Name: Joe Friesenhan
Background: I have recently retired from the Town, where I was the Director of Public Works for over 13 years. My career has spanned 31 years in a senior management capacity, where I have worked with numerous municipal councils in both Alberta and B.C. My community involvement presently includes Ladysmith Rotary Club chairperson for the Community Services Committee and Ladysmith Golf Course executive board member.
What are your top three issues, and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
The top three issues the Town needs to tackle over the next four years are:
1. Our failing infrastructure — We have to ensure that we include in our annual budgets enough money to start to repair our roads on a proactive rather than a reactive basis. We also need to make sure that the water, sewer and storm lines under the road are repaired or replaced before the surface of the road is tackled.
2. Community health and safety — We have to ensure that our present and future residents are able to walk anywhere in the community to stay healthy and feel safe in doing so. We have numerous areas in town that require sidewalks installed and many that need to be repaired to make them safe.
3. The vacancy rates in the commercial sector — We have to work with the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce to help them bring in new specialty retail and service industries to reduce the present vacancies and also help in reducing the overall commercial taxes. Council will also have to assist by eliminating or at least reducing some of the red tape that businesses have to go through in order to set up shop in Ladysmith.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Encourage the development of the areas within the existing town boundaries to help pay for the new water and sewer plants. We also need to look at some of the functions that are presently farmed out and have them done by our own expert staff.
What does your ideal Ladysmith look like?
I would not want to change very much for my ideal Ladysmith except to have all our infrastructure in excellent condition, no empty stores or office space, and a completed waterfront.