Name: Corisa Bell
Occupation: Owns a website development software company
Q1. What have you personally achieved, or what initiative have you personally led in recent years that qualifies you to be elected or re-elected as a Maple Ridge councillor?
1: For the past few years, I worked as a full-time volunteer for Fight HST as a board member with Bill Vander Zalm and led as volunteer coordinator for the entire province.
I was also instrumental in collecting the petition signatures to recall Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton, then presented to Pitt Meadows council and won the right to post political signs during the Fight HST campaign, and saw through the successful defeat of the HST referendum, against staggering odds.
From rising property taxes and garbage collection for citizens, to red tape, bylaws and parking issues for businesses, I don’t feel concerns are being taken seriously by council.
Q2. Provide two examples of council’s actions over the past three years and explain why or why not you support them.
2. I am most supportive of the decision council made to purchase the properties between Haney Place Mall and Valley Fair Mall. I would like to see more effort to create commercial and residential density in the downtown. By contrast, most of the development approved by our city has been residential development on the outskirts of town, which exponentially increases our service costs and relies on increasing property tax to pay for it.
While I support improvements in the downtown core, the fact that 224th Street needed to be redone three times seems to indicate poor planning and use of financial resources, which could have been allocated elsewhere.
Q3. Do you support the 13-per-cent increase (over three years) in councillor’s salaries approved last summer? Why or why not? Explain what you would do if elected.
3. We are in a recession and the people of our community have had to find ways to do more with less. Giving a 13-per-cent pay increase to councillors I feel gives the impression that government spending is not a concern, when it should be. Councillors should be leading by example.
As a councillor, I will put forward a motion to have the raise overturned. In the event that I did not have enough support from other council members to do this, I would donate my raise, totalling more than $5,000, to local charity.
Furthermore, I don’t believe councillors should be given the opportunity to vote themselves raises, so I would explore and look to implement an alternative.