Don Bell was first elected as an alderman in 1970. He was then elected mayor in 1976 and served three terms until 1982 when he returned to the private sector as Director of Public Affairs for Canada Safeway Limited.
Mr. Bell was elected to the North Vancouver School Board for three terms serving twice as board chair. He was re-elected as a municipal councillor for a three-year term in 1993 and in 1996. He was re-elected as mayor in 1999 and again in 2002 and continues to serve in that position.
He is the Vice-Chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (the GVRD) and is presently chairing the GVRD Corporate and Intergovernmental Committee.
Previously he has chaired the GVRD Water and Air Quality Committees and the GVRD Planning and Environmental Committee. Mr. Bell has also served as a member of the GVTA (TransLink) Board, Regional Health Committees, and as board member and trustee of the Municipal Finance Authority. He has also served on the national board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Mr. Bell was the GVRD representative on the Tourism Vancouver Board for three years and served on the 2010 Winter Olympics Bid Committee from 1998 to 1999.
In 1992, he received a Canada 125 medal for his community service, and in 2003 he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee medal for his community service.