Steinbach City Councillor Susan Penner has announced she will seek a third term in office. Penner feels she has been an effective voice on council and says she wants to continue making a difference in the direction of the city.
"One thing I get from people who support me and otherwise is that they appreciate that I am clear on what I stand for and stick to it. That's one thing that I know has come through to people. When it comes to moving forward, my focus has always been that the priority of council is basic infrastructure, whether that's roads, drainage, water, those types of things, that's really what our main focus should be and I would like to see us continue to move in that direction."
Penner says the administration at city hall has been excellent in keeping city council informed about what's coming down the pipe and staying ahead of future needs.
"The upcoming water treatment facility, for example, is something we've been planning for a long time, which is not glamorous but without it, the city would not be able to grow. So it is really important that those types of things are managed well."
Penner notes city council must continue to be very cautious when it comes to discretionary spending.
"We are such a busy city and a regional hub, leaving a perception that we actually have a lot bigger tax base than we do. That impacts us more in terms of what we want to do for discretionary projects like recreation, for example. We only have 16,000 people in our city, so for some of these big projects, it makes it difficult because the tax base would not be there to sustain them. I'm not against raising taxes at all costs, but I also want to make sure we're keeping perspective on what we can do with the size of city we have."
Penner says her experience on council is also a big factor considering there will be at least three new councillors elected this fall as well as a new mayor.
In a news release, Penner says on the issues of safety and policing, "Our RCMP is doing excellent work in keeping Steinbach safe." She says that the addition of the GIS Unit and the Canine Unit have been very effective, even though much of their work goes unreported.
As Steinbach continues to grow outward, Penner says she recognizes the importance of ensuring downtown Steinbach remains vibrant. "Our downtown district is filled with locally-owned businesses which keep profits in Steinbach and provide a stable economic foundation with direct ties to the community. I would like to see our downtown continue to develop with business, recreation & culture, and living in order to keep it a desirable place to be."