Dec 16,2008 Tri City News

By Jeff Nagel - The Tri-City News

Published: December 16, 2008 6:00 PM

Appointed board has most of the real power

Some Metro Vancouver mayors say there’s no point in them listening to public delegations about TransLink service issues because there’s nothing they can do about it.

The issue arose at the Dec. 10 meeting of the Mayors Council on Regional Transportation, where an Anmore woman called for more wheelchair-friendly transit service.

Several mayors are worried hearing some delegations will encourage more and raise expectations that they exert real power over TransLink operations.

The mayors’ main role is to approve or reject the levying of extra taxes or fees to finance TransLink’s long term plans.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said people with concerns over almost any other facet of TransLink service or operations should be instead taking it up with the body with actual power over those areas: the unelected TransLink board of directors that was installed last January.

“We have no authority to deal with those issues,” he said. “Entertaining delegations gives the wrong impression of what this board is able to do.”

He said the council could end up bombarded with complaints if TransLink is forced in the future to cut service levels to balance its budget.

Mayors Council chair Dianne Watts, mayor of Surrey, said a policy will be written to make the jurisdiction of the mayors’ council clear to prospective speakers.