Hof­farth tak­ing ‘Alt-Cen­tre’ ap­proach to city coun­cil bid

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - J.W. Sch­narr LETHBRIDGE HERALD

Lo­cal res­i­dent Ray Hof­farth is hop­ing his “Alt-Cen­tre” plat­form will be just what Lethbridge needs in his bid for city coun­cil.

Hof­farth’s goal is to bring more trans­parency and public in­ter­ac­tion to coun­cil cham­bers — some­thing he says has been lack­ing.

He said too much coun­cil busi­nesss is done be­hind closed doors and has vowed to guard against the “in­cli­na­tion for the sys­tem and bu­reau­crats to op­er­ate in se­cret.”

“I think coun­cil needs to change the dy­namic of the way things are done,” he said. “Coun­cil’s job is to give di­rec­tion to ad­min­is­tra­tion. Not the other way around. From my per­spec­tive, ad­min­is­tra­tion is set­ting the agenda.

“There is the ap­pear­ance that de­ci­sions have al­ready been made, and that the public is only be­ing con­sulted af­ter ev­ery­thing has been de­cided. “That’s not the job of coun­cil.” He pointed to the num­ber of in­cam­era ses­sions which have oc­curred on coun­cil’s watch.

“I’m fa­mil­iar with FOIP,” he said. “FOIP has be­come a shield that gov­ern­ment agen­cies are hid­ing be­hind.”

Hof­farth has worked with peo­ple who have learn­ing and be­hav­iour is­sues for more than 15 years. He has been in­volved with In­clu­sion Lethbridge and plans to “con­tinue to work to­wards cre­at­ing an in­clu­sive com­mu­nity that pro­vides in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies with the ser­vices and re­sources they need to live good lives.”

He added he is in­ter­ested in work­ing with re­search or­ga­ni­za­tions in the city such as the Univer­sity of Lethbridge Cana­dian Cen­tre for Be­havioural Neu­ro­science and Lethbridge An­i­mal Dis­eases Re­search In­sti­tute in or­der to help pro­vide a cre­ative and ed­u­cated work­force to build a busi­ness-friendly en­vi­ron­ment.

As a mem­ber of coun­cil, Hof­farth would also be in­ter­ested in pro­mot­ing the city for young fam­i­lies and find­ing a way to in­te­grate new fam­i­lies to the area.

He is also in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing a way to of­fer city-wide com­pre­hen­sive WiFi equipped to han­dle fu­ture needs in the city — mak­ing Lethbridge a place where peo­ple can “par­tic­i­pate, work and do busi­ness at the speed of light.”

He pointed to the im­por­tance of how the air­port is man­aged and its po­ten­tial im­pact on busi­ness in the city.

“We’re go­ing to have to make a de­ci­sion about how we man­age the air­port. Whether that’s tak­ing it over and manag­ing it, that’s go­ing to be left up to this next city coun­cil. Those kinds of is­sues all have to be ad­dressed.”

Fol­low @JWSch­nar­rHer­ald on Twit­ter

Herald photo by Ian Martens

Ray Hof­farth has an­nounced his in­ten­tion to run for coun­cil in this fall’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion. @IMarten­sHer­ald

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