- Excellence at City Hall:
Train the new Council in governance, policy and procedure.
Training to instil leadership and team-building in Council by ensuring those new to governance understand their roles and responsibilities including how to interact with staff.
Assemble the strategic plan.
Assemble the budget to be implemented by CAO and staff.
(this whole process was done in reverse until I recommended last fall that we change our business planning procedure for new Council to receive full training first, understand our role, assemble a plan and then figure out how to pay for it)
Implement performance measures to ensure staffing requirements are appropriate, cost efficient, and customers get top value through positive reception to private investment.
Cut waste through elimination of redundancies and implement processes that will enhance performance.
Create a direct communications tool that facilitates open engagement with Council so that customers can bring their concerns directly.
- Strong Local Economy:
Implement measures to build a strong local economy including employment incentive program.
Review city purchasing policy re local business.
Review Economic Development office framework including retention role review.
Remove unnecessary regulations and process holding us back.
Develop and implement an income from other sources strategy. The regulation of cell towers onto city property is an example of an ongoing stable income source that will assist with a shift in tax base from homeowners.
Implement recommendations in Industrial Commercial Review. Identify and make necessary land use decisions to generate jobs and commercial/industrial buildings. Amalgamate commercial zones.
Community amenity fees: Implement this city wide on the difference between what we normally allow within our zoning bylaws and the OCP and the bonus that development receives to provide for community needs such as infrastructure, social housing (our share of a partnership with senior government), accessible and affordable housing, and other items covered by policy. A review of the trial policy in Albion will inform this work.
Implement my employment incentive program that will provide the necessary stimulus for our local economy creating jobs and commercial tax base.
Follow the recommendations laid out in the industrial and commercial studies we have already commissioned.
Enact necessary land use and zoning changes to create greater flexibility in how we address new business to boost economy, create jobs, and increase commercial tax base.
Capitalize on existing infrastructure using infill strategies as set out in our OCP.
Make necessary land-use decisions to meet the Metro Vancouver 2040 Regional Plan (2010) and targets Maple Ridge is committed to including dedication of an additional 200 acres in land for employment.
Reduce regulatory barriers and streamline processes now onerous.
Zone reasonably and flexibly taking into consideration the multiple competing needs of our community.
Relax and streamline the currently restrictive and inconsistent home-based business regulations to allowing for less restrictive commercial zoning.
Bylaws review to determine whether they should be complaint only for response to all categories. Focus on dispute resolution and reduction.
Complete zoning bylaw review and implement recommendations in the Rollo report such as the amalgamation of commercial zones and closing identified gaps in zoning regulations (largely technical work). There are several parts to this and related work that is outstanding such as signs, recreation vehicles etc that needs to be completed.
Building department will be mandated to provide prompt, polite, and timely processing. Performance measures will ensure staffing requirements are appropriate, cost efficient, and customers get top value through positive reception to private investment.
Economic Development Office will be reviewed for framework,processes and practices to ensure independence from bureaucratic involvement. It should be a corporation, accountable by reporting to a board, comprised of community members and reporting directly to City Council.
Excellent customer service will be provided with a positive “can-do” attitude that will let businesses know that Maple Ridge is open for investment.
- Safer Community/Policing:
Audit police services to determine why policing costs are increasing 7% per year
Manage the homeless population and crime in the downtown core through social housing initiatives and linking social service agency services in a more seamless way to ensure those who need the services are able to get them.
Advocate with senior government to ensure the services they are required to provide for homeless, mental health, and addictions are indeed being supplied
Ensure sufficient police and contract security where necessary to keep citizens safe.
Ensure businesses aren’t impaired by crime and homelessness.
Eliminate cycling bylaw. We are the only local jurisdiction that allows cycling on sidewalks.
Reduce speed limits in the downtown core.
Implement homelessness action plan: Establish mayor’s working group, appoint members, and roll out resource and needs assessment. Establish business case to take to senior government. Council to review forthcoming policy recommendations.
- Homelessness and Crime:
Identify those in a community who are homeless and the reasons that led to being without shelter (e.g. job loss, injury, illness, addictions, etc.).
Identify service agencies present and working in the community and the actual services these agencies provide.
Identify the numbers of persons each agency is able to serve.
Determine availability of services (hours of the day and days of the week the services are accessible).
