Another Penticton councillor has put her name forward for this fall’s municipal election.
Coun. Judy Sentes has joined Councillors Garry Litke and John Vassilaki as well as former Coffee Couch entrepreneur Helena Konanz in the race for a seat on the 2011 to 2014 city council.
After nearly three years on council, Sentes said she would like to utilize the experience, skills and knowledge she has acquired to help make a difference in the community Penticton is and will become.
“I have no ambition to be a political entity or to make politics a new career or a second one, but I am passionate about the community I live in and I want it to be the best that it could be for everyone concerned,” said the first-time councillor. “If the community will have me, I think they know me well enough to know that I come from a common-sense oriented positive attitude and really just want to do what’s best for this community.”
According to Sentes, the first two years of the current mandate were quite challenging but council worked hard to make the tough decisions necessary to put the city in a position to move forward.
“We have come through a lot of the stuff that needed to be addressed and I think we have come positively to the other side,” Sentes said. “One of those positives is the hiring of (city CAO) Annette Antoniak. I find her very resolution orientated. She is definitely approachable and very positive. She’s always looking to find solutions outside the box, and that is the type of person that is a pleasure to work with.”
Sentes said in her own approach to civic government she strives to be fair, accessible and open-minded when making decisions.
“I’m not given to having preconceived notions or predetermined responses,” she explained. “I really like to stay open and hear all of the information. Certainly a city’s staff is a resource and a provider of information but so is the community and sometimes you have to be cautious.
“You shouldn’t jump too quickly with an answer until you have heard everything that is pertinent to the question.”
A consistent visitor throughout her first term to the various sites for which council was deliberating on, Sentes said she tries to be sensitive to the ambience of Penticton’s various neighbourhoods.
“Years ago when Beth Campbell was in municipal governance, she told me if I ever decide to do this, that you do need to make an effort to walk the site because (city staff) can provide all the written documentation and even photographs, but it is not the same as you actually physically being there,” she said. “Every time that I do that I find that advice proven to be even more true because you really need to get out, walk the site and see the ambience that is the neighbourhood or the street.”
“I think that is a wise approach. That is one of the reasons why I chose to run in the first place. Because there was a concern in the community about how decisions were being made, that all the information was not on the table before decisions were being made. So I like to think that I have been fair; that I’m transparent; and that I’ve done the due diligence.”