Andrew Hegedus, for council.
• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:
I am a near life-time citizen of Maple Ridge. I have a BA in history as far as anything formal, and while I did not declare a minor, I have taken a number of courses in political science. As more of an abstract, I have been providing excellent customer service for 13 years in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in the telecom field.
• Reason for running:
Simply, I want to do right by this community and its residents.
• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?
I see a lack of commercial and industrial development as an area of opportunity for our city. We have about half the number of jobs, versus the number of residents in Maple Ridge, and a majority of those are entry-level positions. By encouraging growth of small businesses, and even attracting more large employers into our city, I feel we can balance our tax base (91 per cent residential as of the last survey), cut commute times and even attract more amenities to our city, so our citizens can stay in Maple Ridge and not have to go into neighbouring communities for work or recreation.
Being able to communicate what we need effectively to our provincial and federal representatives will be key in dealing with many of the other issues we are currently facing. Some of these may be beyond what our city has the resources to solve on its own.