180,000 going to “Infrastructure Replacement” within the city. The garbage contract as well as the contract with MMBC will see the City of Pitt Meadows save $2.7 million dollars over the next 7 years .

About David Murray

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