Name: Graeme Ross
Facebook: Graeme Ross for Council
Q1. What have you personally achieved, or what initiative have you personally led in recent years that qualifies you to be elected or re-elected as a Maple Ridge councillor?
1. On a professional note, I have continued to work in downtown Maple Ridge in a long-standing financial institution, earning the respect and trust of my clients. I have had a hand in numerous fundraising campaigns benefiting the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation and the Terry Fox Foundation. In the past three and a half years, I have had two children born here in Maple Ridge. I have bought a second home here and moved to a family friendly area near Ridge Meadows Hospital. I make a point of always attending the Remembrance Day ceremonies as well as community events such as Caribbean Fest and the farmer’s market. I am a live-work-play resident as I both live here, I work downtown and I use our recreational facilities, such as the Maple Ridge Park water park and the Leisure Centre.
Q2. Provide two examples of council’s actions over the past three years and explain why or why not you support them.
2. I do not support the four-per-cent house tax increase that council has worked with in the past. I have signed the taxpayers agreement stating that I will not ever vote in favour of a house tax increase beyond the inflation rate and have backed that up with the promise to take a one-year, 15-per-cent pay cut if I do. By keeping both residential and commercial taxes low, we will continue to attract investment in our community. I am in support of the recent decision to build a park near the Leisure Centre. This is a hub for our area and needs to be available and attractive to our residents. It compliments our downtown core and works well with the revitalization campaign that encourages local businesses to fix up their exteriors.
Q3. Do you support the 13-per-cent increase (over three years) in councillor’s salaries approved last summer? Why or why not? Explain what you would do if elected.
3. I am not in favour of how the 13-per-cent increase of councillors’ salaries was obtained. I believe you need to offer compensation to keep the opportunity to be on council open to anyone who wishes to run. It is important to keep Maple Ridge competitive with other municipalities to attract the best people available. It is important to have diverse representation. I would like to see councillors ‘ wages determined by an independent panel of residents and business owners of the area as done in Pitt Meadows.
This keeps both the councilors at arms length from this issue and makes sure we are still remaining competitive.