Seven-term City of North Van councillor Rod Clark running for mayor

After 21 years on the job, City of North Vancouver Coun. Rod Clark is gunning for a promotion.

Clark announced his plan to run for mayor Monday, touting his plan to reduce annual city growth to about one per cent while putting greater emphasis on affordable rental.

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To establish a pool of affordable rental units, Clark advocated expanding current city policies so that 10 per cent of the units in new condo developments are rented at 10 per cent below market rates in perpetuity.

“We’ll have to give developers some breaks with respect to community amenity contributions etcetera, but what we’ll be getting is that rental pool, so it’s a good deal for the city,” he said.

Clark criticized fellow city councillor turned mayoralty candidate Linda Buchanan for supporting what he dubbed: “the crazy pace of condo construction.”

“I look at the others in the race and they’re not the leaders of council, I am,” he said.

Clark noted his record of casting dissenting votes on several major projects approved by council, including a 179-unit condo development at 150 East Eight Street and a 27-unit co-housing development on Chesterfield Avenue – in both cases due to a lack of affordability. Clark also voted against a 144-unit rental tower on the 1300 block of Lonsdale Avenue due to height concerns and a 157-unit project on East Third Street due to a design he likened to a gulag.

If elected mayor, Clark promised he would ensure the construction of the new Harry Jerome rec centre.

“There’ll be a first class Harry Jerome with a 50-metre pool and curling,” he said.

On the subject of gridlock, Clark also suggested he would be a stronger voice for the city when dealing with TransLink.

“I will be standing up for the North Shore on the TransLink board . . . and let the people at the table know that the North Shore needs some attention,” he said, explaining the North Shore has been left out of TransLink’s plans for too long.

“The last time I was on the Patullo Bridge there was no problem with backups whatsoever, but come to the North Shore at four o’clock in the afternoon.”

Clark said he would lobby to bring a bus depot back to the North Shore.

“At the moment the drivers have to go over to Burnaby, pick up a bus, bring it back during rush hour and do their route and then take it back . . . that’s just not sensible.”

Clark also called for a SkyTrain connection directly to the North Shore, likely along the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing. The infrastructure would be expensive but necessary, Clark said.

Currently, the North Shore is represented on the TransLink board by District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton, West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith and city councillor Craig Keating.

“I have big No. 13 shoes and they can make a splash when they need to,” Clark said. “We just have not been standing up for ourselves.”

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