Name: Ken Stewart
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. I have been elected to both Maple Ridge council and the B.C. Legislature. During this time I have played a key role in many conservation projects and large infrastructure projects: Pitt River Bridge; hospital expansion; Bailey House; Blaney Bog; Codd Island conservation areas; South Alouette fish refuge areas; and North Alouette park lands.
I have also delivered significant grants for the youth advocacy program and the Asante Centre.
Out side of politics, I have been involved with a number of community groups: economic advisory commission; commissioner of agriculture and forestry; Maple Ridge chamber of commerce; Fields for Kids; Ducks Unlimited; Dewdney Alouette committee; provincial emergency program; volunteer instructor, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue; South Alouette flood communications task team; Canadian Comprehensive Audit Foundation; chair B.C. Game Farmers Association; director, B.C. Blueberry Coop; coached football and hockey.
Q2. Provide two examples of council’s actions over the past three years and explain why or why not you support them.
2. Purchasing the downtown properties to consolidate them was a smart and shrewd move.
If council properly zones the lands and can find the right developer, this should be a positive move to upgrade the town centre.
Downtown road improvements are also an upgrade.
The increase to $10 from $3 minimum fee at transfer station was dumb. This flies in the face of encouraging recycling. Properly recycled, your whole monthly garbage weight will be under the old $3 rate, but who wants to keep their non-recyclables around for a month?
Many lose a financial incentive when all your wastes, including recyclables, are well under the $10 limit. Unfortunately, for some, the difference between $3 and $10 causes them to look elsewhere to dump, like at the end of my street, where we have recently seen a dramatic increase in illegal dumping.
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 believe that salaries should increase with the cost of living over the years and be reasonable for the work done. I do have a problem with the current formula that is based on similar municipalities. This is a bit of a race to the top instead of being based on a more objective tool, such as the Consumer Price Index. If elected, I would propose to review the formula, to look at other financial models of calculating the adjustments.