DC BY-ELECTION 2020 Q&A - DENNIS KESTERKE: there are some issues

What specific three reasons are you running for city council?

I’ve been in Dawson Creek since 1978 and have raised a family. I think the fact is there are growing issues. I’ve been away from serving the community for almost 8 years and I wanted to get back into doing something for the community.

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 Since throwing your hat into the ring, have there been additional city issues (infrastructure, utilities, service, management, etc) that you also think are key issues to be dealt with at the city council table.

There are a few issues, such as retention of our professionals; doctors, surgeons, and holding on to assets we have such as swimming pools, arenas. If we don't have these things, we can’t attract people or keep them here – people will find them elsewhere and easily in other cities.

 We should not, as a city, be taxing non profits. We should not be taxing any of them. Any non profits, churches, golf course, and more. If you look at non-profits, they are not costing the city a dime – and are enhancing the community. If you are going to tax these things out of existence you may have gained a few dollars – but will have nothing to show for it.

 17thStreet and the Willowbrook area – what is being done for the area residents and businesses? Nothing. Every year we know there will be flooding. People are losing their businesses, can’t get insurance and the city is not interested in helping in the long term.

 For those citizens and those business spring comes every year and I’ve personally gone and talked to provincial representatives – there are ways to deal with the water. I want to deal with it.

 I'd like to see the city be more proactive in dealing with province in dealing with our medical issues and health issues, and be more proactive and more welcoming of new trades and experts.

 An MRI takes months and we have one being ignored in the mall. Come on. Let’s not just sit back, but rather engage in that conversation. It is not a new idea – but it is something that I would like to see happen.

 

How do you think current city council is doing with getting off using capital funding for year to year operations?

 Council has their backs against a wall, dealt a hand they can’t win. They are presently headed down the path of a direction of getting off the cash cow capital.

 We are using infrastructure money to run the city that we shouldn’t be. Too easy to blame councils of the past, but what is being done to stop this practice now?

 

The city is looking at charging more for users who do not live in Dawson Creek but use city facilities. What do you think of this?

Like taxing non profits societies and organizations, I am against this at every level. Perhaps an avenue at the regional district that can solve this.  There is no legitimate way to tax people more because they are from a different area. The city will say it costs more to swim or skate if you happen to be from Groundbirch? That isn‘t right.

 

You will be one voice on council. Previous councilors and candidates have noted one voice, or even three on council will not stop a block of four councilors voting one way. How do you as the councilor navigate these waters if all your ideas and motions at the council table get shot down and voted down 2 to 5 or 3 to 4, etc.?

Education – making colleagues more aware of my thoughts of the topic(s) at hand – and of the different points of view from the community, the process of informing ourselves at the council table, I think, is the way to go.

 

Is there anything else I have not touched upon that you would like to mention and have attached to your campaign? Thank you.

 I have lived here since 1978 after choosing to raise my family here. I have four kids and seven grandchildren now. I’ve coached minor hockey and Junior hockey, including the Junior Canucks’ first 98/99 championship, I was chair of the Muscular Dystrophy Society in Dawson Creek for 25 years and am the current president of the Dawson Creek Athletic Association. I was a firefighter for more than 30 years in the city.

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