THUNDER BAY – Andy Wolff is hoping the fourth time’s a charm in Current River.
Long a city hall watchdog, Wolff was runner-up in the most recent municipal election, taking second place behind incumbent and now four-term Coun. Andrew Foulds in 2018.
The pair are set to duke it out once again on the ballot, joined by former Shuniah Coun. Duff Stewart in a three-horse race.
Wolff thinks his plan to challenge administration at every move is what sets him apart from the rest of the Current River slate.
“I feel we need to have better representation in Current River Ward, a new style of governance where we come forward more with administration, call them out on certain things, because they don’t provide all the information when they make their decisions,” said Wolff, who has also run provincially and federal for the Northern Ontario Party.
“And of course we need to get citizens involved with ward meetings and major decisions, such as the event centre or the indoor turf facility would have referendums on them. These are major projects. Then our responsibility would be to make sure we manage them.”
Specific to the ward, Wolff said the city needs to do a better job managing its roads.
“There’s a lot of infrastructure that needs to be done, but basic infrastructure, like the roads, and other what other facilities are decaying right now. There’s probably a lot around Current River. So that’s what I’d want to do – revamp all of Current River.”
Wolff, a dangerous goods liaison with a regional airline and a member of a popular Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band, said for too long Current River has been neglected – though he’s noticed it has gotten a little love from council and administration over the past few years.
“They finally got Boulevard Lake done. I think that should have happened before the waterfront was developed, because we have all the infrastructure there. We had the lake, which we could have converted to a rink in the winter. We could have put a skate park in there. The splash pads could have gone in there, and that could have been done years ago,” Wolff said.
“At least now we’re moving forward now, which is good, but it seems like everyone was focused on that waterfront.”
Another issue that needs tackling is the city’s growing homeless situation.
“It’s a big problem and we know it’s escalating. This is something we have to lobby the provincial government for,” he said, pointing to the vacant former Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital as an opportunity to revamp and provide housing for all of the city’s homeless.
Wolff said he’s opposed to the waterfront art gallery location, adding he believes council has wasted taxpayer dollars working toward an event centre and an indoor turf facility, neither of which has yet to come to fruition.