Don McKenzie is running for council.
“I’ve been on committees and everything for the city for a few years now and I’ve been frustrated with the way the city sometimes operates and this is the main reason why I’m entering the race,” said McKenzie, 57. “Maybe we can figure out a better way to operate this city than how we are now.”
McKenzie has been a member of the Environmental Advisory Committee to council since 2009 and was recently appointed the chairman. He is a member of some other sub-committees including the Transportation Committee.
McKenzie would like to see the curbside recycling program implemented and the infrastructure fixed.
“The infrastructure that we have to rebuild in the city, I think, one of the ways that we can do it is, come budget time, that we allocate 'X' amount of percentage of the budget towards fixing our infrastructure whether it be sewer or sidewalks, water,” he said.
“That major water line we have between our water plant and the city, if it ever broke, we have no back-up … That’s one thing we have to put in because if we lose our main water line, we are in big trouble.”
He would also like to improve communication. For instance, the former Civic Centre recycling bins were relocated to the southwest corner of Sobey’s parking lot without council consultation. He said the Environmental Advisory Committee had previously informed council and the engineering department of possible bin locations.
“Just the way the management, the chain of command has been working, it’s not functioning very well,” said McKenzie.
He said his main priority is bringing industry back to Moose Jaw. While he said it is great to have new restaurants and retail outlets cropping up to create jobs, they are creating low-entry jobs.
“We need jobs for people that are going to be able to afford to buy a house,” said McKenzie, suggesting industries such as potash and oil.
He added that housing also should be addressed. Projects such as Yara’s Belle Plaine plant and the K+S plant at Bethune are primarily hiring SIAST workers. Those workers should be encouraged to settle in Moose Jaw.
McKenzie has been in business for 26 years and used to own a trucking business. He is now a grandfather and semi-retired business owner of a water business. McKenzie said he is willing to listen and act.
“I know how a business is supposed to be run and this is how a city should be run — like a business where you have checks and balances,” said McKenzie. “We have to protect our infrastructure. We don’t buy a piece of equipment and expect it to last forever. You have to start replacing it.”