Daykin will run again for mayor

Wants to see Albion area plan completed

Ernie Daykin will seek a second term as mayor of Maple Ridge.

Ernie Daykin will seek a second term as mayor of Maple Ridge.

The mayor wants back in the chair, for three more years. Ernie Daykin, first elected to the top spot in 2008, says he’ll run again in November to lead the council for the District of Maple Ridge. “We’ve got things on the go,” he said Tuesday. In particular, he wants to see the Albion area plan completed. That process, which aims to create a long-term plan for the area along Lougheed Highway and 105th Avenue, should be complete by fall. “I just want to see it finished.” He and most of council approved sending a plan for comment to the Agricultural Land Commission that calls for development of virtually all of the available land. Daykin said he made that decision not to win votes from the pro-shopping crowd, but because he thought it was the best for the community. Recent debate about the future of the flats has declined, which has the mayor wondering where all the controversy is. Even his remarks about a possible inclusion of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve near 240th Street, in exchange for removing land in Albion flats, drew no public reaction. “This is a huge unknown. It’s been remarkably quiet.” One item that seems to be almost off the agenda is the ghetto complex on Fraser Street which finally was sold to a developer last year. Plans are to put up new condos on the site, though construction has yet to begin. “I’m glad we were able to deal with the Northumberland issue,” Daykin said. The South Haney study project that’s currently trying to define a long-term plan and identity for the area will work in tandem with that. Another major issue for the mayor is Metro Vancouver’s long-term growth plan, the Regional Growth Strategy. Maple Ridge gave its input to that and is in the final stages of signing on to the strategy. “We put a lot of effort into that. It was a team effort.” Council is now in its third year as a group and so far seems to be running harmoniously, especially compared to other councils in the region, he says. There’s vigorous debate on the issues, as there should be, but it doesn’t become personal, he says. That could be attributable to the busy Mondays, that start with workshop sessions in the morning, followed by committee in the afternoon, which means council often has to grab a sandwich and bowl of soup together. Daykin pointed out that the district’s recent purchase of three acres at Selkirk Avenue and 227th Street where several run-down homes are located earned council lots of praise. After the tenants have been evicted, the district will mow down the buildings and try to entice a developer. “The response from that has been overwhelmingly positive.” Whether he will have any competition however remains to be seen, with there still being nine months to the election. Newcomer to council Cheryl Ashlie is leaning towards running for a second term on council and would be happy to see Daykin as mayor again, saying he’s doing a good job. It’s good for the community to have a mayor re-elected, she said. “We need some consistency there.” And from what she’s heard so far, Daykin isn’t likely to face a serious challenger. “Ernie’s all about doing the right thing for Maple Ridge. He’s in it for the right reasons so it makes it easy to work with him.” Council, though, will see at least one new face after the Nov. 19 vote. Coun. Linda King said she won’t be seeking another term. And NDPer Craig Speirs also could be gone – if he wins the NDP nomination and defeats Conservative MP Randy Kamp in the next federal election.