City Councillor Jac Siemens has announced his intention to run for re-election. He says the decision was an easy one.
“This is something I have really enjoyed for the last four terms and I am now seeking a fifth term on city council. I think we've made a difference.”
Looking back, Siemens says there have been many highlights in his time on city council but one that stands out is the friendly annexation agreement made with the R.M. of Hanover which allows the city to plan on a 50-year basis.
Recreation has always been a priority for Siemens who spent 18 years as head of Steinbach's Parks and Recreation Department. In his time on council, Siemens says they've increased the minimum width of regional pathways from 1.5 metres to 3, something he really pushed for.
Going forward, he notes he would like to see continued investment in this area.
“We need to continue to work on our bike paths and pathways. We found during COVID that our pathways became a valuable place for people to get out of the house and walk and I think that continues now. We see more and more people using the pathways. We see more bikes, e-bikes, and scooters.”
Siemens says working to help bring doctors to Steinbach should be also be something council explores even though that is Southern Health’s mandate and not the city’s.
“30 percent of the people in Steinbach don't have a family doctor today and what can the City of Steinbach do?” Siemens adds “In 2008, there was a mayor's task force to address that and it did help, it gave us an understanding of what it took to recruit and retain doctors.”
If elected, Siemens says he will push council to revisit this issue.
Finally, Siemens says continued investment in infrastructure is an issue that remains close to his heart.
“That focus continues and needs to continue, that we keep building our infrastructure. We have potholes in Steinbach but we can identify all four of them and they get fixed. We don't have streets falling apart, where our infrastructure is falling apart. We stay on top of infrastructure and we have been replacing infrastructure and that has done our community very well.”
This is the fifth time Siemens has run for a seat on Steinbach’s City Council and he says his motto has been the same since the beginning, “We all have a vision for our community and working together, I am confident we can make Steinbach a safe place to raise a family, live, ride a bike, work, and worship.”
So far, only incumbents have announced their intentions to run in the upcoming municipal election. Siemens encourages anyone who is interested to join the race.
“We need people to run and so if there is anybody out there looking, I think it is important that there is an election. Everybody who is interested has to get out there and tell their story.”