Friday, October 20, 2017

Going Forward

Hey everyone,

Although I didn't win my bid for Red Deer city council, this time around, I did gain a lot of support and good will in the community and that is an achievement of which I am immensely proud of and grateful for. Exactly 4,709 people looked for my name on a ballot and then filled in the bubble beside it, that's up from 2,747 from 2013 when I first ran. Thank you!

I learned a lot over the last four years. I made a concerted effort to stay involved in the community and to be a force for good through my work. My blog and my social media videos proved to fulfill a need in the community for meaningful engagement and leadership. I realize that people want their voices to be heard and their concerns validated. Over the years, I reached out to many citizens, heard their concerns and then made videos and wrote blogs about them. I put myself out there as someone who is relatable and approachable because that's what I want from a city councillor. 

During the weeks leading up to the election I literally sat down with 6-10 people a day, often in coffee shops or at their homes. The notion of "Coffee With Wieler" became my de facto election slogan. I didn't sit down with people just to rattle off my platform rather I sincerely sought to learn and understand the many viewpoints in my community because diversity is strength. I set out to listen and learn so that if elected I could then act in a way that truly represented my community. I will continue this work. I will continue to serve my city in my best capacity.

Going forward I will continue to stay involved and to work for the good my community however I do need to slow down and devote a lot more time to my family and some more time towards growing Food For Friends and my first aid/safety training business. I will continue to make videos about important issues in our city. Also, I have been toying with the idea of starting a podcast. Maybe it will be called Coffee With Wieler. I have met so many interesting people and had so many enriching conversations over the last while; I think it would be a good amplify their voices. 

I want to thank everyone who supported my campaign during this election. I am truly grateful! I started out hoping to be a reasonable voice for environmental and social sustainability and quickly realized that this is about so much more than just me. I am in awe of how many people added their voices to my own and how that grew into what it is today. I also know that this work must continue to grow. There are a lot of very important things that need to happen in Red Deer and we can't afford to stay in neutral. I strongly encourage you to reach out to our new council, engage with them, make your voice heard. I hope our new council listens to the community and overlooks paralyzing rigid ideology that so often prevents progress. 

I am optimistic for our future because there are so many great people in Red Deer who are doing amazing work. We have a lot going for us but our people are our most valuable asset. Red Deerians have a proven history of being innovative and resilient. That is why our city is a place where people love to live and want to stay. Our future is bright.

Cheers,







Monday, October 2, 2017

A Safe & Healthy Community

Hey everyone,

As I write this the snow is blowing outside and Red Deer is getting its first major snow storm of the year. It would be nice to have winter tires for my vehicle but a while ago someone came into my back yard and stole them! They were stacked up beside my house and blocked in by my wheel barrow and a some scrap wood that I had stacked up. I wish I could say that this was the only time I have personally been the victim of crime, but it's not. I wish I could say that I am the only one experiencing things like this and that this is the worst of what's happening, but it's not.

What is happening in Red Deer? Why are stories like mine becoming more and more common? I hear about more and more violent and disturbing crimes. Why are the stories getting worse?

The economic downturn and the rising drug crisis are closely correlated to the increase in crime. All of these things are connected in very complex ways. That's why our solution must be full spectrum. If we want to address why people are stealing tires from peoples back yards then we have to address things like unemployment and public health. 

Let's address unemployment by attracting new and more diverse businesses to Red Deer. As a councillor I will work with existing businesses to find out what they need to be able to continue to operate profitably and I will reach out to prospective businesses and find out what we can do to make Red Deer a desirable place for them to set up shop. Also, I recognize that the more we partner with RDC, soon RDU hopefully, then the more our community will prosper.

Connected to that is also the concept of social economic development. We want to prevent crime and we know that when people have a good job they have hope and that when people have hope they are less likely to turn to crime. That's the bigger picture that we're looking at. I am a strong advocate for linking our social, cultural and environmental goals with our economic goals. True sustainability, wether social, environmental or cultural must be financially viable in order to last and our economic goals must contribute to the general wellbeing of our citizens at the same time. Thats good policy.

