Name: Kiersten Duncan
Occupation: outdoor adventure guide and aquatic games leader
Facebook Page: Kiersten Duncan for Maple Ridge 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. I have tried to be an advocate for youth and get them involved in politics. I have spoken in front of council on numerous issues, including protecting the Jackson farm against amending the OCP to allow development within the urban boundary. I have also attended the open house on the Jackson stand pipe and forwarded my concerns to staff. I also volunteered as a scrutineer for a mayoral campaign in the last municipal election. I have volunteered in Maple Ridge for more than four years, totaling more than 300 hours. I have served three years as Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest’s volunteer coordinator for all student volunteers and volunteered at Ghost Ridge Haunted House for four years. I also represented Maple Ridge in the B.C. debating championships.
Q2. Provide two examples of council’s actions over the past three years and explain why or why not you support them.
2. While I have attended numerous council meetings, there are a couple key issues that have stood out to me. Unfortunately, I feel that council doesn’t listen as well to its residents as it should, especially those in rural areas. Most recently with the Jackson stand pipe, residents weren’t consulted that their water had the potential to be contaminated during the year and that a card lock system was going to be installed that would charge them for the water they haul.
With regards to the OCP and the urban boundary, council approved moving the urban boundary to allow development on upper Jackson farm, an environmentally sensitive area where residents rely on an aquifer for water.
I feel residents need to be properly consulted and their concerns listened to before decisions affecting their area are made.
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. No, I do not support a 13-per-cent increase. Council shouldn’t be able to vote themselves a raise. Instead, an independent board should control council salary increases. If elected, I would work towards having such a board created.
While I understand that the costs of living are rising and many councillors put full-time hours into their position, we are in tough economic times and allowing anyone to decide their own salary is simply wrong. Such a raise will also negatively impact our “large population of seniors on a fixed income and young families trying to get a start in life” (Fraserview Community Hall all-candidates meeting). I do not feel that residents support such a raise, morally or financially, and if elected, I would donate my 13 per cent pay increase to local charities, including J&M Horse Rescue.