Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Sandy Bojechko. I am a married mother and a grandmother. I raise Pomeranians, I volunteer in Castlegar and was a billet parent for Castlegar Rebels until last year when I stopped to care for my palliative mom. I am the President of West Kootenay Labour Council and love advocating for people. My background is paralegal and working with multi-million dollar contracts. I have owned 3 businesses and did the bookkeeping. I currently interpret contracts. I would love to be the voice of residents because everyone deserves to be heard; I am here to listen and act.
What is the biggest issue you see facing the city and how would you address it?
Consultation with residents needs to improve; all taxpayers should be treated equally; accessibility to council needs improvement; Of course, this isn’t the only issue, but I think it is the cornerstone. We have a lot of issues that need addressing but need to remember who our employer is… the residents! There are issues with lack of housing and lack of affordable housing, medical treatments, lack of affordable daycare, lack of elder care, just to name a few. Once we have open communication and consultation with the residents, we can build on that.
What are your top three city priorities?
Accessibility to council meetings i.e. live stream, publication of minutes for all taxpayers (some residents don’t have access to social media or computers); decisions need to be made over a period of time to give residents more opportunity to voice their concerns and then take those concerns seriously. Budget audit so that funds are spent and received efficiently. More employees on the ground so that work is completed timely and efficiently. How long do we have to live with potholes, lights that are out, Millennium ponds being closed, street sweeping, etc. There are plenty of managers, let’s get more workers!
How do you think the city could address the housing shortage?
It is dependent on the budget. The City has land that could be developed sustainably including green space, solar energy and provide employment. We need different types of housing, we need to look at the elderly who may have health issues and have medical assistance available immediately; we need housing for the homeless or mentally ill, drug dependent, etc. but also need to provide the medical help they may need. We also need low-income housing for people in precarious employment. We can’t just build a building; we need to include help that the residents may need.
What type of development would you like to see in our community, and what steps would you take to attract it?
I would like to see more access to medical personnel. There is a staff shortage but also a space shortage. We should be able to work with the Government to make it attractive to work, live and play here. Access to medical attention takes too long and our citizens’ health and finances are suffering having to drive out of town for medical interventions. There are doctors available with good proposals but are hitting roadblocks. I would like to invite proposals from medical professionals and help with the processes so that we have an all-encompassing facility in Castlegar.
What skills or experience do you have that would make you a good councilor?
Listening. We need to listen to people and act accordingly. I am an advocate for people. I volunteer in Castlegar and understand the passion of people. I work in Castlegar and am a labour activist. I have been in the private sector as well as public sector and started my career as a paralegal. I have raised my family in this wonderful City and now grandchildren and understand their needs. I understand finances, I was the bookkeeper when my parents and I had businesses and lived in Castlegar until their passing. I understand the needs of the elderly.
Why should local residents vote for you?
I am accountable for decisions that I make and hold others accountable. I am honest. I am available to having difficult conversations. My decision-making process is collaborative and will provide reasons for my decisions. I will be YOUR councillor, not a councillor for the City management team. This is about the residents in our City, not the decision-makers at City Hall. I will be your voice so that all considerations will be heard. Let’s talk, would love to hear from you. Call me 250-304-9721 or email at Sandy.Bojechko@gmail.com or visit my FaceBook page Sandy Bojechko for Council.