It took her all summer and part of the fall but Jocelyn Curteanu has decided to seek re-election as councillor for the City of Whitehorse.
Curteanu, who became the first person of Filipino descent to sit on council in 2012, said it was a tough decision to make.
“One of the most important things I learned is you really do have to invest a lot of time and energy, and be willing to make sacrifices to be on council,” she said.
“This term gave me a more realistic perspective about what the demands of the position are. I believe the citizens deserve a council that is receptive and engaged, and I just needed to feel confident I could do that.”
Curteanu said one of the common misperceptions about serving on city council is that you can change the world overnight.
But you need a lot of patience and you won’t get your way all the time, she added.
For example, Curteanu was one of three members of council to vote in favour of giving the Yukon government permission to build an outdoor sports complex in the Whistle Bend neighborhood.
But a 3-3 tie resulted in the bylaw being defeated.
During her three-year term, Curteanu said she’s proud of the work she’s accomplished to help prevent racism and encourage diversity in the city.
In March 2013, she proposed the creation of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination advisory committee.
The committee’s purpose is to advise city council and administration on best practices to eliminate racism and discrimination when it comes to developing and implementing city plans and policies.
Curteanu said she’s also proud of the fact city council was able to keep taxes “at a reasonable level.”
Property taxes in Whitehorse went up 1.7 per cent this year, the same as in 2014.
“I think we did a pretty good job,” she said.
“It’s a balancing act. We literally went line by line on many evenings and we’d look at whether the item was regulatory or not.
“Then, we looked at whether it was what citizens wanted, and if it was part of our strategic priorities.”
If re-elected, Curteanu said she wants to continue developing relationships with other levels of government.
For example, the City of Whitehorse’s relationship with the Kwanlin Dun First Nation has “blossomed,” she said.
“You get more accomplished if you work together, as opposed to working in your own silos,” she added.
Originally from the Philippines, Curteanu moved to Canada when she was six, settling in Vancouver.
In 2006, she moved to Whitehorse to take a job managing the local Canada Revenue Agency office.
Three years later she moved to Alberta, but came back to the territory in 2011 and bought a house in Cowley Creek.
The upcoming municipal election will be held on Oct. 15.
Contact Myles Dolphin at