Determine physical accessibility of service agencies (hours/days of operation, physical location).
Identify knowledge of, and partnerships between, services agencies (are they aware of the other agencies in town and do they actively work with them? Is staff knowledgeable and helpful regarding supplementary/prior requirements necessary to help individuals access their services? Given that many service agencies require individuals be registered with Social Services, for welfare, or have forms filled out by their physicians or others before they are able to access services it is important that service agency personnel can work to facilitate these pre-requisites from other agencies).
- Lower Taxes and Cut Waste:
Lower taxes As the employment incentive program starts to deliver increases to the commercial tax base, apply reductions to residential tax payers as the program provides for.
Allocate annual growth funding of the overall tax base will be allocated only based on the results of performance measures that will identify if and where funding may be necessary.
Performance measures instituted at City Hall to ensure we deliver the highest quality services for the lowest cost.
Identify redundancies and inefficiencies in city services and implement more streamlined processes to enhance City Hall experience for customers.
- Shopping and Commerce:
Area planning: Continue with Albion development. Consult with property owners to look at higher and better use of the lands. I see a combination of mixed use, with towers, industry and commerce.
The Hammond plan should continue ensuring we focus on retaining historical features and character. I see a revitalization of the old town centre to provide for mixed uses, and a community gathering place.
Retail: smaller locations with a variety of shops more oriented towards the real needs and wants of our citizens. To ensure success Maple Ridge will need to provide flexible zoning, reasonable licensing (for all business types) and a less onerous regulatory system. Opening ourselves up for business will draw the private sector (opportunities will come to us). Municipal Hall must do their part by providing prompt, efficient, and friendly service.
Strong Advocacy for viable long-term funding from the provincial government to solve our transit problems. We will review the value we get for our money, we want a more accessible and efficient system, as well as services to areas that have none. We have one community with more than 5000 people living in it without a single bus. I will be advocating for service to Silver Valley. In addition we need direct buses to the future Evergreen line station in Coquitlam.
Implementation of the transportation plan: This was just completed after 10 years. We will need to review if this is all relevant still through the implementation process. The reality is that vehicles are still the predominant mode of transport for our citizens. While we might like that to be different, it isn’t our reality. Without major transit improvements in our community and to others, we need to unplug the arterial roadways by facilitating smooth traffic slows, and not loading our community with traffic lights and traffic calming measures that may keep one small neighbourhood happy, but doesn’t serve the greater community well.
Bridge Tolling: The fact that we have to pay to cross the Golden Ears bridge isn’t fair when other bridges are free. In addition Maple Ridge is a car dependant community. If we had the same transit services as others enjoy, then that is a different story. My preference is no bridge tolling at all. If this is a reality for the Metro region for the future, I will advocate for bridge tolling throughout the region at a very much reduced rate.
- Solid Waste:
Go to market for expressions of interest to facilitate a complete cost effective and desired solid waste program. Included will be green waste, compost, garbage and recyclables.
Meet mandated 2015 Provincial recycling/diversion targets.
Continue to support previous advocacy work of “no incineration”.
- Advocate with Senior Government:
Create advocacy plan for working with senior government to ensure our needs are met in regards to social housing, transit, and schools.
- Complete communities:
Facilitate discussion with School District with the aim of working together to ensure we are doing all we can to provide schools and related facilities to provide complete communities. Support the School District (including advocating with them) for our community needs.
- Arts and Recreation:
Review recreation facilities for rates and services offered.
Review service and facility gaps such as the lack of changeroom/washroom facilities at our playing fields. Gaps have been identified out of the review just done by Parks and Rec. Further work needs to be done.
Ensure sport groups are engaged to see if we are meeting their needs and review budget priorities from there.
Solidify a plan to bring a museum into our downtown. Determine a suitable location in the downtown core for the museum. Establish it within the long term capital plan so we can start to save money for this. Funding mechanisms to build and operate it will be a part of this high level plan. Consideration should be given to fund this through community amenity contributions and public-private partnership. Note that the SPCA took twenty years to get a new facility. Lets start saving now so that we can see the museum becoming a long term reality.
Capitalize on our natural beauty and boost tourism.
It should be noted that what I have listed here is subject to approval by the new council.
Vote Mike Morden for Maple Ridge Mayor, the best choice with a clear action plan!