In 108 years, Pitt Meadows has only elected two female mayors. Nicole MacDonald is the second one.
Sitting at a conference table in front of mayor MacDonald felt comfortable. A woman sharing her excitement of achieving a milestone with another.
As an involved resident of Pitt Meadows for 17 years, she became especially concerned about the direction City Hall was taking prior to her election in 2018.
The Golden Ears Business Park and a former councillor who was criminally charged.
In 2017, David Murray, then serving as a Pitt Meadows councillor, was convicted of sexual assault. He was sentenced to nine months in prison.
“There wasn’t what felt like a healthy positive environment at City Hall for staff, community members and for council,” MacDonald said.
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She said she believes former mayor Bill Dingwall brought back stability and effective governance to Pitt Meadows.
It’s the stability and respect that she believes more candidates didn’t run for the position.
MacDonald was unopposed in her race and acclaimed to the mayor’s office.
“I think they saw how we had governed over the last four years and had trust and confidence and wanted that continuity. So I take it as a testament to that.”
But that’s not the only reason why. Running for a public office position can be overwhelming.
“You open yourself up for vulnerability, there’s a lot of negativity that can surround you and so it’s a big decision to step up to run.”
The Opioid Crisis in Pitt Meadows
In her inaugural speech, MacDonald mentioned that Pitt Meadows is not immune to the opioid and homelessness crisis.
“We’ve seen an uptake in calls regarding individuals sleeping in public and private spaces. So, whether that’s adjacent to the old concession stand at Harris Park, or near the bottle depot. and we’ve had more drug paraphernalia found in the community.”
Whether it’s enforcement, education, passing on resources or advocacy, MacDonald believes that a prompt approach is needed.
Leading like a Woman
Why are you not home making your family dinner?
What does your husband think of this?
Those are some of the hateful comments she has received as a female politician.
But when she meets young school girls who get excited to see her as mayor, she gets excited, too.
We [women] got to keep stepping forward, we can’t let the haters win. And I just have to lead by my heart and lead by my moral compass. And then if in time, the community doesn’t think I’m the right person then that’ll be what it may be, and I’m okay with that.”