We have a local Municipal election coming up on November 19th. This will be a very important election for our town as it will set the tone for either rampant sprawl or a more liveable place. Only about 25% of the electorate comes out and votes for the level of goverment that has the most influence over your life. The municipal council consists of a Mayor and six Councillors who are elected at large. For your vote to have the most impact only vote for those candidates who you are happy with. You do not have to vote for all the positions available. It is better not to vote for a candidate who you are unsure about if this means they end up having more votes than the ones you are sure about. If you are concerned about cycling and liveable community issues, here as some recommendations for council, partially based of a questionnaire, past performance and personal experience. If you want to go through the questionnaire you can find it at http://www.rmcyclist.info/
Craig Speirs (incumbent)
Al Hogarht (incumbent)
Here's a couple of things I wrote a while back:
"Please spend my tax dollars on cycling infrastructure. When I moved my business to Maple Ridge cycling here was better than what it is now. With growth, traffic volume has grown, choking the roads with cars, turning a reasonable cycling experience into a more stressful activity. I ride part of the 123 bike route and also use the bike lanes on 240th Street to get to work. This is one of the better parts of my day. To make this town a more liveable place there should be more accommodation for walking and cycling. One way to ensure this is to start funding cycling infrastructure in a meaningful way. Perhaps five dollars per capita would a reasonable goal."
"There is a very vocal segment of folks who are advocating for more local shopping. While I can agree with more local shopping it should not be at the expense of green space. When I moved here 28 years ago I understood that I would have to travel some distance to shop and that was one of the things that I liked about the place. It seems that new comers didn't properly understand what was here when they moved. Cheap houses lured them here and now they want Maple Ridge to become Burnaby. If I wanted to live in Burnaby I could have moved there long ago."
"It seems long time residents are subsidising new homes. To get to the new housing you need to drive on the roads paid for by long term residents and use existing infrastructure to service the new homes. Al Hogarht has stated that new houses only pay about 25% of their costs, business and older housing pays for the rest. As a business owner I find it difficult to deal with the very increasing taxes--never mind as a long term resident."