Gordy Robson, for council.
Occupation: retired businessman
• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:
Former mayor and councillor and former newspaper columnist. More than a decade as a senior political consultant with provincial and federal political parties and governments. Fifty years in business with a reputation for effective turnaround management and corporate renewal strategies. Former executive vice-president of Edmonton Oilers, former owner/director Vancouver 86ers, former director Vancouver Whitecaps. former director, British Columbia Buildings Corporation.
Established, owned and operated numerous local businesses, including Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News, Best Western Hotel and Meadowridge Shopping Centre. Founder: Alouette River Management Society, Meadowridge School, Maple Ridge Downtown Parking Society, Maple Ridge Home Show Society and key involvement in numerous social, environmental and business projects and issues.
• Reason for running:
I’m blessed. This is my way of paying back the community. I want to keep taxes down and improve our amenities and quality of life.
• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?
Our citizens tell me their two key issues are taxes and homelessness.
Taxes: We’re addressing taxes by fundamentally changing the way we fund our amenities in Maple Ridge. We are now getting the developer to contribute more as we grow. In the last two years, we’ve pulled in $13 million and another $20 million is in the pipe.
There were 6,000 people here when I was born. In the 1970s, when I was involved as chairman of planning commission, there were 12,000 people here. Today, we’re well over 80,000 and growing. Keeping our taxes low will always be the challenge. Working with the development community under the new structure will help move us toward this goal.
Homelessness: Our first obligation is to save lives. You don’t do that by hiding people away in housing. The latest studies show that Housing First does not work. Safe medical detox and treatment on demand must become the standard. Taxpayers cannot continue to pay millions for something that is not working, especially when Housing First becomes Housing Forever. We need to remember that taxpayers are also suffering.
Beyond the high cost of funding these programs, they have lost their feeling of safety on their streets and in their homes. This can’t become the new normal. I will vote to deliver enforced bylaws and equal enforcement of the law. I will continue to push senior government to fund treatment with follow up after-care. It is totally unacceptable that we have accepted the drug culture as a normal part of our society.
• Website: www.votegordy.com
• Facebook: Gordy Robson-Maple Ridge Councillor