The race for one of the six seats on Maple Ridge city council is getting more crowded as names and nomination forms get filed in preparation for the Nov. 15 election.
A magician from Mission and a former municipal planner for Pitt Meadows have joined the race, as have three others.
Not to be confused with mayoralty candidate Mike Morden, Mike Norden, known as Norden the Magician, filed his papers on Tuesday.
“His humor-filled show and his wacky behavior delights children and adults of all ages,” says his website.
Bruce McWilliam, who lives in Port Coquitlam, has worked and lived in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows over the past 25 years. He used to be a planner with the City of Pitt Meadows.
According to his profile posted on the mapleridge.ca website, McWilliam says he’s concerned about the lack of available local employment for his kids and the difficulty young people have moving out of their parents’ home because of high rents and limited affordable housing.
Douglas Blamey, Don Mitchell and Alex Pope are also among the latest to file their nomination papers at city hall.
Pope, a computer programmer, tried to win a seat in the 2011 election, but finished third to last out of 28 candidates with 748 votes.
“I’ve learned a few things through the campaigning and how to better present ideas. I’m going to learn from past experience and hopefully do a bit better.”
Pope said Maple Ridge council needs a balance of people from the business and social agendas.
“We have had too many people who are focused just on the development side.”
Pope, who used to sit on the joint Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge bicycle advisory committee, which no longer exists, says Maple Ridge needs a comprehensive, long-term plan to create a cycling network.
“Even if we don’t start building it now, we need to have the end goal in mind. I don’t think we have an end goal in mind.”
Blamey is a retired CP Railway worker who wants to slow down the pace of development in Maple Ridge to preserve its natural beauty.
He also wants to reduce crime and the number of homeless people in the city. He says that can be done by contracting out municipal garbage pickup, then hiring homeless people to do the collection. He also says a homeless camp could be set up in Albion flats area.
Candidates have to file their nomination papers, signed by two supporters, at municipal hall by this Friday.
Don Mitchell says on his Facebook page that property taxes are on most people’s minds. He says the split in property tax revenue where 77 per cent comes from residential and 23 per cent comes from industrial or business classes has to be improved and says the average proportion in B.C. cities and towns is a 60/40 split.
“We need to be more proactive in trying to attract business to Maple Ridge. I am not talking just retail, but office complexes, business parks, and manufacturing/warehouse operations,” Mitchell said.
So far, only three mayoralty candidates, Ernie Daykin, Mike Morden and Graham Mowatt and have filed papers at city hall, as of Tuesday.
For Maple Ridge council, Sara Dawn Beckett, Corisa Bell, Douglas Blamey, Kiersten Duncan, Ken Holland, Morgan Jensen, Bruce McWilliam, Don Mitchell, Todd Oliver, Alex Pope, James Buddy Rogers, Grant Sanderson, Brian Savage and Grover Telford.
For more election coverage, visit the Black Press civic election portal.