Michael Morden at this campaign launch in Maple Ridge. An incumbent councillor

Michael Morden at this campaign launch in Maple Ridge. An incumbent councillor

Morden first out of the gate in Maple Ridge race

Councillor launches bid for mayor on weekend in attempt at taking top spot

He announced he was running in 2013, the website has been up for a while and on Saturday Michael Morden formally launched his bid to become mayor of Maple Ridge on Nov. 15.

But the guy who he wants to knock out of the top spot is just getting going, and the website is still a work in progress.

“I wouldn’t say slow out of the gate,” Mayor Ernie Daykin said Tuesday.

“We’ve got a few surprises up our sleeve,” he added.

“You need to get people encouraged to vote. You need to get people talking and a buzz going.”

But there’s a balance between that and election fatigue, Daykin said.

In a release, Morden said he “hit the ground running,” and noted those who showed up at the campaign launch in downtown Maple Ridge: former mayor Gordy Robson, Couns. Al Hogarth and Corisa Bell, candidates Grover Telford, Ken Holland, Alex Pope and James Buddy Rogers.

Holland said he supports Morden for mayor, but Pope hasn’t yet made up his mind.

Morden, though, isn’t assuming anything, least of all the support of those who showed up.

“I don’t make any assumptions about any of that,” adding the event had an open invitation.

The mayoral campaign is not about him, he said, but “people working together. It’s not about one person doing the job.”

Morden said he announced his intent to run for mayor in 2013 and has carefully planned his attempt.

“My intentions have been very clear for a very long time. That way everybody could say that they knew.

“I’m serious about doing this.”

He said Maple Ridge needs a better future “by providing strong, decisive leadership.”

Daykin said his website should be up soon, while his office opens Oct. 15, exactly 30 days from voting day. He expects a similar crowd to show up as those who showed up at Morden’s campaign launch.

“They could have been there for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, nothing more than that.”

Daykin said he plans on using a range of media in the campaign and could spend between $15,000 and $20,000 on it.

“I’m not going to spend $35,000 like I did when I ran against Gordy,” (Robson) in 2008.

“Do you spend $20,000 to $30,000 to get yourself a job?”

But Maple Ridge election campaigns spend peanuts compared to what is spent in the larger cities in Metro Vancouver.

Daykin was disappointed the recent changes to the Election Act didn’t include limits on municipal campaign spending.

He also said everyone could a better job on council and that his leadership style has given Maple Ridge “unprecedented” representation at Metro Vancouver.

He said he’s recognized outside the community as someone who’s willing to work on difficult issues.

“I think my style is open. I’ve spent a lot of time with everybody on council over the last three years. If I came down on them like a ton of bricks, I’d be cricitized for that, too.”