Candidate tries a third time for Maple Ridge council

Grover Telford ran in 2011, 2008, backs Mowatt for mayor

Grover Telford is seeking a seat on Maple Ridge council.

Grover Telford is seeking a seat on Maple Ridge council.

Grover Telford will run for Maple Ridge council a third time.

The Able Home Services proprietor ran for council in 2011 and 2008, and will try again in November.

“Third time – hopefully third time lucky,” he said Tuesday.

Telford made the announcement on the B.C. Day long weekend.

“I’ve been running my business for 35 years and I really think it’s time for a change.”

He says his business experience will help in making decisions on council and help guide how the District of Maple Ridge operates.

“It’s dealing with people and knowing how to handle challenges. This is a business. We’re spending the taxpayers’ dollars.”

He supports Graham Mowatt, who’s running for the mayoralty position, and also likes what Coun. Corisa Bell has done on in her first term.

“I’m backing him [Mowatt] for mayor. So we’re working together.”

“I like Corisa Bell’s tough approach. She asks tough questions.”

In the 2011 election, Telford finished 11th out of a field of 28 candidates. He earned 2,671 votes.

In the past few years, Telford has supported Bell in trying to do something about pricey parking at Ridge Meadows Hospital.

Last year, council decided that it wouldn’t ask the provincial government to reduce parking charges, opting instead to ask for better signage around the parking lot telling people about the fees.

Telford, though, says there could be a win-win situation, if Fraser Health were to operate its own parking lot, which could reduce parking fees.

Projected yearly revenue from parking for all of Fraser Health for 2012-13 was $11 million. Projected revenues from Fraser Health’s Maple Ridge parking sites for 2012-13 fiscal year is about $500,000, with the cost of operating these services at about $78,000.

To make his point about parking at the hospital, Telford, who formed the group Perturbed Over Paid Parking, will present a petition to council in the fall with more than 2,000 names. The group has about 20 members.

The petition just says people are frustrated with parking fees, but makes no specific demands.

He’s also calling for better long-range planning of bicycle or multi-use paths, saying they should be connecting growing suburbs to the town centre or shopping areas.

However, current planning for bicycle lanes hasn’t been done seriously, he added.

“The bike lanes don’t go anywhere.”

He also supports the development of a shopping mall in Albion flats, at 105th Avenue and Lougheed Highway. Negotiations between mall developer SmartCentres and the District of Maple Ridge haven’t reached a conclusion yet.

“We still haven’t accomplished anything.”

He can’t find particular fault with council of the past three years, although he says not enough has been done to increase the commercial base.

“It doesn’t seem to have changed much.”

Council, though, doesn’t pursue issues to the extent that it should, he added.

The current council has been working on its industrical-commercial strategy for several years. That plan goes back to council for possible approval in a few weeks.

Telford added he doesn’t want to “butt heads” with municipal staff and instead wants to work with them if he’s elected.

“It seems like there’s going to be a big contingency running for council,” said Mayor Ernie Daykin, who’s seeking a third term as mayor. “ That means there’s interest. It takes a lot of intestinal fortitute to put your name out there.”