Malcolm Brodie, who has been in the municipal office of Richmond for 22 years and the mayor for 17 years, announced Tuesday he is seeking re-election.
“I’m running for mayor because of the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead,” said Brodie during his announcement.
“I have experience as a mayor and a city councillor, and I also have a lot of community experience, as has my family. I think this puts me in a position to help guide good decisions, decisions that maintain our good quality of living.”
Brodie said if re-elected, he will continue to address challenging issues Richmond faces, such as housing affordability, densification, farmland protection and ethnic and cultural differences.
On the housing affordability issue, Brodie said he will continue to work with the city on its affordable housing strategy, but he also believes more supply will help ease the problem.
“We are encouraging condo development. Most of the development we see now is multi-family,” said Brodie.
“If we can address supply, hopefully the price, I won’t say affordable because they are still very high, but at least it will tend to stay down more.”
He noted that the idea is to densify the city centre area and around some arterial roads, to reduce dependency on cars and make public transportation a more practical option, while still leaving the single-family neighborhoods intact.
Talking about Richmond’s farmland, Brodie said he believes one of the biggest threats is “huge homes.”
“With the size of the homes on farmland, I think city councillors missed an opportunity,” said Brodie, referring to council’s vote in May to keep the maximum house size on farmland at 10,764 sq. ft. Brodie, Couns. Harold Steves and Carol Day supported reducing the size at the time.
“If I have a chance, I would like to see some limitations on the amount of farmland you can take with the house footprint…but I can only work with council; council has to support it.”
Brodie said community harmony is important for Richmond and the key to achieve it is encouraging discussion and collaboration.
“I and my family are out most nights of the week talking to people in the community. I’ve heard people in our community, and I have a very good sense of their thoughts and perspectives,” said Brodie.
“If we know their perspectives and we can communicate those perspectives, I think we can take those perspectives into account when making our decisions.”
During his announcement, Brodie also mentioned he will continue to address issues such as property tax, safety, business growths, congestion, marijuana regulations and green energy if re-elected.
Brodie is now the second-longest serving mayor in Richmond's history, next to Ruby Grauer, who served from 1930 to 1949. Brodie may become the longest serving mayor if re-elected in October.