Maxed Out 

Crunch time: I’ll go with Ken

Page 3 of 3

And when the housing fund reached $3.75 million, he reckoned its highest and best use was to buy trailers as affordable housing.

Mostly though, I’d vote for Ken because Ted’s never explained his role in the shameful saga of Helmut Banka.

Helmut raised huskies in kennels at the base of Wedge. He was probably squatting on Crown land though he claims he wasn’t. He’d been there since 1986 and had a municipal business license to run dogsleds for tourists. He was not a pleasant man.

In March, 1995, as Ted was gearing up for a run to become our MLA, a pathetic blind, deaf puppy was found wandering along Highway 99 near Alpine. It was one of Helmut’s. When the story broke in the local media, the town was outraged.

Eleven days after the puppy was found, Max Gotz, who was a muni utilities worker, was asked by his boss, Nelson Bastien, to volunteer for a job. With five gallons of diesel, a representative of the Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks, a muni bylaw officer and some gasoline for a wick, they snowmobiled into Helmut’s kennels, released the dogs, doused the enclosure with diesel, lit the wick and burned him out. Conveniently, Bonnie Makarewicz was there to snap pictures for the Question, so were camera crews from UTV.

Max was uneasy about what he was doing and where – outside of municipal boundaries – he was doing it. He asked who authorized it. The answer he got was "…straight from the mayor’s office." Draw your own conclusions.

I believe Ken can become the leader we need. I know he’s smart and I hope he’ll have a lot of help from a strong council. Ken can learn leadership. I don’t know if Ted can learn humanity.

So I’ll go with Ken.

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