Blues musician switching to politics

James Rogers wants better growth to help ease pain to taxpayers

James Buddy Rogers

James Buddy Rogers

James Buddy Rogers wants to get the word out, through music, that he wants a seat at the Maple Ridge council table.

The blues musician has posted a campaign song on YouTube built around his “Your Voice, Your Vision” slogan.

He’s also got a website that’s still under construction.

Rogers grew up in Maple Ridge and wants to see better growth and development.

“With all the urban sprawl that’s happening, I just don’t feel there’s much thought  going into the demand on schools, fire and police and where that money’s going to come to pay for it,” he said.

“Homeowners are just on the hook for everything and I just don’t think people’s pockets are deep enough to continue with that path.”

He agrees with Mayor Ernie Daykin that increasing the industrial base will ease the burden on residential taxpayers.

Rogers said he’s not sure where he stands on a big-box mall in the Albion flats – along  Lougheed Highway and 105th Avenue.

The District of Maple Ridge is currently negotiating with land developer SmartCentres on a possible land swap.

“I think it’s definitely worth discussing. I’d like to see more information about it.”

Rogers said he’ll allow himself to be guided by public opinion on issues.

“Regardless of my feeling on something, I’m willing to vote for the majority.”

He used to run a pool hall in Maple Ridge and said, as a small business owner, he’d like to locate near a big box shopping mall because those are what draw shoppers.

He added the current plan for downtown seems to focus on small shops below condo developments.

“To me, that’s just going to open up more cash advance places and nail salons. I don’t think we’re really going to get any shopping choices.

“As a small business owner, I’ve happily gone next to box stores because they’re the ones that drive the people in. Look what’s happening in Pitt Meadows.”

He says he’s been to most council meetings in the past year, except for one he missed to attend the Juno music awards, for which he was nominated), and has been involved in fundraising for the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.

He’s planning a Blues in the Park fundraising concert in Memorial Peace Park, Aug. 10. Admission will be free with donations accepted for the hospital foundation.

His voice