Should Mission officially become a city? That question was raised at council on Monday night as Coun. Carol Hamilton presented a notice of motion for staff to investigate the feasibility of a municipal name change from the District of Mission to either the City of Mission or Mission City.
Hamilton told council she has spoken about the change in designation with the Mission Downtown Business Association; Stacey Crawford in the economic development office; Val Billesberger, Mission’s archivist, to get a historical perspective; the Chamber of Commerce; and several members of the public.
“I just feel it’s time for Mission to look at changing to the City of Mission,” Hamilton said.
Staff indicated that a referendum would not be needed; instead, the alternative approval process could be used where the idea is advertised in the local paper and if 10 per cent of the voting public expresses opposition, it would be quashed.
It is estimated to cost about $5,000.
Staff will bring a report back to council at a later date.
This is not the first time the concept of a change from district to city has come before council.
In August of 2015, staff presented a report to council that recommended the reclassification to city, noting that the new moniker could increase the ability to attract and retain business more effectively than as a district.
At that time, staff was asked to speak with the local chamber of commerce and other groups to garner feedback.
At that time, Mayor Randy Hawes said the change in name was merely a matter of perception to potential investors or new residents. There would be no impact on taxation or how the district is run.
To be classified as a city in B.C. an area needs a population of more than 5,000 people. Mission’s population is just under 40,000.