As it was in 2016, so it goes it 2020 for Ward 8 Coun. Ted Zurakowski.
For the second election in a row, Zurakowski faced no competition in his bid to retain his old ward seat. He’s both excited and grateful for another term at City Hall.
“I’m thankful that the folks and families of West Hill are supportive of me representing them,” Zurakowski said during an interview. “I feel blessed. I feel thankful that they’ve engaged me over the years to deal with some of the issues that are concerning to them.
“I’ve always believed in running towards the sound of the cannon to deal with problems. That’s the fun part of the job—when you can help the people with the issues in front of their house, on their block, on their streets and around their neighbourhood, and at the same time, keep the big picture in mind.”
Zurakowski hasn’t faced a challenger since 2012, when he defeated David Koester with roughly 66 per cent of the vote. Despite that, Zurakowski said he tried to campaign as usual, and visit as many voters in his ward as possible.
He said crime, homelessness, addictions and taxes will be key issues when council gets back to work. He’d like to see more cooperation across the city when that happens, along with better communication, so council can work to reduce crime rates across the city.
Zurakwoski said many of the issues driving crime rates are too large for city council to tackle on their own. They’ll need to work with local community partners and get more support from the provincial government to address those problems.
“Municipal governments do one thing—they police,” he said. “We can’t police ourselves out of some of these issues we deal with.”
“Let’s invite the other levels of government, including the First Nations and the experts and the agencies who are involved in addictions and homelessness to come to the table and have a roundtable discussion about this.”
Zurakowski added that council will have to look for ways to broaden the City’s tax base, so they can improve city services without raising taxes.
Zurakowski is the only incumbent councillor out of the seven seeking re-election who did not face a challenger.
The 2020 municipal election is scheduled for Nov. 9.