Friday, November 07, 2008

Big box trouble stalks Maple Ridge under cover of nasty municipal elections

Our local papers have seldom been as interesting as they presently are. The current council members are, to put it mildly, ranged heavily against our Mayor, whathisname?  It seems he has rubbed them the wrong way. And here he had the community convinced that all was fine and dandy up at Haney Place. Cohesion and consensus apparently only masquerading, disguising coercion and obfuscation. 

Given the ferocity of the dissension among the Magnificent Six it is no wonder that the remaining Magnificent One must be feeling a little irked, betrayed perhaps. Truth be known, they never liked him anyhow. It was just not convenient to tell him while he was Mayor; a sort of omission of candour if you will. Imagine if the big spender is re-elected along with most of the current avengers. What an interesting and entertaining three years lies ahead in that case.

Amid the hoohah and night of the long knives one wonders perhaps if the candidates should not pay more attention to the positive aspects of their own agendas and aspirations.

If it gets too messy they may all find themselves out of a job replaced by an entirely fresh bunch of politicians, relatively unblemished by a history of crap judgement or whimsical voting. Sather may find himself as Mayor, surrounded by everyone other than the ones he would prefer to be surrounded by. Without King, Gordon, Speirs and one or two others he could well land up in the same situation as the incumbent now finds himself. On his own he would be faced with seeing off the evil empire of Smart Centres who have chosen this moment to appeal once more to the local consumers by offering the temptation of a big box bonanza on the Albion Flats. The Albion Flats have never been more vulnerable. This time around however it will be a flailing economy that sinks the Smart Centres' less than smart ideas for the Albion. That, and the continuing determination of staff in the Planning Department to 'do' the town centre first before entertaining any fancy-schmanshy schemes for the Albion.

Here, as they say, we go again. We'll be due for a new Official Community Plan soon. I can't wait.

Our best bet is Mr. Daykin surrounded by new, young faces. Faces equipped with articulate mouths. Faces on the front of heads that have open minded brains.  Passion for this or that is fine. But is the community really best served by polarizing passion or cold logic. Whoever wins the local race on November 15 the best advice we can probably offer is "Stop. Think."


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