Slate of Mission candidates declares intention to run for office

The political landscape of Mission may be about to change drastically, as businessman Ted Adlem has announced his intention to run for mayor with a slate of six team members, which includes incumbent councillor Jenny Stevens.

The Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government (CRMG) is a response to the financial crisis facing the district, said Adlem, owner of Pete’s Place Pizza.

“Nobody is saying to me that business is great,” he said by phone interview Friday afternoon. “I’ve lived in this community for 30 years and the thing that’s gotten to me is the economy in this town.”

Foremost among his concerns is the increase in taxes. Adlem said he paid $2,019 in 2010 and received a notice from the district indicating his taxes were going up 3.09 per cent. But when he paid his bill he said the total amount was $2,266, a 12.23 per cent increase.

Adlem said council is raising taxes at twice the rate of inflation and isn’t bringing in enough businesses to sustain the tax base.

He said morality issues are also affecting the current council, as evidenced by the looming class action lawsuit launched by residents over the Public Safety Inspection Team.

“The citizens of this community, be it one or two or 500, should never be put in a position where they have to sue their municipal government to get satisfaction.”

The CRMG team Adlem brings to the table is based on individuals with strong business backgrounds, he said.

Stevens has served on council since 1999.

As well, the district’s former chief building inspector, Larry Nundal, brings 30 years of experience in local government.

The others include Dave Hensman, a musician and owner of Teamwork Property Management; Jeff Jewell, former radio co-host in Vancouver with a background in engineering; Nelson Tilbury, former welder and heavy duty mechanic turned business owner and realtor; and Tony Luck, a financial advisor with Investor’s Group in Abbotsford.

“As long as I’ve lived in this community, all I’ve ever heard from everybody that’s been in this community is we need to have more business, more industry, a bigger tax base for most folks, so the homeowner doesn’t have to suffer,” said Adlem.

The CRMG team will be producing literature about their campaign and members in the coming weeks and months leading up to the Nov. 19 municipal election.

Couns. Terry Gidda and Danny Plecas have independently confirmed they will seek re-election, but have not yet released statements.

Coun. Heather Stewart indicated in August she would not run for council again, but has not yet officially stated her reasons.

Mayor James Atebe and Couns. Paul Horn and Mike Scudder were unavailable for comment.