Should Darwin Zurakowski be elected to represent Ward 4 on city council, one of his underlying goals will be managing expectations.
“If you, as a person living in the city, have a certain expectation and it keeps getting pushed away or ignored, your expectation isn’t being met and you’re upset,” he said.
An example of this is with the city’s annual budget, which this year saw change after the fact, with money pulled from an infrastructure reserve to fund road work at three intersections along 15th Street an example.
As a businessman, it’s common sense that this would have been discussed around budget time, he said.
“You have to be very specific — how much money are you spending this month. If you’re going over, why? If you’re not meeting your quotas, why?” he said.
The city’s annual budget “is a way to keep things in line,” he added.
“Why were the plans in place not met, and why did you have to keep pulling from reserves?”
Another example is with a resident in his ward who has been promised road repairs for a few years — repairs that haven’t come. He currently has to move barricades away from his house every day to get his vehicle in his garage.
“If someone had gone to him and said, ‘this is going to be fixed in three years, we’re going to give you a tax reduction until we finish because you have to keep doing this,’ I’m sure he wouldn’t be upset in the slightest,” Zurakowski said.
Another goal of Zurakowski’s will be bringing the city into the future by better opening it up to business and new ideas.
If you, as a person living in the city, have a certain expectation and it keeps getting pushed away or ignored, your expectation isn’t being met and you’re upset. - Darwin Zurakowski, Ward 4 candidate
“The city needs to almost rethink a lot of the things it used to do,” he said.
Although the city’s overarching issues need attention, Zurakowski said that his main area of attention will be the smaller problems that occur within his ward, keeping his ward “at front and centre.”
Zurakowski was born and raised in Prince Albert, graduating from St. Mary High School in 1992. Although he left the city for post-secondary education, he returned four years ago, opening up Mark It Signs Ltd., a sign company on South Industrial Drive.
He has lived in Ward 4 for the past four years.
Former mayor Don Cody is also a candidate for the Ward 4 city council position, and until Zurakowski filed his paperwork on the day of the nomination deadline on Wednesday, he thought that he would be in by acclamation.
“It didn’t bother me at all — I like going to doors,” Cody said.
“I’m going to do a low key, low profile campaign.”
The top issues brought up so far in Cody’s campaign have been the need for a second North Saskatchewan River crossing at or near the city, tax increases, and road maintenance.
Ward 4, which makes up the city’s northeastern section south of the North Saskatchewan River, is currently served by Jayne Remenda, who is not seeking re-election.