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New candidate seeks change on Maple Ridge council

Silver Valley resident Nicole Read has yet to decide if she will seek the mayor's seat or one of six spots on council
Nicole Read is seeking a seat on Maple Ridge in council this year.

A Silver Valley resident still fighting to have a school built in the northern suburb is running for Maple Ridge council. What remains to be determined is if Nicole Read will seek the mayor's chair or one of the six spots on council.

"I'm going to announce that when the time comes to serve my papers," she said Wednesday.

Read first wants to see the direction of incumbent Ernie Daykin's platform.

"I need to know that change is possible. I will run where I feel that I will drive the greatest change."

If she thinks she can support his leadership, she'll run for council. If not, she'll try for mayor, whereever she thinks she'll have the greatest impact.

"I respect Ernie. I would like to form a strong part of Ernie's team. I think Ernie needs a strong group of leaders underneath him."

Read got involved in Maple Ridge politics and formed the Facebook group Action Silver Valley in 2013 when the school district said it no longer needed a site for a school at 23103 – 136th Ave.

Rezoning of that to allow development instead is on hold pending part two of a facilities report by the school district.

Read says she's frustrated by many issues. Last election, candidates promised to bring more shopping.

She's also bothered by the amount of crime in the downtown.

"We do not have this problem under control. There has to be action."

"We keep talking about transit. We don't have transit. We have these developments that are incomplete. … Schools, we all know we have a problem in the east, but nothing gets done." Instead, the district has to look at policies, such as densification of the western part of the district, that will ensure it gets provincial funding for schools. "I know there needs to be a school in Albion in four years.

"I feel in this district, there's broken trust."

People were upset about the Silver Valley school not being built and no longer trust and as a result they don't vote, she added.

She wants to change and not talk. "So my campaign will be different."

Instead, Read promises "powerful action rather than empty promises."

"So, rather than selling this district on words, I intend to elevate the race and demonstrate how change happens," she said in a news release.

She questions funding the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association, "as businesses continue to close around them and “for lease” signs abound."

Maple Ridge also lacks "a strategic and bold council that is capable of succeeding in negotiations with TransLink, the Ministry of Education and the Agricultural Land Commission."

"I'm running for change and I know that will make people feel uncomfortable," Read said.

Four candidates have already declared for the mayor's chair. Daykin is seeking a third term with Michael Morden, Tyler Shymkiw and Graham Mowatt also wanting the leadership position.

A version of this article appears in print on August 22, 2014, on page 10 of The News with the headline: Activist aims for council.


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