John Hudak has announced his run for city council in the May 11 byelection.
Hudak grew up in Cranbrook, getting all his education and working his first jobs here before joining the RCMP and spending 25 years working for them in around nine different places in Saskatchewan, B.C. and Alberta.
“I’ve had a pretty varied career and quite a variety of places where I’ve lived, so as a result of being at a number of these places I’ve been exposed to a lot of different things,” Hudak said. “And wherever I’ve been I’ve always been involved in my community, that’s just who I am.”
Hudak returned to Cranbrook seven years ago, and says that though things had changed since he left, he is “very on board” with the direction this council is going and why he wants to be a part of the council moving forward.
“My employer dictated where I would live, and I made a conscious decision to return to my hometown seven years ago because I realized what my hometown offers.”
He said he didn’t plan on running, but he’s been approached frequently by people in the community who told him they’d like to see him run.
With the vacancy opening up, he sat down and said he couldn’t come up with a good reason why he shouldn’t run, as it would be a way for him to take his community service to another level.
Hudak, a hockey guy his whole life who went through the whole Cranbrook minor hockey system to the point of playing on the Junior B team here, got involved with the Kootenay Ice when he moved back to Cranbrook. As a member of the Green Bay committee, he worked to keep the Kootenay Ice here.
“We all know where that went and why it went that way,” he said. “But we’re moving on and in fact — Western Financial Place is a major piece of property the city holds and I’m working with another group to try to bring another hockey team in here in the future.”
Hudak also served as director of security at the B.C. 55+ Games last year, building and overseeing a team of 65 people for the very successful event. Hudak also is very involved with his church community and is the chairman of the Lawful Knights of Columbia Charity Appeal, putting money into the community and focusing on helping disadvantaged people.
Hudak hopes to help in the process of fostering growth and development in Cranbrook, and said that he sees the current council working to open up the city for business, something he believes in strongly. He said that while its ideal to bring in the “home run” big businesses that have large employment bases, it’s also important to work with modern, internet and tech-related companies to bring them in as well.
Part of attracting business, he believes lies in marketing our Cranbrook and the work/life balance and lifestyle that exists, here. Hudak says he also hopes to continue to improve upon the communication between Council and the people of Cranbrook.
“That’s a process that continues to evolve and I think that there’s a responsibility that we need to be able to continue to engage people, let them know what’s going on. And there’s always room for improvement in anything.”
Additionally, Hudak points out that, as he is retired, his plan is to be a full-time city councillor.
“My focus is that I’m your full-time councillor, and my history is I’m dedicated, I’m devoted and I’m a hard worker. I can sort through a lot of stuff in a hurry and find out what the issues are, and talking to people also, that was the nature of my job as an investigator. I wasn’t a desk jockey in the RCMP, I was boots on the streets.”