My campaign for city council is focused on what we can to right now to get results. Right now we can provide more tools to our police services and our justice system. GPS tracked ankle bracelets are proven to be effective in disrupting the pattern of crime. If we put enough of these devices on repeat offenders; the guys stealing trucks and dealing drugs, then we will throw their destructive patterns out of balance. If a gang member gets an ankle bracelet then that guy is out of the gang because the others won't want him around. These devices are cost effective, legal and would be put to good use immediately. We can start a pilot project right away and start gathering evidence to prove if the technology works for Red Deer and how best to fund and implement a strategy.

A hot button topic is the drug crisis in our community. When we let fear dictate public policy then we are reacting to the problem. What's the difference between reacting and responding? It's how much planning goes into the process beforehand. When we generate public policy based on evidence then we will be able to respond to the problem. We must be very intentional with how we respond to the rising drug crisis and treat it the way we would treat any other public health emergency.

I've heard a lot of discussion about building a supervised consumption site and there is a lot of concern about how this will be implemented. If we build a high security medical facility to supervise people using drugs then we must intentionally focus on prevention, outreach and long term treatment and support. Right now we don't have any control over the situation, people are injecting everywhere in the city and leaving their needles in places that are creating a serious hazard to the community. How do we regain control of the situation? The evidence shows that there are effective ways to help people with addictions; but it will require a concerted effort to put together a plan that will work. We must listen to all the voices in our community; to the experts and front line workers, to families affected by addictions, to nearby residents and businesses. As a councillor I will be committed to engaging our community to find solutions that will make our city healthier and safer.

I'm prepared to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Please help me to secure a seat on city council so I can work with you to move our community towards these goals!

Thank you

Let's go for coffee!

Please feel free to email me (jonwieler@icloud.com) or contact me on social media; just search for Wieler4RD on most platforms or use the hashtag #CoffeeWithWieler.

Cheers,


I invite you to support my campaign:



Thank you!








Sunday, July 30, 2017

Who is Jon Wieler?

Hey everyone,


I recently announced that I am running for city council and I am grateful for the outpouring of support that I have received! People are asking for lawn signs and sharing content on social media about my campaign. Just this last week my FaceBook Page soared to over 500 likes!

With all the momentum building for my campaign I want to write a little about my background so that you can get to know me better. I have always remarked, during election season, how it feels empty to just vote for a name on an election sign that I see as I drive by. So I feel that it is very important for me to be as transparent as I can be. But I have to admit up front, it is a little out of my comfort zone.

My late brother Isaac was severely autistic and never spoke a word in his life. My family moved to Red Deer in the late 90s because there were better services available for him here. While it's easy to fall through the cracks, I can say from personal experience that there are many people in our city doing great things to help families like mine. My brother died almost a decade ago but he is still in my heart. I see him when I talk to a senior citizen who is living in poverty and I look into his eyes when I pass a homeless person on the street.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution; as much as the average person who has no personal experience with developmental disabilities wants one. It takes compassion, empathy and patience to make a positive difference for someone like my brother. My experience growing up with Isaac helps me to understand the bigger picture of mental health and social justice in our community. I am constantly looking to understand how everything is connected and where an innovative solution may be found. Closely related are issues around seniors care, affordable housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and housing first. These are issues that I am passionate about because I feel I can relate to them.


I have been very privileged to grow up in Red Deer. I went to Hunting Hills High School and Red Deer College. As I was growing up so was this city; the population effectively doubled in the years since I was in middle school. I know now that the boom was because of our thriving oil and gas industry. People came from all across Canada to our province and many landed in Red Deer.

