Joe Masi has submitted his name to the list of Portage la Prairie residents running for city council. He notes he spent a big part of his career working in politics, and also served as executive director for the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.
"I've seen municipalities throughout Manitoba and, hopefully, I can bring that knowledge and expertise to the council table for my own community of Portage la Prairie," explains Masi. "I've spent a lot of my career in government, so I think I fully understand how the provincial government works. The federal government, I had a lot of dealings with them as the executive director of the Association, so I have a lot of good contacts that I can bring to help the city of Portage in their efforts to get funding from the province and the federal government."
He notes he's also co-chairing the Manitoba Rural Economic Development Board with Chuck Davidson, president of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, and notes that that agency is to look at a more coordinated approach to economic development for our province.
"I've hoped to bring some of that knowledge on economic development," continues Masi. "Certainly, that's a key reason that I'm running is to ensure that we continue with some of the good strength on economic development for our community. At this point, I've reached out to a lot of the groups in Portage. I've reached out to the business community and the Manitoba Chamber. I reached out to the seniors groups. I'm continuing to look at meetings with Community Foundation and other groups. So. I want to have a good conversation with a lot of these organizations and looking at what's needed in our community."
Masi explains he wants to make sure he fully understands what issues these groups are facing seeing as he is running for the first time in the city election.
He adds things related to safety in the community, policing, and infrastructure renewal are always going to be key issues for Portage to continue to grow and to prosper.
"I want to talk to various organizations and maybe, as the campaign rolls out, I'll be releasing some issues that are really important for our community," notes Masi. "I've been thinking about running for council for a couple of months and spent a lot of time on the road outside of Portage la Prairie, working for municipalities. I moved here with my wife 25 years ago and I really want to give back to the community. I know a lot of people say that when they run, but I certainly want to do that."
Masi says the community has been good to him and his wife.
"We've met some wonderful people," says Masi. "It's been a great lifestyle for us and I want to make sure that our city continues to grow and prosper, and become a city that people will just love to be here and work here, spend their money here, make sure that we are growing as a community, so those are. That's why I'm really running. At the end of the day, I want to work with some really good people at the council table to make sure our city continues to prosper."
The municipal election takes place on October 26.