Macdougall to run for Maple Ridge council seat

Former councillor, reporter has issue with Al Hogarth

He was the youngest member on Maple Ridge council, back when he was first elected, in 1977.

Now, if he wins another term in this November’s municipal elections, Sandy Macdougall, at 71, could be the oldest.

Macdougall served three two-year terms, from 1977 to 1983, and wants back on council.

“I’ve got the time. I’ve got the experience. I think I can make a solid or worthwhile contribution.”

Macdougall favours “a balanced approach” to development, that will preserve Maple Ridge’s heritage, and says the current council “by and large is doing a pretty a good job,” though it could benefit from some of his expertise sometimes.

He’s also a former reporter with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News, from 1981 to 2000.

“I think there’s an opportunity going forward, with the things in the core coming together, it’s just going to be a bit livable, I think.”

But he’s not comfortable with Al Hogarth as councillor and realtor, although he said only Hogarth can decide if he should run or not because he’s not doing anything illegal.

Potential conflicts of interest can come up at any time for councillors, requiring them to excuse themselves from voting. But Macdougall says that will happen more often for a realtor on council.

“The public is entitled to have you available for every decision that is made,” Macdougall said.

“There’s an appearance that there’s a potential for conflict.”

Hogarth, in 2008, voted in favour of a development permit for a condo complex on 228th Street and Lougheed Highway, then this year became the main realtor for that project. But he didn’t know the developers or have any relationship with them at the time of voting, he said.

He also excused himself recently from voting on approvals for a new building on 223rd Street and Lougheed Hwy. by the same developers, a project he is now marketing as realtor.

“In the public eye, I think there’s too many areas where he would have a real or imagined conflict and I don’t think the public should have to suffer that,” Macdougall said.

Hogarth counters that he follows the rules and that the municipality benefits more from his expertise than he makes as realtor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coun. Al Hogarth (right), along with MLA Marc Dalton, Mayor Ernie Daykin and MP Randy Kamp, helped turn the sod for the new Urban Green project that he will market.