Former Maple Ridge Mayor Al Hogarth is the new president of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce.
“I enjoy working with people, and I’ve a strong believer in businesses,” said Hogarth. “Even from my council days, I believe we have strong opportunities to get people working here, rather than commuting to work.”
As he starts a two-year term, Hogarth said he wants to see the Chamber be a strong advocate for businesses in the cities it serves.
He wants to hold the line on property taxes for businesses, which he said are roughly three times residential tax rates. They result in high rental costs that challenge new businesses and small businesses.
Hogarth sees great potential in the Chamber working with more home-based businesses, and hopes to attract them to Chamber membership for advantages like its benefits plan with health, dental and vision care.
“They are incubator businesses that can become a storefront,” said Hogarth.
“We’ve got a good core of business membership, but there is room for growth, definitely.”
Hogarth has been a lifelong resident of Maple Ridge, and was elected mayor in 1999 and served until 2002. He subsequently served as a councillor from 2005-2014. He continues volunteering and sat on many boards, committees and special task forces, including the Official Community Plan Review, Alouette River Management Society and Silver Valley Neighbourhood Association.
Hogarth takes over from past president Ken Holland.
The realtor works in the assembly of land, land use proposals, design, development and marketing of a variety of projects including single family, multi family and commercial units.