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  • Nita Jalkanen, Ward 2 Candidate

    Hello. With your permission, allow me to introduce myself to the discussion. My name is Nita Jalkanen, and I am respectfully asking for your vote in Ward 2.

    I am 47 years old, have been working in corporate Edmonton for much of the last 30 years (with the former Alberta Forest Service, engineering-construction for 10 years, and most recently with the banking sector for seven years). I am not an MBA or a lawyer OR a politician; I am a hard-working hardworking taxpayer. I am bright, I am passionate, and I care. I am both a huge supporter of our business community, and live the reality of the taxpayer. I believe in balance; both interests and perspectives must be respected and nurtured.

    I wade into your dialogue with great respect. I want your ideas, your thoughts, your passions, your insights. I believe in collaboration, and I always look for win/wins. I am not affiliated with any political party or special interest group; I look at each issue on its own merits, I exercise good judgment, and I believe in respectful dialogue. With many great minds and ideas working on any issue, I believe there are good solutions.

    My commitment is to be your representative voice on City Council. I do not believe that leadership needs to be arrogant or dismissive. If the majority of voters support an initiative (or do NOT support an initiative), then it is my job to represent your voice. If for some reason I could not logically and transparently share with you some information or vision that would sway your majority view, then we have a breakdown in democracy. Your elected representatives must be your voice. THAT is the system of democracy that I believe in.

    I embrace the dialogue. You will find me thoughtful and respectful, committed. We must bridge the gap of divisiveness and bitterness that has been present in Edmonton over issues like the Municipal Airport and the downtown arena. We must return to decisions, and a community, in which we are all engaged in, and proud.

    Please find me at www.nitajalkanen.com I am not a seasoned politician; you will find me intelligent, fair, and hardworking (the likes of which you have never seen), and absolutely committed to the voice of democracy.

    I will join your forum as frequently as I can. I have a very full job in corporate Edmonton, I am a Board member of Edmonton Folk Music Festival, I am a member of an active choir, I am a Certified Yoga Teacher who still teaches the odd class, I have homeownership responsibilities, and I am now running a campaign and knocking on a lot of doors. Yes - a busy gal. That said, I want the dialogue.

    Reach out to me, too, at [email protected]

    Feedback welcome, and I will visit this site again as often as I can. Keep up the good, intelligent, and respectful dialogue. We have lots of work ahead of us, and we need everyone engaged.

    Nita Jalkanen, Candidate for Ward 2
    Edmonton, Alberta, 780-909-2855, [email protected]
    www.nitajalkanen.com

  • #2
    ^It's nice of you to step forward and introduce yourself.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for joining the conversation and best of luck

      As I live in Ward 2 we will no doubt be talking

      Tom

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      • #4
        I moved this to its own thread as the candidate has introduced herself. Each declared candidate will get the same.
        Ow

        I said this because coming here makes my heart hurt.

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        • #5
          Hi Nita,

          I vote for people to make educated decisions on my behalf. Your arena poll, full of misinformation and loaded questions, was clearly an attempt to circumvent the responsibility we place on elected officials to make decisions using information the public doesn't have access to.

          If elected, what magic will you use to satisfy all the differing opinions of voters in my ward, especially on large decisions where you can't satisfy everyone and will leave voters deeply divided? Are you willing to spend money to build a great city, or are you eager to race to the bottom, to deliver an incredibly cheap living experience in an effort to save some voters a couple bucks every year?

          Thanks,
          Chmilz
          "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chmilz View Post
            Hi Nita,

            I vote for people to make educated decisions on my behalf. Your arena poll, full of misinformation and loaded questions, was clearly an attempt to circumvent the responsibility we place on elected officials to make decisions using information the public doesn't have access to.

            If elected, what magic will you use to satisfy all the differing opinions of voters in my ward, especially on large decisions where you can't satisfy everyone and will leave voters deeply divided? Are you willing to spend money to build a great city, or are you eager to race to the bottom, to deliver an incredibly cheap living experience in an effort to save some voters a couple bucks every year?

            Thanks,
            Chmilz

            Comment


            • #7
              That last part is a loaded question for sure. The first question is a good one though and am curious to hear her reply.
              "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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              • #8
                Nita, I wish you the best but please to not rely on polls to accurately gauge the pulse of the electorate; see the polls prior to the past Alberta and BC provincial elections. Are the names of the premiers Smith and Dix? No. I also that if you are elected that you do not base you votes on polls or ask for plebiscites. What do people want? They want lower taxes and more services in my experience however we all know that this is not possible. What I look for in elected officials is a lack of grandstanding, a vision, strength to make the right decisions in the long term even it it means ruining your chance for re-election in the short term, be a steward of taxes, listen to the voters but at the end make up your own mind about the issues.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What were the main factors that motivated you to run.

                  Do you think your area is not being represented enough.

                  Would you have still ran if Kim Krushell had still been in the race.

