Lori Mayhew is one of the Delta council candidates running in this month's civic election. Here are her responses to a questionnaire from the Optimist:
1. Bio (60 word maximum) – Tell readers a bit about yourself and why you are running for office.
Lori and her family have called Delta home for the last 22 years. Lori brings considerable financial management and governance experience through her roles as secretary-treasurer for the union MoveUP, as a pension trustee, and as the president of the New Westminster and District Labour Council. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from the UBC.
2. Most pressing issue – What issue are you most passionate about and what action will you take on it?
I have always been dismayed by the disconnect amongst the three main communities that make up Delta. As a councillor, I will work hard to find a way to connect the three communities to bring them together so that every citizen of Delta feels like they belong in Delta. I believe this can be done using social events, and by using social media to promote them.
3. Housing – Delta’s housing stock, developed largely in the 1960s and 1970s, is under pressure. What are your plans to ensure there are affordable housing options and what will you do to protect the integrity of existing neighbourhoods?
There are many tools at hand for a city council to encourage a diversity of housing options. Affordability is something different to each person, and is hard to define. We can put bylaws in place that require some below-market housing units in multi-family developments, we can zone areas for rentals only, and we can encourage innovative thinking like that shown by the Higgins family in North Delta. We can build more small parks in this neighbourhoods as they change, to give the citizens a place to gather and meet each other.
4. Marijuana – The legalization of marijuana in Canada has created a number of issues for local government. Do you have concerns over where cannabis could be grown and where it could be sold in Delta?
Personally, I think the provincial government made the wrong decision about allowing cannabis to be grown in greenhouses on ALR land. I think that's the wrong way to use arable soil - it should be for food farming. With regards to the sale of cannabis, it is a legal product and council would be hard pressed to deny a business license to a business for the sale of it. We can put rules around where shops could be located, and other conditions on the business license.
5. Lobby for bridge/crossing – The City of Delta has been an outspoken advocate for a new Fraser River crossing, specifically the 10-lane bridge approved by the former Liberal government. Would your administration continue to advocate for the bridge or do you support a different approach?
There's no doubt that this crossing is congested, and that there needs to be something done to ease that congestion. I will rely on the latest study being done to recommend the best way to solve this. What I do know is that you can't build your way out of congestion, and that simply adding road capacity won't solve the congestion. We need to increase transit options/capacity for people who use this crossing to encourage people to get out of their cars. We need to make sure the solution will work for the next 50 years or more, so that we don't find ourselves in this same position 20 years from now.
6. Casino – Delta council’s approval of Gateway’s casino proposal was not without controversy. With construction poised to begin soon, what do you plan to do with casino revenues and what measures do you plan to take to ensure a casino isn’t a negative impact on the community?
As a newcomer, it's hard to say where exactly this money would be best put to use. There are many competing needs, as the existing council refused to do anything without the money saved up beforehand. To offset any negative impacts, we will need to work with our Delta Police Department to make sure they have the tools they need to do their job. We will also have to work hard to maintain the sense of community that is so important to so many people who have chosen to live here in Delta.