A Robson may make council run

Former mayor or his wife may seek a seat in Maple Ridge

Former mayor Gordy Robson is considering running for council in Nov. 15 election.

Former mayor Gordy Robson is considering running for council in Nov. 15 election.

Former Maple Ridge mayor Gordy Robson is weighing a return to council, and he could be bringing his wife Mary with him.

“There’s a lot of people who want me to go. It’s easy for them to say,” Robson said Monday.  “We had decided, both of us, we weren’t going to do anything.”

Now, one or the other or both could run for a council seat on Nov. 15.

Mary Robson is executive-director of the Friends in Need Food Bank.

Gordy Robson was mayor from 2005 to 2008. He also successfully challenged in court the legality of a 2002 P-3 project that led to the building of the municipal buildings in the downtown.

“It’s going to be an interesting time on council because there’s going to be massive changes, including on staff,” Gordy said.

“It’s going to be a time when you can actually have some influence. So there is some temptation.”

He wants to improve downtown and transit, limit tax increases, work to get schools built.

“We have to have a direct express bus [to Coquitlam] right now. We have to have somebody who’s bargaining on our behalf.”

He said when he was mayor, there was a commitment to start a RapidBus service connecting Maple Ridge to Coquitlam, where the new Evergreen SkyTrain line is to open in two years.

According to the TransLink’s Mayor’s Council transportation vision, released in June, Maple Ridge could, at some point, get a RapidBus line from the downtown to Coquitlam. Or, instead, the RapidBus line could cross Golden Ears Bridge to Langley.

Good transit connections will allow downtown residents to have good-paying jobs, Robson said.

Currently, despite dozens of new condos, he thinks downtown needs a better mix of income levels instead of encouraging low-rent walk-ups.

“What we’re doing downtown is building another Whalley.”

Robson also says this spring’s Supreme Court decision questioning Metro Vancouver’s ability to plan regionally gives Maple Ridge a chance to pressure for more say in how it grows. Perhaps Maple Ridge could join the Fraser Valley Regional District, he added.

When Robson was mayor, Maple Ridge also successfully pushed for an easier amending formula, allowing it to change Metro Vancouver’s urban boundary to allow more subdivisions.

Robson said he could work with whoever is elected as mayor of Maple Ridge, mentioning Mike Morden, Nicole Read and Ernie Daykin.

Robson also thinks there are problems in the bylaws department and “how we’re doing on the streets.”

The municipal elections are Nov. 15.