                  Do you think the C of E beaurecrats were listening to the people when they struck the Arena deal and when the City Centre Airport was closed.

                  Thank you.
                  Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Interesting questions and perspectives to be sure...

                    I vote for people to make educated decisions on my behalf. Your arena poll, full of misinformation and loaded questions, was clearly an attempt to circumvent the responsibility we place on elected officials to make decisions using information the public doesn't have access to.
                    Nita, the above is a good question...but my perspective is a little different than Chmilz.

                    I elect a politician to represent me at whatever level of government they are involved in. The key here is represent, not make decisions on my behalf. Represent the views of the people that elected you to the best of your ability.

                    If elected, what magic will you use to satisfy all the differing opinions of voters in my ward, especially on large decisions where you can't satisfy everyone and will leave voters deeply divided?
                    Another good, but loaded question...

                    If it is a Ward issue your job is to make a decision that best represents the views of the majority of voters in your Ward...how you get that information needs to be transparent and reliable, in the end though it will be a judgement call in my opinion.

                    If it is a City wide decision it's a little tougher...you are going to be in the position that you will need to back whatever is "best" (good luck figuring "best"out) while representing the views of the Ward that elected you. Yep another toughie in my opinion

                    Are you willing to spend money to build a great city, or are you eager to race to the bottom, to deliver an incredibly cheap living experience in an effort to save some voters a couple bucks every year?
                    What do people want? They want lower taxes and more services in my experience however we all know that this is not possible.
                    Nita, I'm going to disagree a little with exciledincgy and Chmilz a bit here...People want accountability. Most do not mind even expensive decisions as long as the decision is made with full disclosure, transparently and one that will be accountable in the project process by both the elected representatives as well as administration.

                    But they need to clearly know what's in it for the Ward and themselves.

                    It's also going to be up to you to make sure the public consultation really is public and the results are clearly and transparently disclosed.

                    What I look for in elected officials is a lack of grandstanding, a vision, strength to make the right decisions in the long term even it it means ruining your chance for re-election in the short term, be a steward of taxes, listen to the voters but at the end make up your own mind about the issues.
                    Here exciledincgy and I agree, with this exception "listen to the voters but at the end make up your own mind about the issues".

                    You are there to represent the voters view and opinion of where they want this city to go.

                    So there are some opinions and perspectives to add to your blend, hope they are helpful.
                    In my highly biased personal opinion
                    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 25-06-2013, 03:09 PM. Reason: fixed quote, added Chmilz

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nita Jalkanen, Ward 2 Candidate

                      Hi, all. Wow! Thanks for all the great questions and feedback. You have many questions to address, and I will do my sincere and respectful best to respond to all; hope I don't miss any!

                      First of all, to answer any questions about the poll I ran in an effort to communicate the thoughts of Edmontonians about the use of their tax dollars for the downtown arena, the pollster that I retained was a national firm (based out of Ottawa), beyond reproach or criticism, and it cost me a dear penny to hire them but I did so because I felt it necessary. The questions were absolutely unbiased, and the responses were random and City-wide; neither this pollster, nor I for that matter, would risk our respective reputations on anything otherwise. The results spoke, as did many polls before "mine." Read more on my website about various poll results at www.nitajalkanen.com. I can also send anyone who is interested the questions and full results (I did it on behalf of all of us, afterall); just email me at [email protected]. Gordon Kent at The Edmonton Journal also had a link to the survey questions and results on the article he ran at the time (May 14); you might still be able to find his article by googling; otherwise contact me at [email protected] for the full meal deal -- it belongs to all of us and I am happy to share it, just as I did with every city councillor and media outlet in town.

                      Your elected representatives must be your voice; that is the model of democracy that I believe in. When tough decisions need to be made, I must be able to explain it fully, honestly and transparently; give the full goods. I apply reason, I believe in open dialogue and collaboration, ideas building on ideas to find the best answers. If I cannot sincerely convince you or persuade you that a proposed decision truly is in our best and broader interests, and your majority voice is still vocally saying otherwise, then.... my "job" is to be your voice. Leadership cannot be arrogant. It will also not be visionary if it does not have support to make that `vision` a reality. Leadership must be open, engaging, respectful, THOUGHTFUL; and, it must be supported. By no means do I presume to have all of the answers. The more minds working on tough problems, the better the solutions. In this manner, there can be no divisiveness (or one agenda or idea trying to override another); in this manner, we have collaboration and we find the best answers. We really, really need everyone pulling together.

                      Why would information NOT be made available to the public? I do not believe in closed-door negotiations, or reports being withheld. Please remember, I am a hardworking taxpayer, and have been so all of my life. All reports, information, decisions generated by any level of government, are bought and paid for by the citizens, along with the salary of every government employee.

