ELECTION 2014: Pitt activist seeks seat on council

Mike Stark ran in the 2011 election, narrowly missing a seat with 1021 votes.

Mike Stark will be seeking a seat on Pitt Meadows council in the upcoming civic election. Voting day in Nov. 15

Mike Stark will be seeking a seat on Pitt Meadows council in the upcoming civic election. Voting day in Nov. 15

A neighbourhood activist who has fought city hall from the outside hopes to effect change by seeking a place on Pitt Meadows council.

Mike Stark ran in the 2011 election, narrowly missing a seat with 1021 votes.

A dedicated council watchdog, Stark has attended the vast majority of council meetings for the past six years including the city’s annual budget deliberations.

He believes that taxation, transportation and the contentious North Lougheed Connector will be the main issues of this election.

“Our current budget is scheduled to see a 24 per cent increase in taxes over the next five years,” said Stark.

“This is not sustainable nor do I believe is acceptable to the vast majority of taxpayers.”

Stark helped the late Tom Murray gather signatures for his “zero tax increase” petition and believes strongly that a zero increase should be considered during the budget process.

He does not support the North Lougheed Connector, a proposed road to farmland, because it will cost taxpayers in excess of $19 million.

“This project should be funded by the developer, not the taxpayer,” Stark added. He also wants a provincial and federal commitment to address the ongoing congestion at Harris Road and Lougheed Hwy.

As president of the Southern Pitt Meadows Residents’ Association, Stark successfully negotiated a partial solution for the traffic-related noise issues in the Wildwood area, which culminated in the construction of a new $817,000 sound wall. He continues to work with the city and local residents to resolve the drainage issues in the area.

Stark is retired from a management career with an international communication company but also served as executive director of a non-profit organization. He and his wife Laura have lived in Pitt meadows for 30 years where they raised their son Michael and now enjoy time with their five grandsons.

Stark currently sits on the board of the CEED Centre and volunteers with the Alouette River Management Society to monitor the Katzie Slough.