Maybe you appreciated his vision and maybe you thought his vision was abysmal, but departing City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto was a civic visionary, regardless.

Big buildings and bicycle lanes. A bronze camel and a bowling alley. Coach houses and the Shipyards. Density Darrell.

article continues below

Mussatto helped transform Lower Lonsdale from a sleepy sector dotted with pawn shops into a thriving business district.

If ample parking is the hallmark of a great city, Mussatto’s reign is a failure. But if TransLink ever lurches out of first gear and provides the transit service we need this city will become a landmark for environmental sustainability.

Critics point to daily gridlock and overwhelmed infrastructure as telltale signs of over-development. But North Vancouver’s population was always going to increase. The real choice was between urban sprawl and spikes of density. That preference for density led to ethical questions, as Mussatto sometimes judged proposals from the very developers who helped fund his election campaign. Mussatto spent $99,000 on his campaign in 2014, representing the North Shore’s (hopefully bygone) Wild West days of election finance.

Mussatto could be temperamental. Extremely averse to amalgamation, he once chastised the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce president and equated a call for a restructuring study with personal disrespect.

But his sometimes unreasonable expectations seemed to energize the city. West Vancouver’s effort to rejuvenate their waterfront dates back to the era of polyester suits. The city’s Shipyards project is set to be complete in 2019.

We hope the next mayor will be even-handed and clear eyed. We also hope that mayor won’t just see what the city is, but what it could be.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

Read Related Topics

© North Shore News

Report a Typo or Error


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The North Shore News welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Popular News

Community Events Calendar