Editor, The News:
Once again it looks like the same old people are going to put their hat in the ring for mayor.
I have lived in this town for 27 years and not much has really improved. We have more traffic, more condos, still making the downtown core council’s priority, more homeless now than ever before, no real shopping except for the stores in downtown that come and go, and lots of grocery stores and sushi restaurants.
In other words, there are no real plans for the future of this city.
We have had mayor after mayor and they have all wanted Maple Ridge to be a bedroom community, and now all the stores that would have come in here have passed us by, they are in all the other towns – Mission, Langley, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam – and that is where we have to go to get other things we need besides groceries.
Ernie Daykin is a prime example of one of those mayors who wants to keep us in the past. It is wonderful that his ancestors were some of the founding fathers, and to quote him: “My grandparents came to Maple Ridge looking for a place to raise a family, to build a community and to find opportunities and those are still the reasons I live here and those are the reasons I am running for mayor of this great city.”
So his family did all those things then, but this is now, a 100 years later and we need more now to put us on the map and compete with other cities around us.
It is fine and good to be nostalgic, but it is not a reason to be running for mayor, again. We need someone with a vision for the future of this city, to prosper, to have a commercial base, to keep taxes down and people working in the same city they live in. We need new and young blood with new ideas, someone who will utilize the resources we have here and build on it.
We are fortunate to be on the Fraser River, but we also have to protect the families who live near it, so we are not endangering them.
We could also use that waterfront property to enhance our beautiful city, to build beautiful single family homes, townhouses, shopping, specific businesses, restaurants and maybe even a hotel.
Our waterfront could be a place for everyone to enjoy and have a promenade to take walks on. We could be like other cities – White Rock, West Vancouver, Port Moody, all these cities attract visitors and neighbouring people. They have had mayors and councils with a vision and future plans, we are still waiting for a plan.
If the previous mayors and councils had had a vision and a plan for Maple Ridge years ago, we would not be in the state we are in now.