Rempel in, Huber out in trustee race

Eight candidates running for five seats in Maple Ridge

Trustee Dave Rempel has decided to seek election for a sixth term on the local school board, while first-term trustee Mike Huber has decided not to run again.

Rempel said he believes the question of further school closures may arise again in the next term, as may the need to hire a new secretary treasurer or superintendent for the district.

“I don’t know if that will come up, but I think it may,” he said. “I have a great deal of experience with these sorts of things …  so I think I could offer good direction.”

Rempel, who has a doctorate in education, was a teacher for 17 years and a school administrator for 18 before becoming a trustee.

He said ensuring a strong public education system for the next generation is one of the most important things a society can provide. However, the use of technology in the classroom needs to be reevaluated, he said.

“We need a better definition of learning in the 21st Century,” Rempel said. “I think we have been focussing too much on technology… it aids learning, but it’s not a substitute for it.”

Meanwhile, Mike Huber announced this week he will not be seeking re-election. Huber, who garnered the most votes in the 2008 election, said his family was main motivator for not running again

“I’m a full throttle guy, and everything I do is 100 per cent,” he said.

However, after working full-time as a realtor, and putting in 20 hours a week as a trustee, Huber said there wasn’t much time left for his family.

“Things have changed. When I ran last time I had one child. Now I have three,” he said. “In theory, you could do the job at 50 per cent, but that’s not fair to the community to do that.”

Huber said he may return to politics in the future, and said he plans to continue volunteering his time with the food bank and the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.

The race for school trustee in Maple Ridge will undoubtedly be tighter this time around than it was in 2008, when 16 nominees vied for five positions on the  Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education.

As of Thursday afternoon, only eight candidates were running in the Maple Ridge trustee election: incumbents Susan Carr, Ken Clarkson, and Dave Rempel; along with Gary Cleave, Kathy Marshall, Mike Murray, Melanie Scott, and Rod Smelser.

In Pitt Meadows, where there are two seats available, Eleanor Palis is the only incumbent running, along with newcomers Sarah Nelson, and Marcela Boggio.

Both Rempel and Huber said they were supporting Kathy Marshall and Mike Murray in their bids to get elected to the school board.

Marshall, a long-time community volunteer, previously served as trustee, while Murray was general manager of park and recreation services for Maple Ridge.

“Both were named citizen of the year at one point,” noted Rempel. “I think they would both make excellent additions.”