There is now a three-person race for mayor of Maple Ridge in this fall’s municipal election.
Former city councillor Corisa Bell has announced her intention to get back on council, after one term away when she chose not to seek re-election in 2018.
Bell was popular with electors in the 2014 election, when she received more votes than any other council candidate. She was first elected in 2011, after leading the local Fight HST campaign.
The two-term councillor squares off against incumbent mayor Mike Morden and former MP Dan Ruimy in the race for the mayoralty. More candidates could also come forward.
Bell said in a statement that transparency and accountability are the only acceptable ways for government to conduct themselves. During her time on council, she fought for transparent policies and open communication, and was successful in having open governance initiatives implemented, she said.
“There are many challenges we’re facing as a society. I’m ready to lead these conversations to decisions, with a council our citizens can be proud of,” said Bell.
“There are many discussions that are critical for us to have right now. These include thoughtful development with built-in amenities, while focusing on what’s best for our environment, Smart City initiatives including mobility and digital intelligence securing taxpayers data-making profit, food security, disaster planning, rapid transit, housing, reduction of red tape, and resolving parking issues for businesses. I’d like to see my original vision for public engagement expanded.”
Bell said she has the right experience, qualifications, and a proven track record of taking action with a “yes” attitude, while backing taxpayers.
“There’s far too much rubber stamping still happening at city hall. We see this with developments on a regular basis and what we need is thoughtful development,” said Bell.
She disagrees with local politicians accepting campaign donations from developers.
“The development community is integral for growth, but on a personal level I’ve always returned donations by developers, explaining the trust between themselves and the people is fragile,” said Bell.
Bell is critical of the current council’s relationship with the public, and with First Nations.
“There’s a lack of trust between the public and City Hall. There’s a lack of trust between city staff and councils. There’s a lack of trust between council and other levels of governments. There’s a lack of respect for the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations,” she said.
“I will absolutely open meetings with a land acknowledgement.”
Bell said her record includes strong community involvement over the last 20 years. Her latest contribution is on the board for Camp Choice BC. She started her own business to help people navigate government red tape, and also has spent two terms on the Chamber of Commerce. Bell worked with United Way, leading the Local Love Campaign and as housing outreach worker with Fraser River Indigenous Society.
“I have wonderful relationships across the province within all levels of government. Passionate about communication and dialogue, I know what it takes to facilitate relationships.”
“For those who previously sat at the council table, for volunteers who became discouraged because of nothing changes. For citizens who are wondering where the common sense is. Leadership begins at the top,” said Bell.
The local government elections in B.C. will take place on Oct. 15.
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