                      What makes a great city? I don`t think one building does it, or one business or industry, or one ideology either. A disconnect between a government`s actions and its citizens` needs (and broader interests), is not the answer either. There must be balance. Healthy business, healthy economy, healthy books, engaged citizens -- win-wins. We truly must all be pulling together in this, equally represented and considered. At the root, a healthy spirit (and divisiveness, is not a healthy spirit).

                      I look at each issue independently. I apply sound reasoning and rational thinking, I seek expert opinions on every side of the equation, I listen carefully, I am open to new ideas. I hold no hard political ideologies. I truly evaluate each question in its own right. I have walked-the-walk between business and taxpayer: over 30 years primarily supporting and encouraging (AND making money for) corporate Edmonton, but on the other hand also living the reality of a hardworking taxpayer. I understand and support both perspectives in that equation.

                      Gemini has some interesting questions! What motivated me to run? Primarily to regain the voice of the hardworking taxpayer; it is obviously time for change. No, I do not think our interests have been represented. Yes, I had decided to run in Ward 2, regardless of Kim`s decision. And, no, we have not been listened to.

                      How would I get feedback? Well, I believe in at least monthly open forums. All of us talking, brainstorming, sharing information, looking for solutions; that would be top of my list. I also think there is room for online polling (if not voting, in combination with in-person voting) (Switzerland does it -- we don`t have to recreate the wheel expensively, here). I also take phone calls: 780-909-2855 cell. My Facebook is open to invitations; my email is [email protected]. Other ideas? I am all ears.

                      At the end of the day, I would like to think that my vision, and YOUR vision, would not be at any great disconnect whatsoever. I would like to think that we could come together in mutual understanding and respect, dialogue, discussion, and ultimately make good decisions for all of us, or at least ones we could ALL respect and understand, if not fully support. THAT, to me, is elected representation and leadership.

                      I hope I have not missed any questions .... it is really late, and tomorrow is a work day, so I really must sign off. Keep talking! Keep asking! Will pop in again when I can.

                      Nita Jalkanen, Ward 2 Candidate
                      Edmonton, Alberta, www.nitajalkanen.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So what makes you believe that current council doesn't do exactly what you're saying you plan to do, because I believe they do. They just happened to make decisions you don't like.
                        "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "What motivated me to run? Primarily to regain the voice of the hardworking taxpayer"

                          So you don't think the counselors who were voted in by the hard working tax payers almost 3 years ago didn't have a voice or were incompetent /:!!!!


                          " It is obviously time for change. Why is it so obvious!

                          Edmonton has seen amazing positive growth in the last 10 years and IMO has had the best leadership in this time.

                          No, I do not think our interests have been represented".

                          Well....my interests as a hardworking small business owner have been met and exceeded by this counsel.

                          IMO someone who spends thousands of dollars (of their own money) on a poll that absolutely meant nothing at the time it was taken tells me they are not to wise with money. So why would I vote for someone who would waste potential tax dollars like this if elected!!! You have to understand...most polls are as relevant as Enron stock.
                          Last edited by Franky Knuckles; 26-06-2013, 10:14 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Why is it time for change? Because of our current city council Edmonton has experienced growth in all areas in the past ten years, particularly in infrastructure. Let me give you some examples:

                            Before our current city council was elected, Edmonton hadn't seen a new recreation centre since the early 90's (last one was Millwoods) now we have built the Terwillegar Rec. Centre, re-built the Stadium Rec. Centre, and are currently building the Clareview Rec. Centre. We also have built new Libraries such as the Lois Hole Library in Callingwood and the Abbotsfield Library (under construction). Not to mention the rebuild of the Meadowlark Library (under construction).

                            We have also seen new investment in our downtown. Before our current city council was elected the newest office tower we had was Commerce Place and that was built in the early 90's. That's almost 30 years with no new office towers. Now we have Epcor Tower already built and more office towers being proposed. Along with at least half a dozed residential towers already approved and/ or under construction.

                            Transit is an extremely important part of every city and we have seen that our current city council feels that way too. With the new 747 bus route finally running, new smart buses rolling out, and the 3.3 km NAIT LRT line due to open next year I am confident that our current city council is still in touch with the needs of the citizens of Edmonton.

                            With our current city council Edmonton has also experienced billions of dollars being spent on new road infrastructure. With the 23 Ave/ Gateway Blvd overpass, Quesnell bridge expansion, the new Walterdale Bridge (under construction), St. Albert Trail/ Yellowhead expansion, and 17 Avenue/ Whitemud Drive overpass. I'm sure I'm missing a bunch more but the point is we are building roads and bridges.

                            There is so much going on right now that I can't even list all of the projects so I am just going to leave you with this question. Please tell me why there needs to be a change in our current city council? With growth in all areas and Edmonton finally acting like a big city why is there a need to revert back to the old version of ourselves? Is there a need to halt progress in a city with an ever growing population?
                            Last edited by Mla; 02-08-2013, 06:48 PM.

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