Who is Ray Juska?
At the end of World War 2 my parents’ homeland was occupied by the Soviets. They
came to Brooks as displaced persons in 1948, neither of them speaking English, made
their home here and are now at rest in the Brooks Cemetery. My brothers and I were all
born in the old Brooks hospital and I grew up and went to school in Brooks. I and Florence,
my wife of 47 years, have spent almost all of our lives in Brooks. I received an Honours
Diploma in Chemical Technology from SAIT In addition to agricultural field and lab work
I have been in retail and have done environmental consulting and home inspections. I
began working as Manager for Newell Regional Solid Waste in 1996, was involved in the
siting, design and construction of the landfill and until 2011 monitored contractors operating
the landfill. Then the Waste Management Authority assumed full operation of the landfill
and I have since been responsible for all aspects of its operation. Over that period the
landfill has operated as a model facility and has accumulated substantial short and long
term reserves so it has not been a burden on the Member Municipalities. We are also part
of SAEWA (Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association - 60+ communities working
towards a $450,000,000 regional waste-to energy plant at the Brooks rather than
Why am I running for Council now?
- This has been on my mind for years but I did not want to try for a position on Council as
long as I was working full time. I have known many past and present Councillors and am
aware of the commitment and time it demands (not to mention the thick skin, you can’t
make all of the people happy all of the time).
- It may not be the smartest time to put oneself in such a position of responsibility but
Brooks is my home and I want to support it and its residents in helping it move it forward,
especially in these challenging times.
- I am very concerned about the democratic deficit which has developed in City Hall, with
discussions and decisions on major issues with little or no public awareness or
Why should You support me?
- I have experience as an employee, a businessman, a contractor, a manager and an
administrator and working with the public has been a large part of my life. This will enable
me to consider an issue from all sides.
- Council should work as a team taking direction from open debate and consensus. We
may not always have unanimity and some decisions may not be popular but I would
represent and be accountable to all the Residents. After everyone has had their say I
would support actions in the best interest of the Community while respecting the individual:
- No single person should be able to impose their agenda over Council and everything
comes with a cost which must be weighed against the benefits. Some of the issues that
are important to me and that I would bring to the table include:
Accountability - more open government with access and full disclosure (for example
the $5,400,000 broadband project, how did it happen with so little public and
Council knowledge, is it really a done deal and if not what are the pro’s, con’s and
Sustainability - Utilities being adequately maintained so that small short term
savings don’t turn into major long term costs. Ongoing maintenance of public
facilities. Support for waste reduction (for example zero waste at public facilities
and events, expanded cardboard recycling).
Quality of Life - Working with all levels of government and making reasonable
accomodations in support of affordable housing. Promotion of beautification and
enforcement of unsightly property bylaws. Expansion of recreational facilities and
programs. It may be a long shot but can anything be done to reduce the impact of
I would be honoured to represent You on Council and hope that You will support me.