Ragan has had a very public battle with the current council over recent months regarding the increase in water and sewer rates in the city that was implemented at the beginning of this year. He maintains the new rates are a cash grab by City Hall, and are unfair to residents such as himself who lease or rent their homes and receive no benefit from the elimination of the property frontage tax.
“The water and sewer issues are not self-solving and will take a great deal of effort and perseverance to restructure the mess that confronts us today,” he writes in a campaign statement. “These problems are man-made, so they must be man-solved and I hope to be a part of the solution.”
However, Ragan said he sees the decision made about utility rates as an example of a larger problem of a lack of due diligence at City Hall. He said he can point to several examples of projects that have ultimately gone over their committed budget, and he fears the new arts centre and the effluent water treatment plant will be the latest examples.
He said his diverse background in construction and contracting gives him the knowledge to apply due diligence to decisions made at City Hall if elected.
“I can relate to these contracts – unit prices and what is a good deal and what isn’t,” he said.
Ragan said he doesn’t have a cure-all for all the issues the city is facing, but will do his best if elected to make positive changes in the community.
“I’m not saying I can go in and solve anything, I can go in and try and help solve a lot of things. I’m just an ordinary Joe, same as you, and what can we do – we can try to do our best and hopefully make changes.”
He added he will not be afraid to voice his opinions even if they don’t make him popular with other councillors.
“I’m not part of a team, I’m an individual, and I will remain an individual if elected to council, and I will voice my opinion whether it makes them happy or unhappy.”
Ragan and his wife moved to Dawson Creek with their young family in 1971. His background included road building and railway construction, as well as being a superintendent for large highway contracts, before retiring.
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