I have effectively made a living in the oil and gas industry. I say effectively because, as we all know, it ebbs and flows. The boom years seem like they'll never end and the recession hurts badly. But Red Deer has pushed through it. I've been laid off from high paying oil patch jobs and had to make personal sacrifices. I deeply understand how important it is for the citizens of our community to get the best value for their tax dollars. I also know that it is imprudent to plan for 20 more years of growth based on a booming oilfield that may or may not come through for us. As a city we must live within our means and save for the future.

I started my oilfield career as a roughneck on a service rig. I worked until they shut us down in -49C. I worked in the snow and mud. I have been covered head-to-toe in oil. I've been as far north as Rainbow Lake and as far south as Brooks. To the west I worked 97 days straight on a rig in Hudson's Hope, BC and to the east I've drilled for oil near the USA boarder in Manitoba. I know what it's like to work hard and I have done it all so that my family can have a good life.


With all that said, I am an environmentalist and who better to lay claim to that title than an oilfield worker. I am very fond of that place where all my air, water and food comes from. I have seen environmental catastrophes covered up and I have seen vast landscapes degraded. But there is reason to be optimistic. Attitudes are changing, technology is improving and our industry has made leaps and bounds when it comes to taking environmental issues seriously. I see programs in our city such as organic waste collection and efforts to conserve water and energy making the impact our city has on the environment less severe.

I am very bullish on emerging technologies such as solar panels and battery storage. It is very quickly becoming a reality that the way we generate and use energy is going to shift. I have looked into solar for my own house and it is very close to making economic sense. Without rebates and incentives I can get a net zero system that will pay for itself in under a decade. I suspect that in a few years we will see mass adoption of this technology and our city will have to adapt, quickly. However in the meantime the biggest gains for the environment and the wallet will come from energy conservation and efficiency strategies; which are largely behavioural changes and building upgrades.


Red Deer is the city that I grew up in and this is where I choose to raise my family and run my business, Bullseye Safety Training. I have 4 wonderful kids and a loving wife. I have personal vested interest in seeing this community continue to prosper and my success is your success. We have a lot going for us here. We need both a steady hand at the wheel and a long view for the way forward.


This summer I will be out door knocking and meeting as many Red Deerians as possible and I would love to hear from you!


Let's go for coffee!


Please feel free to email me (jonwieler@icloud.com) or contact me on social media; just search for "Wieler4RD" on most platforms or use the hashtag #CoffeeWithWieler.


Cheers,


I invite you to support my campaign:




Thank you!


Monday, July 17, 2017

Jon Wieler For City Council, Why?

Hey everyone,

I am announcing that I am running for Red Deer City Council and I want to hear from you! Over the last 4 years I have made a huge effort to demonstrate community leadership by speaking out on important issues. I have been writing a blog and making YouTube videos about the issues that concern my fellow citizens and I am grateful for all of your support!

I am especially grateful to have been challenged along the way to check my assumptions and learn new ways of thinking about solutions. I have come to realize that solutions aren’t found in rigid ideology but that we are well served by an open minded, collaborative approach. That is what I will bring to the table when I am elected. I have a proven track record of mindfully engaging people both on social media and in the community.

I grew up in Red Deer. I graduated from Hunting Hills and went to RDC. I have worked in the oil and gas industry for over a decade. Now, I am an Enform safety instructor. My wife Krystal and I own and operate Bullseye Safety Training. I am a family man and Red Deer is the community where I am raising my kids and I want them to be happy, healthy, safe and to have opportunity. Our city is a really good place to raise a family and I am proud to live here. I want to give back to our community by serving on council and working to ensure that our city continues to be a vibrant and prosperous place to live.


As a family man who made a career in the oil and gas industry, I understand the struggles that many have faced during the economic downturn. That's why it is very important that we focus on getting the best value for our tax dollars while maintaining our high standard of public services. I am happy when I see our city investing in things that will improve our quality of life and make Red Deer a place where people love to live and want to stay. We can do this by continuing to strategically save money for future amenities and by maintaining fiscally responsible tax rates. When I’m a city councillor I will insist on maximizing efficiencies in the system so that we can pass those savings onto the citizens of Red Deer.

