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POCO: Looking for savings and business
Engaging citizens and holding the line on taxes are two key goals for the coming term for Port Coquitlam’s recently re-elected mayor.
In his inaugural speech at Monday’s largely ceremonial council meeting, Greg Moore said he will be working to carry out the vision of 1,300 participants in the city’s corporate strategic plan to build a healthy, engaged community while also addressing voters’ concerns about high taxes.
Noting that some PoCo taxpayers are “reaching a tipping point,” Moore said the city has to find ways to provide services without increasing costs. He promised council will look to other cities for best practices to find new savings on top of the $770,000 in savings found through a core review two years ago and will generate new revenue through business development.
Moore vowed to establish a mayor’s task force on business development opportunities in January made up of councillors and local business representatives. The recommendations of the task force will then be used to provide the foundation for an economic plan in 2013.
“They will look at all aspects of how our city can work with businesses better,” Moore said.
In his speech, the second-term mayor reiterated the perennial complaint of civic governments about downloading from senior governments. “We will no longer willingly accept downloading that is not accompanied with adequate financial resources,” Moore stated in his address.
Acknowledging the support of NDP MLA Mike Farnworth and Conservative MP James Moore, the mayor promised to partner more with provincial and federal governments. Moore also promised to continue to improve the city’s transportation system through its ongoing master transportation plan and by highlighting the need to extend the Evergreen Line to PoCo.
The city’s parks and recreation facilities also need upgrading, the mayor said. “There’s a need to build additional artificial fields, expand the recreation centre to include more multi-functional space for our seniors and residents who seek a healthier lifestyle as well as to create more ice time. We need to also look at how we address our aging Centennial Pool that has been enjoyed generations of PoCo children,” Moore stated. Moore won his job back in the Nov. 19 civic election, collecting 5,827 votes, well ahead of challengers William Issa (1,691 votes) and Patrick Alambets (310).