COUNCIL: Wuschke, Ken

City of Abbotsford: Wuschke, Ken - council candidate

  • Oct. 24, 2014 7:00 p.m.

Name:……………………………………. Ken Wuschke

Party affiliation (if any):…………….. None

Education:……………………………… Certificate in Public Safety Communications, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Occupation:……………………………. Wooden drawer assembler

Previous political experience:…….. None

Residency (city/neighbourhood):… Blueridge, Abbotsford

Community involvement:                Over the past four years I have been active in the following organizations:

·        City of Abbotsford Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, member

·        City of Abbotsford Heritage Working Group, member

·        Clearbrook Elementary School PAC, past president

·        Cycling Abbotsford, past chair

·        MSA Museum Society, former board member

·        Friends of the MSA Centennial Library, past chair

·        BC Historical Federation, board member

·        Abbotsford Bicycle Valet, organizer

Marital status/children:……………… Married. One child age 9

Email:…………………………………….. ken@ken4council.ca

Social media: website………………. www.ken4council.ca

Social media: Facebook……………. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ken-Wuschke-for-Abbotsford-City-Council/315472805287348

Social media: Twitter……………….. @KenWuschke2014

Social media: Instagram……………. http://instagram.com/kenwuschke

 

What do you feel are the three key issues Abbotsford voters should be considering in this civic election?

1. Working with the homeless community to create a positive direction for Abbotsford.

2. Bringing the citizen’s voice into the committee process at City Hall.

3. Managing our finances to balance paying down the debt, maintaining current service levels, and investing in our community’s infrastructure.

What’s your plan to deal with homelessness in Abbotsford?

To create an on-going Homeless Advisory Committee where some members are actually homeless or have recently gained housing after being homeless. To establish three homeless programs where drug addiction recovery, mental health, and other reasons that one become homeless are addressed. And to have these streams run by non-profits that focus on these programs. Finally, to have those who go through the homeless streams to have job skills programs available to them so they are able to obtain employment.

How would you make city hall more accountable and transparent?

By opening up City Hall’s committee processes. Most work at City Hall is done at the committee level. This is the primary area where the public can have delegations come forward to make recommendations for their neighbourhood. Sadly the present Committee Protocol Policy is not being properly followed by several committees. It is necessary for the committees to follow this policy properly so that the democratic process can be restored at City Hall. In addition I would work toward making the City Council Agenda Package available to the public at least five working days prior to the council meeting. Presently the public can see this important document only one business day prior to the council meeting. Council needs to be diligent in making the public process more open and all information going before City Council is made public as soon as possible, not only in the business day just before the council meetings.

Are changes required in local municipal spending? If so, what are they and how would you address them?

Presently the municipal spending is at a good balance overall. However, we need to find cost saving measures on different services. For example, instead of having road medians with grass that require frequent lawn cutting the City should examine low maintenance ground covers that will save money over the long run. Further I would like develop a Waste Busters webpage where the public can make recommendations as to where City Hall can save money. People know their neighbourhood best and often they have great ideas on how to save money.

We have to start planning now to invest wisely in upgrading our current infrastructure as our population grows. Whether it be roads, water mains, or sewer pipes our growing population will continue to put stress on this vital part of the city’s functions. Further we have to start to develop a replacement plan for existing infrastructure as the water mains and sewer pipes begin to age. It is clear that our City Council needs to plan for these changes and begin today to set aside funding for replacement as well as working with senior levels of government to find different funding sources. I feel that we must develop a 50-year infrastructure renewal plan to ensure our citizens needs are met for the next two generations.

One area where City Hall may have to look to spend money is to hire more staff to help shorten the length of time involved in processing building permits. Presently many property owners struggle with the length of time involved in the process. However, to accomplish this city staff must first do a review of the process to see if the needs of the community are being met.