A passionate environmentalist like her boss MLA Michael Sather, Carly ORourke wants to advocate for the protection of farmland as a Maple Ridge councillor.
The 25-year-old constituency assistant for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA is the latest to declare her intention to run in the November municipal election for one of six councillor seats.
ORourke was seventh in the race for Maple Ridge council in 2008, and, thus, she just missed being elected councillor.
While ORourke understands citizens in east Maple Ridge need shopping, she doesnt advocate developing the Albion Flats west of 105th Avenue.
Thats ALR, thats farmland, she said. I believe we need to protect it.
In 50 to 100 years, Maple Ridge will need to have the capacity to grow food here, therefore, farmers need to be supported.
ORourke said this could be done by giving more tax incentives to farmers who are struggling or are close to packing it in.
Shed like to see a campaign, like Buy Maple Ridge to encourage Maple Ridge residents to buy from their local producers.
We have to support [farmers] as much as possible, she said.
She said she has a vision for Maple Ridge as a long-term sustainable city with the capacity of get through a possible future food crisis.
There should be more enforcement by police to get rid of crime, for example, in the downtown area.
ORourke applauded a Haney resident, Will Dugger, who put up signs on North Avenue to scare away prostitutes and johns who pick them up.
Neighoubrs should be allowed to take responsibility of their neighbourhood in that way, ORourke said.
ORourke grew up in Maple Ridge and graduated from Westview in 2003. After completing an honours communications degree at SFU, she went to work for as Sathers constituency assistant.
After the 2008 election, ORourke travelled for a year and a half to India, Thailand, and Nepal.
On her return, she was rehired to Sathers office.
In response to a TIMES request, three current Maple Ridge councillors said they intend to run again in the November election. Cheryl Ashlie, Michael Morden, and Judy Dueck all want another term.
Ashlie said shes always had a keen interest in politics and is blessed to be able to participate at the municipal level.
Shed like to continue working on the Albion Flats plan, the town centre plan, economic development, and ensuring Maple Ridges growth reflects the Official Community Plan. Shed also like to continue working with other levels of government to ensure public policy is reflective of our communitys needs and advocating for our share of services that are provided from those levels of government.
Considerable energy needs to be put into maintaining and increasing the economic activity and viability of Maple Ridge during volatility of the global economy.
We need to make sure we are promoting and positioning ourselves to support or take advantage of new markets and job creation, Ashlie said.
Dueck said she is running again as she believes she represents a large portion of the citizens of Maple Ridge.
Shed like to see the implementation of the Albion plan, support for the economic strategy, and the revision of the regional context statement of the OCP so its in alignment with the newly adopted Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy.
The biggest issue facing Maple Ridge Council in 2011-2014 is achieving the vision of council to grow and diversify the economy, she said.
Morden said the single biggest issue facing Maple Ridge is population growth which lacks infrastructure, jobs, and commerce.
Hed like to see initiatives to create more local jobs, curb unnecessary expense, and increase commercial and industrial business.
He added hed continue to apply basic common sense to cut through to the real issues and push for sensible solutions.
@ Copyright 2013