Name: Mark Kauhane
Occupation: business manager, Overwaitea Food Group
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 believe that I can add value to our community as an elected Maple Ridge councillor because I am proud of and deeply care about our community. My achievements come as a volunteer. I have served on the executive of the Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball Association for eight years, the past seven as president. Although I dedicated many years to leading the association, I also had the great privilege of coaching, putting up fences and raking fields alongside many other dedicated volunteers. I sat on committees in the community such as the Ridge Meadows Sportsfield Association and had the opportunity to listen to the issues that were important to our families and help lead in the formulation of our next steps to build a stronger community.
I have a business background, with 10 years as an executive of an international communications company and in my current position managing with the Overwaitea Food Group. I have helped a number of small businesses get their start in Maple Ridge, assisting in formulating business and financial plans, and marketing to launch their business. I believe this skill set will help me to identify opportunities in the community for growth.
Q2. Provide two examples of council’s actions over the past three years and explain why or why not you support them.
2. I support council’s decision to finally deal with the issue of Northumberland Court. The process was painfully slow and bureaucratic and aggravated by special interests. It seems that the system let down the residents in the area who were affected, as well as the community in general. However, I believe that we can learn from this experience and look forward to dealing with any future similar situations in a more efficient manner.
I support council’s guidance in the downtown core revitalization. It helped to shape a downtown incentive program for new residential and commercial development.
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 do support the increase in councillor’s salaries approved last summer. It’s important to ensure that we are comparable with our neighboring communities in terms of compensation for these positions to ensure we are attracting high caliber candidates. There is a value provided by the mayor and council to the community and it should reflect current market value. If elected, I would encourage periodic assessments to ensure we are keeping pace with our neighboring communities. I would also like to see clear expectations set to understand commitments and deliverables expected of council.