When you want change, there comes a point when you have to put your name forward and work towards making it happen, says Dave Blottner.
That desire for change is what made Blottner put his name on the ballot for Whitehorse’s municipal election.
Blottner is one of 17 candidates seeking six councillor positions on Whitehorse city council.
In an Oct. 18 interview, Blottner said housing and affordability are among the most pressing issues he’d like to see action taken on.
A resident of Whitehorse for the last 15 years, Blottner said he’s watched housing costs rise significantly.
“It’s across the board,” he said of the impact on residents.
Those wanting to rent, buy or simply move have a difficult time as costs keep going up and demand outstrips supply, he said.
Blottner said he would like to see the city re-examine its utility rates as one potential measure to address affordability.
He also suggested the need to look at how lots are released, something that could be done with the Yukon government as it is typically responsible for developments and land lotteries for new subdivisions such as Whistle Bend.
While housing and affordability are Whitehorse’s major issues, Blottner said he would also highlight adapting to climate change and community safety as other priorities.
On climate change, Blottner pointed to the impacts weather changes are already having.
Rather than the light, drier snow Whitehorse saw years ago, city crews now have to deal with heavy, wet snow during the winter months along with freeze/thaw cycles that impact roads.
Blottner said there needs to be a close look at how the city does snow clearing and how roads are prioritized.
As he explained, the once or twice a winter clearing for some lower priority roads is no longer enough as residents have a harder time getting out after a big snow fall.
Such a review would mean looking at equipment, staffing levels and how priorities are set.
“That’s going to take collaboration and cooperation,” he said.
Blottner also stressed the importance of Fire Smart work, noting while the city is already doing some of this work, more efforts may be needed.
Speaking to safety in the community, Blottner said the next city council could do more to work with the RCMP and community groups.
Blottner has worked as an executive director for numerous non-profits in the city, currently as the executive director for the Whitehorse Food Bank.
He noted that work has provided him with experience working with a variety of individuals and groups, as well as in dealing with limited resources.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org