Before meeting Wolfgang Duntz, he was described to me as a major player in a plot to pave Bowen Island over.
That was in 2013 and I was just starting out as editor of the Bowen Island Undercurrent. Wolfgang was a member of council and a reporter’s dream. I could always count on him to liven up even the dullest council meeting by stating his truth entirely unfiltered, with no apparent regard for political consequences.
In the years following his retirement from council, Wolfgang and his company, Bowen Island Properties, stayed largely out of the limelight.
The island’s conversation and concerns seemed to shift from transportation to housing almost over night. We were all wondering: How did housing get so expensive so quickly. Where did all the rentals disappear to? More important, how on earth could we keep our community intact under these conditions?
Having arrived on Bowen in 2011, I am both part of the problem and am suffering from it. I am part of a new wave of people from the city who benefited from the affordability of this place and in the process made it more expensive.
Knowing a bit about Wolfgang’s experience, perspective and contributions to this community (which extend well beyond new chunks of pavement) I am keen to hear his ideas about building this community to meet present and future needs.
Wolfgang is 77 years old and seems to overflow with reflections on lessons learned from his work, and what makes a place truly special. He wants to engage Bowen in considering its collective future. Who will live here? How will they live?
If he had the time and energy, Wolfgang would write all this himself. But he’s asked for my help. We made a pact of transparency: I’ll ask questions, check facts, and write the stories. Please stick with us for an ongoing exploration about housing, community and development on Bowen Island. Having a civil, informed and transparent conversation about where we’ve been, where we are and where we might go is an important step. One that I am happy to be a part of. — Meribeth Deen