Two members of Maple Ridge council have already announced their plans to run for mayor, even though the election is a year away.
Ernie Daykin has said he wants a third term as mayor, while Michael Morden also wants the top job, though he refuses to criticize the incumbent.
“I’m frustrated sitting on council,” Morden said Tuesday. “I hear a lot of things from the public about what they’re not happy about and want changed.”
“I feel that I’m the guy who can deliver this. I see Maple Ridge for much bigger and better things.
“Mostly, I really want to see Maple Ridge become much more economically viable than it really is. I just feel we’re not moving forward enough.”
Morden said the Maple Ridge needs more money from a larger commercial and industrial tax base to pay for constantly increasing costs for police and infrastructure.
“Seven-per-cent [increase] for police is an issue.”
He’s looking forward to the new program that will provide incentives to attract commercial and industrial development, as well as a new jobs strategy.
With social media constantly buzzing, politicking for the seven seats on council has started earlier than usual.
Potential candidates are coming together into groups to support each other during the campaign leading up to the November 2014 municipal vote.
“I know there are slates being formed,” Morden said, adding he’s considering joining one.
(Slates) “is an effective way, if you decide you want to paint the town red.” It’s going to be a lot easier to achieve than if everyone has different opinions.
Having common goals allows a council to set clear direction, he added.
Morden, a two-term councillor, didn’t want to criticize Daykin, the two-term mayor.
“I’m not saying anything about Ernie at all. I have nothing to say about his function as mayor.”
Daykin said he also wants to continue Maple Ridge’s economic growth if he’s elected for a third term.
The commercial-industrial review will tell the district how to plot its future.
He also wants to “build on what’s happening in the downtown.” He doesn’t know what will happen in the Albion flats where the district wants to develop a light-industrial, commercial area on the east side of 105th Avenue and Lougheed Highway. The district has to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission however in order to do that.
Daykin also wants to attract attention to the Albion industrial area on the south side of Lougheed Highway. “It’s ripe for redevelopment.”
He could see some limited work-live type developments in the area but no major residential development in the land that’s zoned industrial.
“In the Lower Mainland, there’s a shrinking mass of industrial land.”
Daykin said he has an open-door policy for council members. “I think I’ve worked really hard at being collaborative, keeping everybody on the same page.
“I’m trying to be more accommodating with all of my council.”