Ernie Daykin was re-elected to a second term as Maple Ridge mayor Saturday, defeating his lone challenger by more than 2,000 votes.
Daykin earned 7,394 total votes, unofficially.
Craig Ruthven, in his first bid for mayor, collected 4,953.
For council, Cheryl Ashlie led all candidates with 4,949 votes.
She was elected along with: Judy Dueck (4,503), Corisa Bell (4,321), Robert Masse (3,981), Al Hogarth (3,976) and Mike Morden (3,864).
Craig Speirs (3,699) was the lone incumbent defeated. Linda King did not seek re-election.
Daykin acknowledged there could have been discontent among residents in suburbs such as Silver Valley or Albion where Ruthven said people were upset about lack of services such as access to schools, parks, roads and sidewalks.
“Maybe we need to be clearer on what’s happening there. Obviously, there’s a disconnect, perhaps between the folks in the suburbs,” Daykin said.
But the district is working to improve both areas, he said. “We’re building parks. There are things going on.” The district could slow development in the crowded Albion area, he added.
The mayor said the two newcomers, Bell and Masse, “have some work ahead,” to get up to speed on council affairs as it starts its business planning in December.
Despite a district get-out-the-vote campaign intended to draw people to the polls, the 25-per-cent turnout was even less than the 2008 election which drew about 29 per cent of eligible voters.
“It’s discouraging a little bit,” Daykin added.
Bell, who led the FightHST event in Maple Ridge over the summer, leading to a mail-in referendum that defeated the tax, said results were up in the air as ballots were counted Saturday.
But she said she wasn’t surprised at winning. “I worked really hard. I’ve gotten to know people over the years and people believe in me. This isn’t just me placing a spot on council, it’s a lot of people in Maple Ridge getting a spot on council.”
One of her priorities is to address the 13-per-cent pay hike for the politicians, over three years, approved last summer by council.
“First of all, we need to get rid of that pay increase. That’s the first thing. It should be done at the first meeting. Taxpayers do not have any more money to be paying that. It’s a part-time job and we don’t need an increase. Nobody else is getting one.” She said she’d be introducing a motion towards that.
Morden and Ashlie both opposed the increase last summer.
Reviewing the district’s finances, taxes and spending is another of her main goals.
She says she’ll be joining council as an outsider but hopes there won’t be too much of a gap between her and her colleagues. Her name is the only one not on a pro-shopping list of candidates circulated on a business card late in the campaign. The others listed on the slate were all elected.
Judy Dueck, Bob Masse and Al Hogarth all saw the card, but didn’t know who produced it.
“Whoever put it together, sort of got it right,” added Dueck.
Bell doesn’t plan on changing her style and will continue to advocate for more transparent government.
“I will work fantastic with council. The question is, how will council work with me.” She hopes that council welcomes her and helps her in role as a councillor.
“Like I said, I get along with everybody, so it’s up to them how this is going to go.
“I’ve got my work cut out for me because I’m the only one on the outside. It will be interesting.”
Masse said the learning curve he was on during the election will continue now that he’s on council. He wants to see more shopping and industry and said shopping in Albion flats would have an environmental benefit because it would reduce the number of people having to drive outside of the community.
The district is still awaiting comment from the Agricultural Land Commission on its draft plan for the Albion area which calls for development of Albion flats, most of which is in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
He also wants to see a municipally operated garbage collection service, integrated with green waste pickup, instead of the current system of private contractors serving the district. He wants to look at other municipalities and find out who has the best system.
Masse questioned how much of a role the list of candidates played, just as the group of Maple Ridge community associations compiled their own list. “To say that we’re part of a slate, certainly that would be news to me. I think the term slate implies more than that.”
Elected to school board in Maple Ridge; Susan Carr (6,693), Dave Rempel (5,909), Kathy Marshall (5,634), Ken Clarkson (5,621) and Mike Murray (5,541).
Full results (District of Maple Ridge – unofficial):