Opinion

State of disrepair

Time after time, when it comes to fulfilling the basic duties of operating a municipality for the public good – for the benefit of taxpayers – Maple Ridge comes up short, and it falls to media to hound the district to do its job.

For some reason, Maple Ridge is unable to fulfill its job of keeping the building stock in good repair, of ensuring that death traps don’t hang around too long, before they’re demolished and the hazard removed.

The latest examples are the burnt-out apartment building on McIntosh Avenue – a blight on the downtown if ever there was one – and two old homes at the entrance to downtown, in a prime real estate location on Lougheed Highway, which still stand despite being gutted in a fire in April 2013. Though demolition of the homes is imminent, pest control must first be done.

Those follow a few months ago a raid on a crack house on St. Anne Avenue, managed by one of the politicians on council. That got attention for a while, but looks like nothing has changed.

Northumberland Court, a boil on the downtown, festered for years before Maple Ridge found the will to do something.

When Mayor Ernie Daykin is asked to explain why, he has no answers, just lame platitudes that show he either doesn’t know what’s going on, doesn’t care, or is powerless to do anything about it.

Coun. Cheryl Ashlie has raised the topic about why it takes so long to tear down ugly, dangerous buildings and never got an answer.

But she never pursued it much, either.

Meanwhile, others on council, each earning $42,000 a year for a part-time job, are as quiet as mice. But we’ve made that comment before.

Complacence and compliance rule at Maple Ridge municipal hall.

And they wonder why big names won’t show up in our town.

 

– The News

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