Election 2014: Pitt Meadows activist seeks seat

Council watcher Mike Stark tried for a seat in 2011 as well

A neighbourhood activist who has fought city hall from the outside will be seeking a seat on Pitt Meadows council.

Mike Stark ran in the 2011 election, narrowly missing a seat with 1,021 votes.

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

He believes that taxation, transportation and the 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 it 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 as well as executive director of a non-profit organization. He and his wife Laura have lived in Pitt Meadows for 30 years, raising a son here. They have 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.