Karl Lundgren says Maple Ridge is an underachiever.
To help reach its potential, Lundgren is running for council in the Nov. 15 election.
“I’m a new candidate,” says Lundgren, who lives in Pitt Meadows and works in Port Coquitlam as a travel agent.
Lundgren though grew up in Maple Ridge and is more interested in his old home than his current city.
“When I was young, I thought it had great potential. I just don’t think it’s living up to what it could have done.”
Pitt Meadows seems to be doing better in attracting businesses and commerce than Maple Ridge, he says. “I just feel that we’re losing out to adjacent communities.”
Lundgren made the decision a few weeks ago and plans on making a formal announcement later, as candidate nomination forms can only be filed between Sept. 30 and Oct. 10.
Lundgren would like to do a study of local shopping habits to see if or how Maple Ridge is losing to other areas.
Instead of bringing more people to the area, he says the Golden Ears and Pitt River bridges are just making it easier for residents to leave.
“It’s actually doing more harm than good now.”
As the campaign moves towards voting day, Lundgren will put out more announcements.
“When it comes down to it, I don’t believe in making a bunch of promises.”
He also wants more transparency in municipal affairs and the election, and says social media can allow candidates to talk directly with voters.
After serving as president of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce for two years and recently leading the Haney Rotary club, Ken Holland has decided it’s time to try for council.
“I’ve worked here for 18 years. I think it’s time for a change.”
Holland works in the housing industry and operates Pinnacle Home Designs. He says Maple Ridge’s cumbersome approval policies are seeing developers avoid the district in favour of other cities. He’d like to see that streamlined. The rules over parking in the downtown also need review to encourage shopping, he added.
Todd Oliver, an instructor at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, is also running.
“I’m tired of being a Monday-morning quarterback,” he said.
Oliver says he’s attended most of the public hearings and Maple Ridge council meetings in the last few years.
“I want to be a voice for holding the line on the budget.”
He says he can do that by looking at the main cost drivers and how the district operates.
Working within a government bureaucracy such as B.C. Corrections can give insight to that.
He added he wants to bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people at the lowest cost.
Candidates need only two nominees to sign their forms in order to get their name on the ballot.
Although weeks remain before the filing deadline, several candidates have said they plan to have their names in the next election.
Four candidates are trying for the mayor’s seat: Ernie Daykin, Mike Morden, Graham Mowatt and Tyler Shymkiw.
Sara Dawn Beckett, Morgan Jensen, Grover Telford, James Buddy Rogers, and Kiersten Duncan also have confirmed they’re challenging for seats on council. Nicole Read may run for either council or mayor.
At least three seats will have new councillors following the departure from politics of Judy Dueck and Cheryl Ashlie and Mike Morden’s mayoralty challenge.