Ernest (Ernie) Burnett was born and educated in Vancouver, and operated his own business as a chartered accountant in Delta since 1950. Mr. Burnett moved to Delta in 1960, and served on the executive of many Delta organizations. He was president of the Delta Chamber of Commerce and the Ladner Rotary Club, and was Treasurer of the Delta Agricultural Society. He ran for alderman in December, 1971, as part of Dugald Morrison's "Delta Team", and subsequently held the position of alderman until 1979, when he was elected mayor. Mr. Burnett remained Mayor until 1987, when he retired. Mr. Burnett and his wife, Betty, had five children.