Though he is admittedly a rookie when it comes to politics, Peter Wulowka is hoping to be elected to Castlegar City Council in November.
“I love this area and I plan on living here for the rest of my life,” said Wulowka. “I have a lot of people in my neighbourhood and we always talk about the goings-on in Castlegar. They always seem to be a little frustrated; they’re uneducated on what’s going on. I’d like to help bridge that gap between people and city council.”
Wulowka has attended several council meetings over the past few years and thinks he could add a different voice to council.
“I see very, very little attendance there,” he said. “So I figure me being out and about in the community, people can come up to me and say, ‘hey, what happened last night at the meeting?’ or ‘what’s happening with the water sewer treatment plant?’ I could give them information right from the bird’s mouth.”
Wulowka is concerned about the effect of expansion at the airport lands on small businesses in Castlegar.
“My main concern is – what’s going to happen with the mom and pop stores when these big box stores do move in?” he said. “Who’s going to look after them. Who’s going to take care of Old Castlegar? What’s going to happen with our existing infrastructure? We’ve got a lot of capacity coming in and out of this town now. In the last few years it’s gotten busier and busier. What can we do to address that?”
Wulowka sees the congestion through Columbia Avenue as something that will only get worse.
“We’re looking at a bottleneck here,” he said. “You push everything outwards, outwards, but there’s more and more flow coming inwards. It’s congesting our neighbourhoods a lot more, making it unsafe to cross the streets.”
Wulowka thinks the current council is doing a very good job and in fact, he would lean on the veteran councillors for advice if elected.
“Being a rookie in politics, I would like to learn more and get a better understanding of the issues and be another voice on it and offer my suggestions and input,” he said. “The councillors there are very experienced. Depending on who gets in, they would be very good mentors to follow.”
Wulowka came to Castlegar with his family in 1980 and has lived here ever since. He loves the beauty of the area and considers the surroundings to be sacred.
Wulowka has been involved with Communities in Bloom and agrees with the beautification of the city. “Everyone wins when our city looks great,” he said.
He would like to see some of the old events return to the area including jet boats down the river, sleds rocketing across the old ferry path, and demolition derby mania.
“I’ve been here for 31 years. SunFest used to have some wild and crazy events,” said Wulowka. “They used to have jet boats going down the river by the Robson Bridge to the pulp mill. People loved it. It was very well attended. They had a dance out there and a beer gardens. It was pretty great.”
“Millennium Park is something I’ve thought about too,” said Wulowka. “I see they’ve put a lot of work into consulting a new plan for that area. I think we could have lots of big events there from an outdoor amphitheatre for outdoor events to garden shows, spring flings. We could focus more on the downtown area – bring it all together. It’s a beautiful area.”
Wulowka sees Pioneer Arena as a potential site for low cost housing in Castlegar.
“I understand the City is not going to put any money into fixing up,” he said. “In the event they take it down, maybe we could look at putting in some housing there such as low cost housing to address some of the issues.”