Mike Pagtakhan who has represented my home ward of Point Douglas on Winnipeg City Council for the last sixteen years has retired from political life so I need to decide who I will vote for as his replacement. There are four candidates vying to take Mr. Pagtakhan’s seat.
Vivian Santos has lots of political experience having worked as Mike Pagtakhan’s assistant and also in the office of mayor Brian Bowman. Before her more recent jobs in city politics she was a legal assistant for two large corporate law firms. According to Ms. Santos’ website she’s been involved in a great many community initiatives and improvement projects as a volunteer. She’s helped build fitness trails, develop programs for seniors, plant new species at an ecological reserve, worked on traffic studies and organized charity events. And she’s a national bronze champion in arm wrestling.
Kate Sjoberg has been the executive director of the North Point Douglas Women’s centre and the Spence Neighborhood Association and currently serves as a consultant with the Louis Riel School Division working to improve educational outcomes in neighborhoods impacted by poverty. She’s on the national board of the John Howard Society which advocates for prison reform. Ms. Sjoberg is also an instructor in urban studies at the University of Winnipeg which means she would bring relevant academic credentials to the role of councilor. Ms. Sjoberg’s website lists her many impressive community involvements which include working to make low-income housing safer, acting as an advocate for more efficient public transportation and trying to get to the bottom of possible lead contamination on land in Point Douglas.
Dean Koshelanyk has such a wide variety of work experience. He’s had jobs in farming, construction, forestry, commercial cleaning, the restaurant business, school photography and technology. He has been a Winnipeg School Division trustee and has volunteered in the community for more than 7000 hours although on his nominee profile he doesn’t get specific about what kind of volunteering he’s done. Mr. Koshelanyk has lived in the Point Douglas ward for almost 20 years. He hasn’t got a website but he does have a Facebook page where he states the three cornerstones of his campaign are common sense, financial prudence and safety.
Filippo Palmisani is the owner of Centurion Enterprises a plumbing and heating business. It is a little hard to find information about Mr. Palmisani’s platform or background because he appears to have no official website or Facebook page. I did find a Free Press article written about him at the time he announced his candidacy. He wants to institute a city sales tax to replace property taxes and be more aggressive in attracting businesses that offer high paying jobs to Winnipeg.
I have to say that right now from what I can find out about the candidates online Ms. Sjoberg is at the top of the list for receiving my vote. Perhaps I will get more information before the election to change my mind. I’m certainly open to that. I appreciate the fact that four civic minded people are willing to take the time and make the effort to run for office to represent Point Douglas on city council.