Crime is also a serious concern in our community. I’ve spoken with many people and heard stories about businesses being broken into, vehicles being stolen and drug needles laying on the streets; there’s a lot that we need to clean up in this city. With that said, some of the best minds have come together over the last few years to figure out what we can do and there are some very feasible, evidence based solutions being put forward. When I’m a councillor I will be committed to making Red Deer safer by implementing these solutions and putting action behind our words.

The environment is also a concern that I share with many Red Deerians. Climate change adaptation needs to be the foundation of all of our plans going forward. We will be well served to consistently consider this question: “How will this move us towards our environmental goals?”. As our city grows we will be using more water from our river, we will be using more energy and we will looking for new ways to manage waste. We have an amazing opportunity to make Red Deer truly environmentally sustainable. When I am councillor I will be committed to implementing solutions that will protect and restore our environment.

The first question people ask is why am I running. To put it briefly, I am committed to getting the best value for our tax dollars, to putting crime prevention strategies into action and to making Red Deer truly environmentally sustainable. But, who is against those things? I’m sure every candidate will also say the same. I am committed to rising above the rhetoric and that’s why I need your help.

What do you suggest we do to make our city run more efficiently so we can get the best value for our tax dollars?

What do you suggest we do to prevent crime and make our community safer?

What do you suggest we do to make our city more environmentally sustainable?

Let's go for coffee!

Please feel free to email me (jonwieler@icloud.com) or contact me on social media; just search for Wieler4RD on most platforms or use the hashtag #CoffeeWithWieler.

Cheers,


I invite you to support my campaign:



Thank you!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Speed on Green?

Hey everyone,

As of August 11 the intersections in our city that currently have red light cameras will also now have the ability to issue tickets for speeding through them on green lights

What do you think of this? 
Could we frame this discussion as a speeders tax or a fee-to-speed? Perhaps. 

But either way let's not fool ourselves; these cameras are only marginally effective at making our roads safer. As soon as drivers learn where these cameras are they slow down temporarily and then they defiantly speed up again as soon as they're out of range. So, yes, these cameras probably do make specific intersections safer. But on the other hand I suspect the gains might be lost if drivers are dangerously slamming on their brakes to avoid having their picture taken as soon as they catch a glimpse of the camera as they speed by. I suppose the data will bear out the fact of the matter. My mind will remain open. 

Also, while the focus on catching speeders does give us a good feeling of accomplishment, the question remains; how do we address the other major factors such as distracted and impaired driving? I hear Police ride the bus in some cities and call in distracted drivers they see through the window as they cruise around the city. But that's a whole other topic. 

One thing that has worked well is installing timers at many intersections around our city. I really like how I can see from a distance that I have enough time to safely slow down and stop. So I'd like to put it forward that, if we must have speed-on-green cameras then we should use the money to pay for things like timers at intersections and other things that improve traffic safety.

I also wonder if we should be having the conversation about timing traffic lights better? "Red-Light-Deer" is a social media meme which is growing in popularity. So the bigger picture question here is how can we make traffic flow better in our city?

Lastly, another discussion that we should be having is how to improve safety in our school zones. Since we know that traffic cameras only temporarily slow drivers down and we also know that many drivers are unwilling to temporarily slow down near schools, it seems like there is an obvious solution to the problem, let's put traffic cameras in school zones. Can we do that? Call it a cash grab, sure, just please don't run my kids over. The scariest thing to a parent is a speeding car in school zone!

With all of that said, the reality is that we can't legislate the sort of cultural change that needs to happen. I recently became a defensive driving instructor and this is something that I talk about a lot. People need to obey the rules of the road not because they're afraid of getting a ticket but because they care about their own safety and respect the safety and well-being of everyone else in their community. This is the ultimate way to be proactive when it comes to road safety. It starts with you and the attitude that you choose to have when you get behind the wheel.

Cheers,