Danny Plecas is the latest Mission councillor to announce his intention to seek another term on council
If successful, it would be Plecas’ third term at the table as he served from 2008-2011 and then 2014-2018.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve again for the next four years,” he told the Mission Record.
“I’ve had the opportunity to, with a relatively cooperative council, bring together some policies and changes, and updating some of our process we have in place, to allow us to keep pace with growth,” he said about the past four years,
A lot of the stuff that was in place was very dated, he added.
He pointed to the OCP changes and master plans for water and sewer as some of the things that Mission needed to address, due to the amount of growth the district is experiencing.
“I think people have this concern that we as a community are growing too fast. I think we need to be putting ourselves in a position, in the next number of years, to ensure that we are ready for that growth.”
He said better policies, procedures and a really strong administrative structure has to be in place to deal with that kind of growth.
While Plecas doesn’t think Mission is growing too fast, he said the question is are we ready to take on that growth.
“We have to recognize that there is pent up demand for housing in the Lower Mainland and people are being pushed out from the Vancouver area and into the suburbs,” he said, adding people are looking for affordability and livability and reevaluating where they are living. And we have to be ready.
“We are having a struggle, I think, as a community of how do we move through the development process quicker? How do we satisfy some of that want to build in Mission and yet be able to make sure they can do it in a sensible amount of time.”
In the past four years, Plecas feels there has been a lot more involvement by council within the community. He pointed to the traffic and transportation committee, which was created to address issues the public had.
“People are, I think, feeling more comfortable that they can have connectivity with the council.”
He also believe council has been very effective at financially managing the community.
“We have very little debt, yet at the same time, in the last four years, we were able to improve some of the infrastructure in the community.”
He said projects like the skate park, improvements to the sports park and some of the road work has all be accomplished without going into a borrowing cycle. However, looking forward, he believes it will be a challenge to satisfy some of those road improvement needs as it will be a major cost.
Other important issues to Plecas is to help ease the bottleneck in the development process and to better understand the need for affordable housing, including implementing some strategies for more rental housing and secondary suites.
“I want to see this worked on in the next term.”