Maple Ridge council candidate: Sara Dawn Beckett

Sara Dawn Beckett

High school math and science teacher, 32

Sara is a third generation resident of Maple Ridge; her grandparents owned and operated McColl’s Shoes in the 1960s and ’70s, and were actively involved in the community.

Sara has strong roots in the community, and wants to be part of positive change. Sara attended Eric Langton Elementary and Maple Ridge Secondary and graduated in 2000 with honours.

Sara has a bachelor of science from UFV (2005) and a bachelor of education from SFU (2010).  

Her education and experience bring new insight to Maple Ridge, and demonstrate her drive and commitment to change. Sara worked as a biologist, as a laboratory and environmental technician, and with many local dairy farmers within the Lower Mainland.  

She is now a teacher and demonstrates integrity, team building skills, honesty, and excellent communication skills. Sara loves her community and only wants Maple Ridge to live up to its full potential.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/saradawnbeckettforcouncil

Twitter: @saraforcouncil

Website: www.saraformapleridge.com

Phone: 604-763-4414

Questions:

1. What neighbourhood do you live in? Downtown Maple Ridge – 224th Street, north of Dewdney Trunk Road

2. How many years have you lived in Maple Ridge? 32 – My entire life

3. How many Maple Ridge council meetings have you attended in the past year? Approximately eight to 10 in person, but have watched many more online.

4. Is enough effort being made to preserve farmland? Don’t know.  I say I don’t know because it depends on the land being discussed.  I put great value on our beloved farmland, and I have been on many of the farms in our community.  With that said, there are also plots of land that have not been farmed for a very long time, like the Albion Flats.  Every situation should be looked at individually, and a clear plan needs to be set before any change come to that said land.

5. Is Maple Ridge growing at the right pace? No.  We have come to a place where residential growth is out of control and our community has not been able to provide the right amenities to support the growth.  We have to stop building in the East, and focus our attention on providing more businesses for our citizens.  I would also like to look at the Western part of Maple Ridge, and see if we can come up with a plan in order to attract more families to those areas and deal with the lack of school enrolment.

6. Should the Albion Flats be developed for shopping? Don’t know.  This issue has been going on far too long, and we should only develop there if it is a real possibility for our citizens.

7. Should council give up on aspirations to redevelop the Albion Flats and focus efforts elsewhere? Don’t know.  I say I don’t know because this is a topic that has gone on far too long without much action.  I still think that the area is perfect for providing our citizens a place with more shopping, jobs, etc.  With that said, maybe we should be looking into different locations; we have to get the ball rolling on this issue now.  The citizens of Maple Ridge need more shopping options and they need more jobs, period

8. Should considerable incentives be offered to lure more and new industry to Maple Ridge? Yes. I say yes because our City has not been able to attract new industry to our community.  It would depend on the incentive provided of course, and I don’t want to see excessive spending on our City’s part in order to provide those incentives.  

9. Should Maple Ridge direct developers to focus on developing and densifying the three largest neighbourhoods, in an effort to curb urban sprawl? Yes.  Densification is what our City needs.  Lets utilize the areas that are already developed and have the appropriate services provided to them.  This will reduce the cost of maintenance, thus reducing city spending of our tax dollars.  I would love our downtown core to be a central gathering place where shops, restaurants, and housing are all within walking distance.  Lets start moving this City forward!

10. Is the homeless issue in Maple Ridge being adequately addressed? No. Having lived here my entire life, I have seen this issue grow over the years right before my eyes.  It is extremely disheartening to me, because sometimes I feel that I no longer recognize my community anymore. This is an issue that has to be a main focus for our City; we must deal with it now.  

11. Does Maple Ridge need more RCMP members? Don’t know. I feel that we could take a better look at the services already provided and find new ways of tackling our crime and homelessness. I want Council to play a larger part in this, and provide our RCMP with more support.  More officers will cost us money, which we do not have.  On the other hand, I also believe that we could find the money to hire more officers.  Our City’s spending has to be looked at with a magnifying glass, and we need stop any unnecessary expenses in order to provide the best services possible.

12. Should Maple Ridge create its own municipal police force? Don’t know.

13. Should council have municipal garbage pickup?

14. Maple Ridge is growing, does City hall need to hire more staff? No.  Maple Ridge is given limited funding every year, and the hiring of more staff takes away from that money.  I believe that we can work with what we have, yet still provide the best services possible to our citizens.

15. Do you think residential property taxes are too high? Yes.

16. Should municipalities, if it was possible, be able to add an extra percentage to the provincial sales tax – as a new source of municipal revenue? No.

17. Do you think business property taxes are too low? No.

18. Should property taxes be increased to support better transit service? No.

19. Should  West Coast Express be replaced with all-day express buses, with limited stops to downtown Vancouver? Don’t know.

20. Should there be a limit to the number of consecutive terms a mayor/councillor can serve? Don’t know.  I say I don’t know because I would never want to hinder great works by anyone in office.  Why would we remove a great leader from our community just because the time was up?  On the other hand, it could eliminate those who are not providing our citizens with the right leadership.

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