Local businessman enters City council race

  • Oct. 2, 2013 3:36 p.m.

City business owner Jonathan Wieler has entered the race for a City council seat.

Wieler, who co-owns a local fitness centre called City Motion along with Krystal Kromm, filed his nomination papers last week.

“I was encouraged by friends and family as well as some people in the business community,” he said. Wieler said supporters also encouraged him to run because of his vision for the City, leadership abilities and his positivity.

“I have a vision for the future and I’m excited.”

Wieler, who has lived in Red Deer for 17 years, is currently raising his family in the City and because of that, “I have a vested interest in this community. I want my kids and my grandkids to have a bright future. The City is going to double in 18 years – we’re going to have 200,000 people, so where we go from here is going to directly affect my kids. What kind of City are they going to live in?”

He said that brings up all kinds of issues from crime/safety to environmental issues to the availability of community facilities.

These days, Wieler said he is concerned about planning in terms of residential spaces, for example. “We’re sprawling outwards, the downtown is dying and old neighbourhoods are getting neglected. We have lots of brownfield sites around town, sidewalks are decaying. The new neighbourhoods are getting all the attention.”

He said there has to be a balance of new development with redevelopment of the downtown core. That includes revitalizing brownfield sites and building up instead of out so fast and having some more density in the downtown area and some other neighbourhoods around the City.

He also wants to see a greater emphasis on walkability in Red Deer.

“We need to build things closer together, we need to balance where people work with where they live, play and shop. We need to build our City in a more integrated (way).”

Wieler said it’s important to remember that return on investment sometimes has to be measured in terms of general well-being, not just dollars.

“How are people living? What kind of lifestyles are they leading? Are they healthy and active? Are they happy? Are people coming together?”

Ensuring a community provides the means for better quality of life bolsters not only community relationships and connection but business opportunity as well, he said.

“The City can really influence that by the designs of our neighbourhoods.”

Other concerns he cites include making bus routes more efficient, ensuring the City keeps up on environmental stewardship and dealing with the ongoing issue of homelessness in Red Deer.

“I really just want to be involved in the community. I want to be connected to people, and I’m really excited about the potential our City has. I also want to collaborate,” he said. “Some of the virtues that make a councillor a great councillor are mindfulness, curiosity and the willingness to collaborate.

“Those are three virtues I work on personally, and I can bring those to the table as a councillor.

“I want to learn, understand and I want to listen. I want to bring all those ideas together and find solutions that work.”