Release. For Abbotsford to have a great future Ken Wuschke believes it involves consulting the whole community.
Having been active in community building in Abbotsford since moving here in 2010 he has noted that the City of Abbotsford has barriers to bringing in the public to discuss what they want for their city.
“For me, it’s listening to the people of Abbotsford that matters,” Wuschke said. “Having a community engaged with City Council is our best way forward.”
“I don’t like barriers preventing residents from speaking to City Hall. Even simple things like getting civic committees to meet in the evenings will encourage more people to share their ideas with council and city staff,” Wuschke noted.
“We have to rebuild trust between the residents and the City Council. The only way to do this is by looking at new ways to engage the public.”
“Our city has many challenges ahead of it. For our economy to grow we have to look beyond just building buildings. We need to build new jobs,” said Wuschke.
“Abbotsford’s unemployment rate is 8.4% and according to Vibrant Abbotsford, approximately 40% of people in Abbotsford are living paycheque to paycheque,” Wuschke commented. “Building more commercial space that sits vacant is not the answer to creating more jobs. Bringing in employers is and especially those that offer jobs with good wages.”
The council’s role is to develop strategies that can help every household in Abbotsford to move forward. “We need to bring the Affordable Housing Strategy up to date. We need to look at a childcare strategy that supports working parents so they have access to jobs.”
“And we have to address the needs of homeless residents in Abbotsford with programs that help them achieve a roof over their head and eventually employment,” Wuschke said.
“I have attended several civic committees at City Hall and noticed our council is directionless. They are great at spending taxpayers money on strategies to say ‘Hey, we have a strategy on that.’ But then few initiatives from these strategies are implemented and the report collects dust. It is a waste of our limited taxes.”
“City council needs to hold staff accountable through quarterly reports on these strategic initiatives,” Wuschke said. “According to the Community Charter it is council that provides direction for running the city.”
“By building trust between residents and council we will be able to build our community,” Wuschke said. “It begins by listening to everyone, not just special interest groups. It will require a lot of work and a lot of change, but I feel Abbotsford is ready for change.”
“Let’s roll up our sleeves and work as a community to make change happen,” Wuschke concluded.
To learn more about what Ken Wuschke will bring to City Council go to ken4council.ca.
In 2010, Ken moved to Abbotsford with his wife, Cheryl, and their son, Tomas. He has been involved in the community by joining the Parents Advisory Committee at his son’s school, advocating to keep Abbotsford’s heritage alive for future generations, and volunteering on the City of Abbotsford’s Traffic Safety Advisory Committee focusing on safety issues for pedestrians, disabled persons, and cyclists.
As a dad Ken wants the best possible Abbotsford so that his son – and your children and grandchildren – can have a great future in our city. Currently, Ken works for a small wooden drawer manufacturing business in Abbotsford and is an active parent.