Serving as the Electoral Area Director

The Electoral Area Director is a member of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors and is also, by virtue of being the Electoral Area Director, a member of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation. This page mentions some of my accomplishments while serving as the Electoral Area Director and describes my approach to fulfilling the Director's two roles. For a description of the Electoral Area Director's role as a Metro Vancouver Board member, see the Electoral Area Director page.

Accomplishments

Among my accomplishments while serving as the Director are the following:

  • Obtained full membership for the Electoral Area Director on the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, commencing in June 2012. For the two preceding years, at my initiative the Director was permitted to participate in all Mayors' Council meetings, but did not have a vote.
  • Had "transit ridership growth and mode shifting" included as one of three objectives for the regional transportation system in the Regional Growth Strategy adopted by Metro Vancouver (see Action 5.1.2).
  • Opened the door for the possibility of a water supply agreement for the UBC/UEL area and a consequent reduction in the purchase price of water from Metro Vancouver.
  • Oversaw improvements to the Electoral Area pages of Metro Vancouver’s website. This is an ongoing project and ideas for additional improvements are welcome.
  • Obtained Metro Vancouver Board approval of a formal policy for two Electoral Area A community publications: the semi-annual Electoral Area A Bulletin and the monthly Director's Update.

How I Approach the Electoral Area Director's Two Roles

Maria talking to constituents

I believe that I can best serve the Electoral Area as its representative on the Metro Vancouver Board by taking an active interest in all Metro Vancouver matters, including those that are not of immediate relevance to the area. Accordingly, I am diligent in keeping myself informed of all that is happening within the Metro Vancouver organization.

As a member of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation, I advocate for the transportation needs of the Electoral Area but I also consider the interest of the Metro Vancouver region as a whole. This is required by the oath of office which each member of the Mayors' Council takes and by the legislation governing the Mayors' Council.

The Electoral Area Director has only 0.8% of the population-weighted vote on the Metro Vancouver Board and when voting on those Mayors' Council matters decided by weighted vote. Hence, the extent to which the Director can achieve results depends entirely on the Director's ability to influence the decision-making process, which in turn depends on how well regarded the Director is by the other Directors and by the other members of the Mayors' Council. I have worked hard to gain the respect of my colleagues, so that I am regarded as a reasonable voice at the table.

I believe that the Director should engage not only with those issues in the Electoral Area that fall directly within the mandates of Metro Vancouver and the Mayors' Council, but also with local issues that lie outside those mandates. One of the many examples is that I have supported the UEL Community Advisory Council in dealing with provincial government officials on matters concerning the UEL, including a request for the study of the incorporation of the community as a municipality.

Reporting and Consultation

I attach high priority to seeking the views of the community and to keeping everyone informed. Accordingly, a considerable amount of my time is spent listening to and consulting with community members and others on a wide range of matters.

I inform the Electoral Area of the most significant Metro Vancouver and Mayors' Council developments in several ways, including through this website and monthly written updates. You will find a description of the various communication activities I undertake and links to my recent monthly updates on the Communications page.

Transfer of Ideas

Maria in a meeting

A particular contribution I make in my role as Director is in facilitating the transfer of good ideas: from the Metro Vancouver region as a whole to the Electoral Area; from the Electoral Area to Metro Vancouver; and from other parts of BC and from the world to our region.

In order to keep abreast of developments and new ideas, I attend a variety of meetings. These have included:

  • The annual Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention.
  • Annual meetings with Directors for Electoral Areas of other regional districts.
  • The 2012, 2013 and 2014 Zero Waste Conferences sponsored by Metro Vancouver.
  • A conference in October 2013 on transportation and the BC economy.