River Heights-Fort Garry candidate Mike Kowalson has vowed that if constituents want him to remove traffic circles and curb bumpouts on Grosvenor Avenue he’ll do it — even if he has to use money given to him as a city councillor for road improvements.
Kowalson made the promise today during a demonstration by more than four dozen River Heights residents at a traffic circle at Waverley Street and Grosvenor Avenue.
After being told by a former area councillor, Donald Benham, that individual councillors have more than $1 million which they can direct to neighbourhood road improvements, Kowalson said if residents want him to he’ll use that money to turn back the bike path clock.
"If that is the will of the neighbourhood, I will work with the residents," Kowalson said.
"With today’s turnout, it appears that is the will of the neighbourhood."
Kowalson said if he is elected on Oct. 27, he will immediately meet with residents about the bike paths the next morning and make a list of their concerns.
"I will go to the CAO (chief administrative officer) that afternoon and give them the list," he said.
"This is not an election issue — this is a safety issue."
On Tuesday, incumbent Coun. John Orlikow complained to city hall’s election office saying flyers sent out by the demonstration’s organizers, the Concerned Residents of River Heights, were a dirty tactic coming from his challenger in the election.
Orlikow alleged the group, whose flyer accused the councillor of failing to consult with River Heights residents, was nothing more than a front for a politically motivated smear campaign.
Orlikow did not show up at the demonstration.
But Kowalson said if Orlikow had properly consulted his constituents a demonstration like the one today wouldn’t have taken place.
"If this is some type of support for my campaign, I’m so glad to have all of these campaign workers for my campaign," he said.